Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

New lease on life for TV icon

Lucy Elliott's 2014 fare will be healthier than that sold in the 90s by Claire Chitham. Photo / Michael Craig
Lucy Elliott's 2014 fare will be healthier than that sold in the 90s by Claire Chitham. Photo / Michael Craig

It was the go-to spot for gossip, and was thrown off a cliff by Lionel Skeggins. Somehow it was recovered and handed on to Waverley Harrison. This week, the dust will be wiped from the humble Shortland Street tea-trolley and it will be wheeled down the gleaming hospital corridors once again.

On Wednesday evening, young cafe worker Dayna Jenkins will reintroduce the cart to viewers of the long-running soap.

"All the 90s stuff is gone and it's all gluten-free, healthy salads and protein-packed smoothies," said Lucy Elliott, who plays Dayna.

Lucy is the daughter of actor Peter Elliott, who played Dr David Keaney on the show back in the late 1990s.

"I was watching something the other day and there was a Shortland Street scene from 15 years ago with dad in the same scene as the trolley — it has come full circle," Lucy said.

The trolley was first rolled out in the early 1990s with Gina Dodds, eccentric owner of the clinic cafe.

Laden with lamingtons and oversized muffins, the humble trolley was the equivalent of the water-cooler for gossip, a comforting chat or old-time receptionist Marj Brasch's favourite, a fresh scone.

After Gina's reign behind the wheels, clumsy cafe owner Lionel Skeggins took over the trolley run and flirted his way into the heart of receptionist Kirsty Knight over his fresh-baked muffins.

But in a fit of rage, Lionel tossed the trolley over a cliff before disappearing into the sea himself.

It's hard to imagine how it survived the fall, but there it was with Waverley for her run in 1999.

Vending machines were installed in the clinic and the trolley was put in a cupboard in the early 2000s — waiting for its star turn this week.

- Herald on Sunday

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