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Xanthe Canning (played by Lilly Van der Meer) is a fictional character and a major character in the popular Australian soap opera, Neighbours. Introduced in 2016, she made her first appearance on January 22, 2016. A current Ramsay St. resident, Xanthe currently lives with her grandmother, Sheila Canning, and her father, Gary Canning. Together, they occupy 26 Ramsay Street.
Outside of her home, Xanthe is a schoolgirl attending Erinsborough High School. She owned an Instagram page, where she would regularly update, until an incident with another student at Erinsborough High School, leading to Sheila almost being charged against. This led to her decision to take on plastic surgery, only to be stopped by Ben, Piper, Angus, and Sheila.
"While Xanthe comes off as naturally confident, the truth is she's had no choice but to develop survival skills. Growing up in Surfers Paradise, it's just been her and her flighty mum, Brooke."
- Tenplay on Xanthe Canning.
After Brooke is in serious debt, she flees the country and sends Xanthe down to Melbourne to live with Gary. When Xanthe first arrives at Erinsborough, she is seen looking for her father, Gary, but is shocked to the realization that he is off in prison, and quickly learns that all she has left is Sheila and Kyle. Neither Sheila nor Kyle knew about Xanthe's existence. As such, Xanthe has had to learn about Sheila's house rules, while also avoid getting into trouble with the law, as she's done at times since moving to Erinsborough.
Outside of her houselife, she dreams of handbag designing and red carpet lines. Xanthe is portrayed as the typical "blonde" who enjoys a carefree life, enjoying her time out with Ben and Piper, rather than cleaning dishes and cleaning up after Bossy.
Relationship with Ben Kirk
Relationship with Angus Beaumont-Hannay
After arriving in Erinsborough, Xanthe makes her way over to 26 Ramsay Street, but no one answers the door. She heads over to the garden, but is abruptly stopped by Daniel Robinson, who advises her to come back later. She then makes her way over to The Waterhole, where she tries to contest her free meal after claiming she had hair in her meal. Sheila thinks Xanthe planted it on the food.
Xanthe then asks to find her dad, Gary Canning, but is soon shocked to hear that he is in prison. After things had been tense between Xanthe and Sheila, she decides to run off, and though she had the urge to steal money from Sheila, Xanthe decides to pass on that, and run off instead.
There, she struck a friendship with local teenager, Piper Willis, and Piper insists that they throw a party. Xanthe agrees, and decides to post about it on social media. The party was shortly stopped by police, Constable Mark Brennan, and although Piper had escaped, Xanthe was returned to Sheila and Kyle, saying that she would either stay with Sheila and Kyle, or would be taken into care.
Sheila then enrolls Xanthe to Erinsborough High, and although she was reluctant to go, she would eventually come to terms with the decision after talking to Kyle. On her first day at Erinsborough High, she struggles with a reading exercise, and is taunted by Alison Gore.
Xanthe takes Brad Willis' iPad, makes copies of the exam, in an attempt to sell it to other students, one of which includes Piper. Eventually, she's caught and suspended for a week. She then throws a party for Ainsley Gilzan at Robinson's Motel, when she and her friends are also suspended for cheating. Sheila crashes and breaks up the party, and reprimands Xanthe when she collapses with chest pains, due to a panic attack. Xanthe takes care of Sheila, only to realize that Sheila's been exaggerating her condition, which turns into a heated argument. Sheila then collapses with a heart attack, and Xanthe doesn't believe her this time, so she leaves Sheila alone.
On the day of Ben's return, Xanthe is immediately attracted to him. She spends the day with him, which ultimately ends up with Xanthe being sick from drunkenness. Xanthe and Ben are banned from seeing each other.
On the day of the explosion of the Lassiter's Hotel, Xanthe and Ben are seen in the scene of the hotel, and they find a large amount of money, belonging to Tom Quill. They argue on whether or not to keep it or hand it over to authorities. Ultimately, they agree to split the cash, 50/50, and Xanthe ends up spending most of the money on dresses for the photo shoot and Instagram.
This ends up with Alison Gore taunting her even more, by posting nasty comments online, along with a group of her friends to further humiliate Xanthe. Eventually Aaron takes over the social media side, deleting malicious comments that could offend Xanthe.
As Angus comes over to live with Susan Kennedy and Karl Kennedy, after they agreed to take care of Angus while Sarah Beaumont is over at Germany for treatment about her disease, Angus takes interest in Xanthe. After she claims she doesn't want to sit an exam, Angus pulls the fire alarm, so that they didn't have to sit the exam that day. Xanthe, in the end, disagrees with Angus' morals, but goes with it.
After Xanthe's sixteenth birthday doesn't go to plan, she is wrecked with disappointment. Angus has been by her side for the whole day, and Xanthe and Angus decide to go over to the motel and have sex. But, Angus rejects this offer, saying that they should just be friends. Xanthe is distraught, and takes on plastic surgery, only to be talked out of it by Angus, Ben, Piper, and Sheila.
Upon hearing his money had been stolen, Tom immediately suspects Xanthe, and Xanthe decides to sell unwanted clothing from the neighbourhood to earn the money back, while Ben and Angus does busking to earn the money back. Angus pulls out after a heated disagreement between Xanthe and Angus, and Ben tells Xanthe about Angus' mother's cancer. In the end, Xanthe tells Angus, who then runs away with the busking money they made. Xanthe follows Angus, both hitching a ride from a stranger, only to be rescued by Gary and Ben.