Born in South Yorkshire as Coral O'Neill, Drouyn is the maternal grand-daughter of Charles Coppin and Bertha Baker, who together were the music-hall act Haig and Esco. Her maternal uncle, Jack Haig, was also a well-known British actor and her father, Terry O'Neill (born Terry Norris in Ireland in 1922), was also an actor and the son of an Irish tenor. With this performing background, Drouyn began her work as an actress with an uncredited role as 'Precocious Child' in 1949's I Was a Male War Bride. She continued to act subsequently (often as Coral Kelly), but her primary work since 1980 has been as a script-writer.
Drouyn began writing regularly for Australian television around 1980. Her father had been working in Australian television since the 1960s, and Drouyn notes in interviews that she had written comedy material for his Melbourne-based TV series, Time for Terry, since when she was around 20 (see Back to the Bay interview below). Her first full television scripts, however, were for Reg Watson's soap opera The Restless Years. She notes in her interview with Neighbours fansite The Perfect Blend that she was already writing
melodramas for theatre restaurants and comedy material. Ian Smith, who plays Harold Bishop, had worked in one of my theatre restaurants for many years and he had just moved into TV as a script editor on Prisoner. So when I saw the first ep and went "OH MY GAWD!!!" I called him and asked could I get a script...even though I didn't have a clue about doing it... But I had to wait for a while... and so my first script was for another Aussie soap The Restless Years or TRY.
By 1980, Drouyn was writing for Prisoner; she wrote at least sixty-four episodes between 1980 and 1985. She also worked as story editor for the series. While working for Prisoner, she also began work on Neighbours, then in its infancy:
I was aware of the development of Neighbours because Reg Watson was involved in both shows and he asked me if I would like to write some episodes during my break... that I guess must have been over Christmas 1984.... Good Lord...it's so long ago it's hard to get the date right. I guess it could have been 83. At any rate Neighbours had not started production. In those early days a writer wrote all five episodes for the week and I remember that I wrote episodes 16 - 20 - seems impossible now. I'd put in my two cents worth about the show during development - like the fact that I thought the working title of One Way Street was an abomination - but I don't know that I influenced it in any way. (Perfect Blend interview)
While writing for Neighbours, Drouyn also contributed material to The Gerry Connolly Show.
In the early 1990s, Drouyn began work on another long-running Australian soap opera, Home and Away, for which she worked until the mid-2000s. She also contributed scripts to a third 1990s' soap opera, Pacific Drive, and scripted the drama Change of Heart (1999). Her work for Blue Heelers included killing off popular character Maggie Doyle.
Drouyn has worked extensively in children's television, especially those programs produced in Western Australia by Barron Entertainment/Great Western Entertainment, including episodes of Chuck Finn (1999); Parallax (2004); Streetsmartz (2005-2006), for which she was also script producer; and Stormworld (2009). She also created (and wrote scripts for) the teen fantasy drama Wild Kat (2001) for Barron Entertainment.
Among her awards is an AWGIE Award (2003) for episode 3445 of Home and Away.
'Coral Drouyn' [interview]. Back to the Bay (http://www.backtothebay.net/interviews/coraldrouyn.shtml). Online. (Sighted: 22/10/2012)
'Coral Drouyn' [interview]. The Perfect Blend (http://perfectblend.net/features/interview-drouyn.htm). Online. (Sighted: 22/10/2012)
A character-based television drama series about the lives of police officers in the fictitious Australian country town of Mt Thomas, this series began with the arrival of Constable Maggie Doyle (Lisa McCune) to the Mt Thomas station in the episode 'A Woman's Place'. Doyle and avuncular station boss Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon (John Wood) were the core characters of the series until the departure of Lisa McCune.
Immensely popular for a decade, Blue Heelers was cancelled in 2006 after thirteen seasons. The announcement was front-page news in Australia's major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney's Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Age in Melbourne, and Brisbane's Courier Mail.
On June 8, 2006 Ross Warneke wrote in The Age:
'It's over and, to be perfectly blunt, there's no use lamenting the demise of Blue Heelers any more. When the final movie-length episode aired on Channel Seven on Sunday night, 1.5 million Australians tuned in, a figure that was big enough to give the show a win in its timeslot but nowhere near big enough to pay the sort of tribute that this writer believes Heelers deserved after more than 500 episodes.It is unlikely there will be anything like it again. At almost $500,000 an hour, shows such as Blue Heelers are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of Australian TV.'
Home and Away is a television serial created by Alan Bateman and produced by the Seven Network. The idea for the series came to Bateman (then head of drama at Seven) after he stopped to buy ice-creams in a small country town in southern NSW. While chatting to some locals, he learned that the town was unhappy about plans to build a home for foster kids from the city. At that time, Channel Seven was still smarting from its decision to let Neighbours go to the Ten Network, where it had become hugely popular, and was looking to create another series to rival its success. Bateman saw in the idea that became Home and Away the potential for plenty of storylines and conflict by having streetwise city kids being relocated to a small regional environment,
In the beginning, the series focused on Pippa and Tom Fletcher, who, being unable to have children of their own, decide to become foster parents. When Tom is retrenched from his city job, the couple buy the rundown Summer Bay Caravan Park and move there with their five foster children. Soon after arriving, they also take in troublesome Bobby Simpson.
The series debuted in January 1988 with an hour-long telemovie. Although this rated well, the series itself took some while to develop an audience. Having learned their lesson from the Neighbours debacle, Network Seven gave its new show time, and its ratings gradually increased. As with Neighbours, the Home and Away series and performers became very popular in the United Kingdom.
A daily television drama series set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, Neighbours chronicles the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street. The series initially revolved around three families: the Ramsays (at number 24 Ramsay Street), the Robinsons (at number 26), and the Clarkes (at number 28). The scope of the series has since broadened to include new Ramsay Street familes.