Prepare yourselves Home and Away fans, Alf Stewart is about to disappear from the show.

The beloved character who has been a part of the Aussie soap since it began in 1988, will be written out of the show later this year.

But don't panic, Alf will only be gone for a maximum of six weeks as the actor who plays him, Ray Meagher, heads to New Zealand for the stage production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Based on the film of the same name, the show follows three drag queens on a journey through the desert - set to a soundtrack of dance hits.

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Ray Meagher's character Alf Stewart is to leave the television show Home and Away.
Ray Meagher's character Alf Stewart is to leave the television show Home and Away.

It's an interesting match for the veteran Home and Away actor, who's spent near 30 years playing a gruff bloke's bloke, famed for his love of fishing and catch phrases like "stone the flaming crows".

If you're wondering how such a man ends up in a drag musical, it turns out it's all in the name of fun. He was first approached to fill in for two weeks in a Sydney production, which he initially turned down on account of Home and Away.

But seeing the show changed his mind. "I sat there watching it and within about 10 minutes I thought, 'My God, how long's this been going on? This looks like great fun', so I agreed to do it, and I absolutely loved it," says Meagher.

The producer asked him to do six months on London's West End, and "for an Aussie bloke from the bush who can't sing or dance, doing a musical on the West End really appealed to my sense of humour".

Luckily, his character Bob the mechanic, isn't supposed to be a great singer - "thank God" - so with a little preparation, he's hoping to go from plane to stage without too much rehearsal. In the meantime, Home and Away's writers are "happy to" pen a way out for Alf Stewart.

Ray Meagher's character Alf Stewart is to leave the television show Home and Away.
Ray Meagher's character Alf Stewart is to leave the television show Home and Away.

Meagher says he's in the dark as to what they will do, but says when he was on the West End, Alf ended up taking a 6-month fishing trip. This time he says, "we'll just have to wait and see", but Alf will be back.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will be at Auckland's Civic Theatre from October 14. See priscillathemusical.co.nz for more information.