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The storyline progressed and saw the couple decide to have the child.This caused controversy and an 'outcry' from conservative family groups in Australia who accused the programme of using the characters to normalise teenage pregnancy.In a statement from the press office at Five, they stated: "As the character of Declan is extremely popular, and with some sensational storylines planned, it was decided that the character would be recast" Sorensen expressed his delight that his character would continue as a part of the series saying: "I'm really happy the character's going to continue because the producers and writers have given Declan some fantastic storylines.I'm really proud he's become as popular as he has." At the time it was noted that recasts have occurred repeatedly throughout the history of the programme, creator of Neighbours, Reg Watson previously explained why he thought recasts were quintessential in the show saying: "I always believed it was a pity, when actors chose to leave a serial that the character should go as well. That's how it works, I can't continue, so Erin comes in and picks up the baton.
The storyline continued regardless of the controversy and Declan became a father, and shortly after Bridget died in a car accident. The character later became the center of disapproval from viewers, who felt Declan was moving on too fast after Bridget's death when he developed feelings for Kate Ramsay (Ashleigh Brewer).
Declan Napier is a fictional character from the Australian Network Ten soap opera Neighbours, played by James Sorensen from 2007 to 2010, and Erin Mullally from 2010 to 2011.
In January 2010 it was announced that Sorensen had quit the role of Declan and the decision to recast was taken, with Mullally making his first on-screen appearance on .
There was a lot of time invested in it and it ended so suddenly.
But viewers will see that it's really not an easy choice now for Declan.Sorensen then backed the storyline, wanting his character to move on stating: "It's a difficult situation. He was one of the lucky ones to have found his soul mate early in life, but at the same time, he has to move on and live his life." He then added an explanation to how Declan feels, adding: "He feels as though he's cheated on Bridget and that he hasn't mourned for long enough to be able to move on without showing proper respect to the love of his life. The two characters don't rush anything." Declan was then portrayed as having even more trouble battling his feelings for Kate, but tried hard not to forget Bridget.