It’s been three years since Australian soap Neighbours filmed sequences in the UK, but a new London-filmed storyline starring Amanda Holden, Jemma Donovan, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor premiered this week. However, opinions on the new scenes were mixed, and some were perplexed by Amanda’s accent.
On Monday, March 28, the first of the soap’s London scenes aired, just weeks after it was announced that Neighbours would be cancelled after 37 years on the air. Fans started a petition, which gathered over 65k signatures, however on March 3, the show’s official Twitter page revealed that it would be cancelled in the summer.
Jemma’s character Harlow Robinson has travelled to London to meet her Aunt Harriet, played by Amanda Holden. Harlow is visiting to try to uncover a family mystery involving her mother and Harriet’s late sister, Prue, who was played by Denise van Outen in the 2019 soap.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor, a singer-songwriter, also appeared in the episode. She was briefly seen sitting on a bench by the River Thames in one of the moments when Harlow tries to steal her notepad, thinking it for her mother’s.
Who else is loving these London scenes?! 🇬🇧— Neighbours (@NeighboursTV) March 29, 2022
We quizzed superfan and guest star @AmandaHolden on all her #Neighbours favourites!
Catch more of Amanda as Harlow's Aunt Harriet today at 1:45 and 6pm on @channel5_tv. #UKPace pic.twitter.com/7hPbcD3l8O
Fans of Neighbours took to Twitter to discuss the current episode, with some enjoying the UK scenes. “How beautiful did London appear in today’s Neighbours episode #London #Neighbours” @Chasserbox2018 added: Catherine Oliver posted, while @Chasserbox2018 added: “I really enjoyed seeing @AmandaHolden and @SophieEB on today’s episode of #Neighbours. It’s still a bummer that it’s coming to an end.”
Dancefloors can be brutal… 😉— Neighbours (@NeighboursTV) March 28, 2022
An absolute pleasure to have @SophieEB on today's #Neighbours! 🥰 #UKPace pic.twitter.com/81Tthr3eSy
“Wonderful to have Amanda and Sophie guesting on the show, as well as the wonderful Jemma who is a first grade actor as well as being quite pretty,” Artful Dodger remarked, while Steve Richards said, “Good episode, did enjoy Sophie’s “dance floors can be brutal!”
Others, though, were less impressed, claiming that the London journeys had become ‘expected.’ Justin Anthony made the following comment: “Karl and Susan travelled to London after five years of living in Melbourne, and their scenes were well received. It’s become routine and dull now that overseas travels are held every year. #Neighbours” “I generally just hang out by the Thames when meeting friends in London #Neighbours,” another viewer, Sarah, tweeted, while Christie added, “I adore London scenes but I wish they’d film someplace else in the UK, Australians tend to think the UK is London #neighbours #saveneighbours.”
Amanda Holden’s “weird” accent was also a source of debate among fans. “Is that Amanda Holden in Neighbours with a funny accent #Neighbours,” Michaela Hoskins tweeted, and Leighton Martin wrote, “Why does it sound(ed) like both Denise van Outen and Amanda Holden on #neighbours sound(ed) like they’re faking fake British accents despite both being British?” Katie also commented: “Do we all sound so pompous and put-on around non-British people? It irritates me. My accent is terrible, but it’s better than that #Neighbours one “..
Neighbours airs on Channel 5 on weekdays at 1.45 p.m. and 6 p.m.