Why is Nicolette Stone star Charlotte Chimes leaving Neighbours?

My Cornwall with Fern Britton trailer from Channel 5

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Neighbours fans have witnessed a dramatic couple of months for Nicolette Stone (played by Charlotte Chimes). Nicolette has vanished without a trace, leaving David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) reeling in her absence. There is no word on when she could come back, with all signs pointing to Chimes leaving the Channel 5 soap for good – but why has she left?

WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Neighbours.

Why is Nicolette Stone star Charlotte Chimes leaving Neighbours?

It’s been complicated in Erinsborough lately, with pregnant Nicolette fleeing the town just before the birth of David and husband Aaron Brennan’s (Matt Wilson) baby.

David has taken Nicolette’s departure particularly hard, with his recent angry behaviour causing concerns for his husband and other residents of the town.

Months ago, the three made a co-parenting arrangement, but with Nicolette doing a runner, it looks as though she has betrayed David and Aaron.

By the time viewers see all of this week’s episodes, there will be no signs of Nicolette’s return.

Things are only going from bad to worse for David, as his increasingly frustrated behaviour leaves him being asked to leave work.

However, Nicolette’s future is completely unknown and all signs seem to point to her departure being more permanent than originally thought.

Chimes has not addressed her character’s absence from the series, though a recent Instagram post may suggest an exit.

Chimes posted: “Mems from my bebe journey. What a laugh this was!! (mostly).

“I wore 8 prosthetic stomachs over 6-7 months during summer with the last one weighing in over 5kgs!!!

“Thank you to my BFF @nickwakerley for making me the best dressed pregnant lady ever (biased but true)!” (sic)

The current status of Chimes’ character remains unclear, with neither Channel 5 or Peach, Australia’s broadcaster, releasing a statement.

For now, the focus seems to be squarely on David, with the show likely wanting to play out his development more before Nicolette potentially comes back.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Honda explained: “Often Aaron is more of the hot-head in the relationship, but it’s a little bit of a role reversal now.

“In this case, it’s a matter of Aaron seeing where David is going. Aaron feels he’s the one who has to have his head straight and try to bring some mediation to the whole situation.”

It isn’t known what David will do as his anger continues to build out of control.

With Nicolette now missing in action, the situation will likely only get worse the longer she is away from Erinsborough.

Nicolette’s disappearance is set to be one of Neighbours’ biggest storylines of the year, with there being no doubt most of the town will get involved at some point.

As her exit has already kicked the hornet’s nest in the town, it seems certain things won’t get any easier.

All eyes are now on David and his next actions, as there is no doubt he will continue the search for Nicolette.

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm on Channel 5.

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