Reid about it: The Offspring cast, from left: Eddie Perfect, Kat Stewart, Matthew Le Nevez, Asher Keddie, Richard Davies and Jane Harber. Photo: John Tsiavis
He's the doctor who has humbly captured Nina Proudman's heart, not to mention the attention of a legion of Offspring fans who love Matt Le Nevez in his role as Dr Patrick Reid on Offspring.
Le Nevez is relatively shy when it comes to interviews, despite the starring roles he has had on the small screen, including his appearance on Howzat! last year.
But the actor is clearly proud of the new season of Offspring, which moves him from doctor duties to impending fatherhood, alongside his co-star Asher Keddie, who plays Nina.
"I'm very grateful in having a show that people like": Matthew Le Nevez. Photo: John Tsiavis
''They start off this year in a really, really happy place - they're both committed to each other and are really trying to be better partners … and ultimately better parents,'' Le Nevez says of Offspring's lead characters.
''Obviously they didn't expect this pregnancy. Even though they both privately wanted it, it was still a bit of a shock. So after the whirlwind of the romance last year, I think this year they're both quite happy to be with each other, and it shows.''
The 34-year-old laughs off his status as a sex symbol on Offspring.
''It's a bit silly,'' he says, clearly a little embarrassed by the ardent attention. ''But in saying that, I'm very grateful, honestly, in having a show that people like. I know I'm the romantic lead in the show so I do benefit from the writers.
''I really do appreciate that we do have an audience that feels like they like him. I've done that many jobs that haven't connected with an audience or didn't quite work, so when you do something that does work … I'm proud of it.''
Le Nevez says having such esteemed actors as Deborah Mailman and Lachy Hulme in supporting roles, let alone John Waters and Garry McDonald, who he describes as a ''television icon'', gives the cast a confidence boost.
''And then when you have someone like Asher leading the way and working as hard as she does, it's a very interesting mix. I love it.''
While growing up in a tightly knit Canberra clan, Le Nevez got an unusual break into acting because his younger brother was a huge fan of the rugby league footballer Wayne Pearce.
''I fell into the industry,'' Le Nevez says. ''Wayne Pearce was retiring and they advertised in the newspaper for a young Wayne and it was my brother's hero so we wrote away to the Sunday paper for him to audition.''
The whole family attended in support of his younger brother, Tim. ''I hit up the producers straight away and said, 'How did he go?' They looked at my mum and dad and said [to me], 'Why don't you audition?' So I did and I got the role. And my brother ended up playing Wayne's brother in the show.''
Le Nevez says that thankfully his brother got to fulfil two dreams - meeting Pearce and an eventual career in the legend's rival code, rugby union. But for Matt, acting became a passion.
''The producer of that show became a very close friend of my family; his name is Graham McNeice and he encouraged me to pursue acting … I did a youth theatre play in Canberra, then I auditioned for NIDA when I was 17 and fluked it and got in,'' Le Nevez says. ''So my life was changed by that newspaper article.''
It's not only the Australian market that is paying strong attention to Le Nevez's talents. He has been in the US auditioning for roles and was on the cusp of signing off on a guest role for a major series, to be filmed in Miami, when he spoke with Fairfax Media.
He says Australian actors are greeted warmly in the US because of their work ethic.
''Whether you walk off the set of Home and Away after three years, or whether you walk out of NIDA, we do get an opportunity to learn and grow when we're young.''
Le Nevez credits Offspring for giving him a momentum in the Australian industry and has high hopes for further success overseas.
Offspring returns to Ten at 8.30pm on Wednesday.
The great Grasby
If you ever wondered about the scale of success a show such as MasterChef can bring, then take a look at Marion Grasby. She is currently shipping 150,000 packs of her own branded Thai products a month into Australian supermarkets. That's not to mention her own cooking show, Marion's Thailand, on Foxtel.
The star, now permanently based in Thailand (so she can deal directly with her suppliers), says she is proud to have returned to her mother's home country to teach Australian audiences even more about authentic Thai cooking.
She says she still keeps a keen interest in MasterChef but that even rival shows are enriching the lives of Australians.
''I'm very grateful that food shows, whether it's MasterChef or My Kitchen Rules, it doesn't matter which one, have really made food - and Australian food - water-cooler topics,'' she says. ''It's a wonderful thing for Australian cuisine in general because we have this whole generation of kids who think that food is cool.''
She says her own success hasn't changed her much but admits, with a huge laugh, that she does get random marriage proposals on Facebook. ''I think maybe it's because of having a nice dinner cooked every night,'' she says.
Marion's Thailand airs on the LifeStyle Food channel on Tuesday at 8.30pm.
Real voice of The Voice
As the finals of The Voice go to air on Monday night, it's hard to imagine why anyone was speculating last year that host Darren McMullen would be replaced on the show. Thankfully it didn't happen. McMullen has been a fantastic host this year, much more relaxed and warm, with that authoritative voice that has given the show its signature feel. Despite all the attention on the celebrity coaches, McMullen deserves real credit for such a job well done.
The live finals of The Voice air on Nine on Monday at 7.30pm.