Home and Away Justin star pays tribute to on-screen daughter after dark twist

Home and Away star James Stewart paid tribute to his on-screen daughter after she made her soap debut.

The actor, 47, has played Justin Morgan since 2016 and the character was stunned last week when his daughter, Ava Gilbert, returned to Summer Bay.

Ava hasn't been seen in the Bay since 2020 and looked slightly different upon her arrival as actress Annabel Wolfe, 21, took over the role from Alice Roberts.

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The teenager made her way to the Bay after a fight with her mum and it was quickly evident that she's a huge fan of Lyrik – and Theo in particular.

During Monday's episode (April 3), Kirby was amused by Ava's harmless crush on her boyfriend, but it became clear that Ava's interest in Theo wasn't so harmless after all.

In the privacy of her room, Ava taped a photo of her and Theo into a scrapbook which was revealed to be full of photos dedicated to him – confirming the teen to be the I<3Theo stalker.

In light of the dramatic scenes Annabel made her debut in, James took to Instagram and paid tribute to the new addition to the cast.

Alongside a snap of Annabel, he wrote: "So stoked to have @annabelwolfe playing my daughter… she's an incredible young actor with such a bright future ahead of her.

"She's kind, intelligent, always listening and learning – such a great energy on set and in our cast. She's giving this story the turmoil it needs and proving to be a bit of a handful for Justin. Garrrgghhh… dads and their daughters eh'?"

As Ava's dark storyline continued on-screen in Australia, James shared a snap of the pair and praised the actress as he wrote: " Liar, liar, pants on fire! You’re killin this story".

After making guest appearances in the Aussie comedy Diary of an Uber Driver and Travis Fimmel's murder mystery Black Snow, Annabel landed Home and Away which is her breakout role.

Discussing Ava's return, Annabel said: "Until now, Ava has appeared on the show only as a 'little girl' or at a stage of pre-adolescence. Justin quickly realises how much she's grown up in his absence – not only physically, but mentally."

Explaining what her arrival means for Justin, the star added "Ava's return will bring chaos to Justin's life, as he's forced to deal with the rebellion of a resentful daughter."

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