James Newman played by Scott McRae
Episodes 277 - 396
James Newman had a dramatic entrance into E Street when unwittingly opened his home to Steven Richardson. Having just waved off cousin Max, Jamie was sure that Steven was the right choice for a flatmate and given that Steven had taken the identity of Bill McDonald and changed his appearance Jamie had no reason to doubt him. As time went on Jamie grew suspicious of Steven, he thought he had strange tendencies with women and an overpowering nature. When Jamie found the original passport of Bill McDonald alarm bells were raised and he went to Westside to raise the alert. However when he got there it was too late for Toni Windsor who had been lured into Steven’s trap and was kidnapped.
When the Steven Richardson case was over, Jamie returned to his home before packing up for good and attending an interview for a law firm in Westside. He had decided he wanted to settle in the city and spend more time with his cousin Max. Securing the job Jamie became Penny O’Briens roommate and became firm friends with she and her daughter Charlie.
Despite getting on well in his new law firm, Jamie had dreams of partnership but felt his boss was taken him seriously as he was a single man. With Penny also needing security to obtain a business loan, the pair joined forces and pretended to be married in order to be treated with equal rights. Despite the marriage being fake, it was clear to most that Jamie did have true feelings for Penny and he was bowled over – literally - when she gave him a thank you kiss for being her best friend.
Jamie also becomes a surrogate father to Charlie. He looks after her, teaches her things about life and culture and dresses up as batman for her birthday party! He also makes good friends in Cj and Toni and staples his relationship with his cousin Max.
Jamie’s biggest test arrives when Charlie is kidnapped. He is Penny’s rock throughout and even turns to Jack Brown to get money for Charlie’s captor. However when Charlie’s Dad Bronco is found to be the one holding her, Jamie is pushed aside. Penny sees that the only way to get Charlie back is to give in with Bronco and have a relationship with him. Jamie tells Penny that she can win Charlie through a court case and tells her she doesn’t have to be with Bronco when she doesn’t want to be. Desperate, Jamie finally tells Penny that he loves her but she tells him he can’t – not now as it’s the wrong time. Unable to stay in the flat with Penny and Bronco, Jamie moves in with Max.
He turns his attentions to the local opera society and is sure Jo-Jo is the right girl for the part of his leading lady. As he helps her turn from rock chick to opera songstress, the pair form a bond and a stage fright kiss turns into something more when they start dating. However their different backgrounds often cause problems and they struggle to fit in with each others lifestyles. Trouble emerges when Jamie’s mother comes to visit and Jo-Jo takes on the persona of nice girl ‘Nina’ to impress her. Jamie tells her that he’s never seen her look so good as she does today and Jo-Jo realises she will never fit into Jamie’s lifestyle. When he is offered a partnership at his Uncle’s law firm in Perth, Jo-Jo calls the relationship off and Jamie leaves Westside.
A rather hasty goodbye for an all round good guy. We’re sure the residents of E Street would have liked to have given him a much better send off.