LATEST: Young castmembers of Australian soap NEIGHBOURS regularly arrive on set suffering alcohol and drug-induced hangovers, according to a former star.

JAY BUNYAN - who played JACK SCULLY - claims it was not uncommon for actors and actresses to rely on the make-up department to mask blood-shot eyes and other hangover signs.

Bunyan spoke today (25OCT05) from the witness stand during a court case in which his former onscreen father SHANE CONNOR - who played JOE SCULLY - is suing Neighbours makers Grundy Television for breach of contract, after they sacked him in September 2003 after complaints of his amphetamine use and surly behaviour towards other castmembers and crew.

When asked by Connor's lawyer DYSON HORE-LACY if he had seen other castmembers affected by drugs and alcohol, Bunyan told the Victoria Supreme Court in Melbourne, "Yes, I have on many occasions, it's not uncommon for cast members to turn up in that state.

"You usually see it within some of the younger cast members turning up hung-over or (with) dilated pupils... as a result of drugs or alcohol.

"They usually get quick-smart into make-up to hide it."

When cross examined about his relationship with Connor, Bunyan admitted the pair were close, but insisted: "I have just said what I see has happened, I wouldn't say there's slanting."