Alan Fletcher, star of Neighbours, has spoken out about how the cast and crew feel about the show’s cancellation, as well as his thoughts on if it can be saved.
Following Channel 5’s news that it would no longer carry Neighbours, the Dr Karl Kennedy actor remarked on Monday’s (February 28) episode of This Morning that it’s time for the Australian soap to come to an end after 37 years on the air.
Despite fans’ petitions to rescue the show, Alan Fletcher has downplayed the possibility of the serial continuing to screen on Channel 5 – however he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Neighbours returning in some form in the future.
“For many, many years, Channel 5 has been a fantastic, wonderful partner for Neighbours,” Fletcher said.
“In the current commercial climate, [Channel 5] has decided to alter courses, and that is, of course, their choice. We appreciate their tremendous contributions throughout the years, but their priorities have shifted.
He concluded, “I’m afraid that’s just the realities of TV land.”
When questioned by Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield if the cast is considering ways to preserve the serial, Fletcher responded that the focus now is on giving fans a “fantastic” ending.
“We’ve had amazing stewardship of a programme that millions of people adore, and now we’ve got the duty of bringing that show home in a way that will make it really, truly unique,” he continued.
“Once you swing the ship around and say, ‘We have to head in this new route to finish the show up,’ it can’t be swung back around very quickly,” he explained.
“Of course, if a different type of Neighbours or a different funder appeared down the road, that would be fantastic.” But the reality is that the show must end in August and production must end in June.”
In terms of how fans can support Neighbours in the near future, Fletcher says the best thing fans can do is keep watching.
“I hope everyone appreciates how grateful we are for everyone’s help,” he stated.
“To be honest, the best thing people can do if they truly want to support Neighbours and give it a chance in the future is to watch it now. To keep watching it till the end of August, so that maybe, just maybe, someone out there will think, ‘Hey, this is a really popular show, maybe it has a life in another estuary.'”
Fletcher suggested that Karl is set to make a “huge mistake” earlier this month, hinting at what’s next for his character.
“Despite the fact that this is a kind of a spoiler alert in some ways, Karl is about to make another major, big, enormous mistake,” the actor told Studio 10. “It’s also not an affair.”