Pepper Steiger

Pepper Steiger

Infobox soap character
colour = Television colour|Neighbours
name = Heidi Steiger

caption =
first = October 12 2006
Episode 5074
last = November 1 2007
Episode 5334
cause = Moved to Queensland to start a new job and be closer to her father.
nickname = Pepper, Pep
alias =
species =
gender = Female
age = 25
born = 1982
death =
occupation = Teacher| title =
parents = Allan Steiger (father)
Christine Rodd (mother)
Janelle Timmins (stepmother)
siblings=Brandon Timmins (stepbrother)
Dwayne Timmins (stepbrother)
Dylan Timmins (stepbrother)
Scott Timmins (stepbrother, deceased)
Janae Timmins (stepsister)
Anne Baxter (stepsister)
Bree Timmins (adoptive stepsister)
spouse =
children =
relatives =
episode =
portrayer = Nicky Whelan
creator =
residence = Cairns

Heidi "Pepper" Steiger was a fictional character in the Network Ten soap opera "Neighbours", portrayed by actress Nicky Whelan. The character first appeared on October 12, 2006. Whelan left the soap on November 1, 2007 after cutting her contract short.

Character's background

Pepper is a P.E. teacher, and is the daughter of Allan Steiger (Joe Clements). She lives at No. 30 Ramsay Street with Frazer Yeats (Ben Lawson), Oliver Barnes (David Hoflin), Carmella Cammeniti (Natalie Blair) and Ringo Brown (Sam Clark). Her real name is Heidi, but when she was in primary school she sneezed for 6 weeks, hence the nickname 'Pepper'. Pepper arrived with her "fiancé", professional gambler Frazer Yeats. Their relationship was not as it appeared; she faked a relationship with Frazer to try and secure a spot at No. 30.


Pepper managed to capture the attention of her male students, including Zeke Kinski (Matthew Werkmeister), with her attractive looks. Because of this, Zeke believed she was in love with him after she approached him one night while he was standing outside his house. She told him that she loved him and that she wanted to be with him, but it was later revealed that Pepper was sleepwalking at the time when Zeke announced at her engagement party that she was in love with him and that the engagement was a sham. It was revealed that Pepper had actually fallen for Frazer, who had eyes only for Rosie (who was actually at the time attracted to Will, Carmella's boyfriend). Eventually, Frazer and Pepper admitted they were not engaged after a hilarious episode when Will and Frazer went camping with Allan Steiger.

During her time on Ramsay Street, Pepper worked hard to get her mother and father, who were divorced, back together. She believed that they both still loved each other. At a dinner that she arranged, her father Allan proposed to her mother Chris (Trudy Hellier), but Chris declined and told Allan and Pepper that she had been in a relationship with a woman for a year. After her mother's revelation, Pepper revealed her homophobic beliefs, and let her mother's lifestyle become a death-sentence-like dilemma for her, but eventually came to accept it.

Lolly Allen

When Lolly Allen (Adelaide Kane) was being very disruptive in her class, Pepper asked to see her after class. Lolly wanted Pepper to see a giant bruise on her shoulder, and when Pepper saw it, Lolly ran for it. Pepper grabbed Lolly and demanded to know who hit her. Then Susan Kinski (Jackie Woodburne) saw her holding Lolly by her shirt, Lolly cried that Miss Steiger was hurting her. After hearing both sides of the story, Susan had no choice but to suspend Pepper until the Board of Education knew the truth - that Lolly's stepmother, Sandy (Catherine Hill) was her abuser and that Lolly was too afraid to admit it. Thanks to the help of Ringo Brown (Sam Clark), she later told everyone the truth. Pepper was allowed to take back her job, but she decided she wanted to take a break from teaching.

Paul Robinson

A short time later, Pepper had an affair with conniving business man Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), and came clean to Rosie, who was also interested in him. Rosie accepted her apology, but accused Paul of mistreating Pepper. Pepper and Rosie then shared a passionate kiss one day when Pepper was having a breakdown. Unbeknownst to them, Ringo was watching and before long all of Erinsborough knew, and assumed that Pepper and Rosie were a couple. Meanwhile, Pepper and Rosie agreed to leave their friendship as it is and forget the kiss, unaware that the whole town suspected that they were gay. They eventually moved past that stage.

