Daniel MacPherson, a former Neighbours actor, has expressed his regret about the show’s cancellation after 37 years on the air.
After weeks of speculation over the show’s future, Channel 10 confirmed on Thursday that Neighbours will be cancelled after its main backer, UK broadcaster Channel 5, indicated they would not renew their contract.
The show’s production firm, Fremantle, was unable to acquire a new UK broadcaster, and the last sequences will be shot in June.
Daniel, who played Joel Samuels from 1998 to 2002, paid tribute to the show that launched his acting career on Twitter.
“Now, I’m aware that there are some very critical events taking place right now in Australia and throughout the world that require our immediate attention. But, in honour of the show that gave me my start, I’m going to pour a small drink “he stated
Daniel reminisced on how he got his role on the serial, revealing that he auditioned after discovering an acting manager when he was just 16 years old.
“I had to leave to return to school… I didn’t think much about it after that, and HSC was approaching later that year. I got a call the night before my last HSC exam, stating they’ve written me a role portraying… well… myself 😜, “Daniel was the one who shared.
Daniel travelled from Sydney to Melbourne three months later, at the age of 17, to begin filming scenes for the soap that would subsequently propel him to national renown.
“I had no idea. NOTHING. [Actor from Neighbours] Andrew Bibby inquired about my previous acting experience, to which I replied, “triathlons,” with a smile “Daniel confessed, noting that he and his character Joel had a lot in common.
“From the age of 17 to 21, I spent the most of my time in Melbourne running around in Speedos or some other kind of Lycra. I learned a little about acting while wearing several variants of basically a blonde perm (and a nipple ring – which has since vanished). Lance and Joel from Toadfish almost got a spin-off – no s—t.”
The 41-year-old then went on to thank his co-stars on Neighbours for teaching him the ropes when he first joined the cast.
“Ann Charleston taught me that if I arrive on time, I’m late (a lesson I still use today), and Tom Oliver taught me not to sit in his greenroom chair. I learned a lot from Ian Smith. What a gentleman he is. For a couple of us kids, he was a good father figure “he stated.
“I say I grew up in Sydney, but I actually did my ‘growing up’ in Melbourne and then London, thanks to Neighbours. It launched me on a journey that continues to this day, 25 years later.”
Daniel said that he tried to leave the show after nearly four years as Joel, but was persuaded not to by the executives.
“The producer and the [executive producer] dragged me into an office and, in a desperate attempt to keep me, they told me I should stay and work on my craft, that I wasn’t a good enough actor to go out and make it in the’real’ world,” Daniel explained.
“I still remember sitting in that office 25 years later, being informed by two old guys that I wasn’t going to make it. They had no idea they were starting a fire that would turn into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Thank you very much, gentlemen. Truly.”
Daniel went on to say how grateful he was for the crew’s hard work over the years: “You were the building blocks of that location, ensuring its long-term viability. Thank you all so much. To the generations who came before us. You pioneered the path for us in Australia, London, and Los Angeles… Thank you very much.”
The Logie Award winner also expressed gratitude to Neighbours fans around the world for rallying in recent weeks to keep the show afloat.
“To the fans – all over the world,” he continued, “I can’t tell you how great the experiences that came from being on a programme that ran for years in 76 countries (at the time) provided for some of the most incredible moments of my life – and I’m pretty sure many of the cast alumni will say the same.”