Mary Casey

Recently, Pepper has been stalked, and was being sent presents and received anonymous phone calls, with the only sound being children playing in a playground. Pepper almost immediately suspected that the perpetrator was Kevin Casey (Zen Ledden), who had impregnated Pepper at age seventeen. Pepper had later miscarried.

Pepper decided she needed to track Kevin down, and went to see his mother, Mary (Rowena Wallace). A seemingly-innocent Mary claimed not to have any idea what Kevin was up to. However, it soon became clear that Kevin was not Pepper's stalker; it was Mary. The deranged woman had even set up a nursery for the deceased child in her house. On a later visit, Mary spiked a piece of cake and gave it to Pepper. After her visit, she went to Janae Hoyland's (Eliza Taylor-Cotter) annulment party, where she fainted. Rosie called an ambulance, and it was assumed that someone had spiked her drink; however, Pepper was convinced that it was something she had eaten earlier that was spiked. Pepper visited Mary a third time, still oblivious to the fact that Mary was her stalker, only to be knocked unconscious by Mary and tied up in the nursery.

Mary kept Pepper locked up for a long time, determined that Pepper would pay for taking her grandchild away, believing Pepper had had an abortion. Mary used Pepper's phone to text Rosie saying that Pepper was going away for a bit to clear her head, to cover up her absence. Mary locked her son Kevin in with Pepper too, determined that they would get back together, so that they could 'be a family again'. Pepper and Kevin played along, pretending to get back together so that Mary would let her guard down, and let them out. However, she still wouldn't let them go, so, becoming desperate, they lit a fire in the room, so that Mary would have to open the door. Mary was devastated that the nursery was being destroyed, and opened the door, wanting to save everything. Kevin ran out, where he fainted, and the door shut behind him, locking again, with the key still in Mary's hands. Pepper tried to get Mary to open the door so they could get out, but Mary was too distraught. Eventually, however, they did get out, and the police arrested Mary.

Aftermath of Kidnapping

On her return to Ramsay Street, Pepper told no one what had happened to her, although Frazer became suspicious that something was up when she was continually jumpy and terrified of being alone. Eventually, she had to tell them about it when she discovered that Sky was sharing a cell with Mary. Sky had been allowed to have daughter Kerry with her in jail, but knowing Mary's obsession with babies, Pepper felt sure Mary would try something, and told Harold.

Adam Rhodes

Since then, Pepper has met Adam Rhodes (Benjamin Hart), an English builder who was renovating the Scarlet Bar (now Charlie's). At first, she stated her dislike of him, but a mutual attraction was between the pair. Adam caught her attention, and they went out on a date.. She really enjoyed herself, and they started to date properly. But her dad, Alan, thought Adam seemed suspicious and was worried about Pepper. When Pepper discovered there were things Adam wouldn't tell her, she jumped to the conclusion that Adam was a criminal. She told him that he had told her off for lying and concealing thing and such things, but he was doing the same, and she deserved better. Adam couldn't bring himself to tell her the truth, and she left. He decided to leave Erinsborough, and wrote Pepper a note telling her. She stormed around to his house, before he had had time to leave, and eventually he told her that he used to be a policeman, but his partner had died had he blamed himself. He left Erinsborough still, despite Pepper begging him to stay, telling him that she would help him through it.

Soon afterwards, her father told her that he was moving to Cairns with his fiance Janelle Timmins and her children Anne Baxter, Bree Timmins and Janae Hoyland. Pepper decided to stay behind. At the farewell party for the family, Steiger married Janelle in a surprise ceremony, and Pepper was happy for him, unlike when he first started dating Janelle.

Pepper had a better surprise at the party though, when Adam turned up, telling her that if she wanted he would stay, and they could work through it together.

Pepper was involved in the bus crash that took place on the way home from Frazer and Rosie's wedding, although managed to escape from the blaze that followed with minor injuries.

Cancer Scare

In August, Pepper was diagnosed with type 2 cervical dysplasia. The abnormal cells were removed but she was told regular checks would be made to make sure it didn't become more serious.


Pepper left Ramsay Street on November 1, 2007 to go to a new job near her father. Adam decided to accompany her at the last minute, allowing Pepper to be heartbroken, thinking she would lose Adam.

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