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Neighbours veterans Ian Smith and Anne Charleston reunite for a rare TV interview as the Aussie soap faces the axe after Channel 5 pulled funding

With Neighbours on the chopping block, two Ramsey Street regulars got together this week to relive the good times and celebrate the much-loved drama.

On Studio 10 on Tuesday, Ian Smith and Anne Charleston, who played Harold and Madge Bishop, said it would be sad to see the programme end after it had given them so much.

‘It ensured that I was adequately cared for in my later years,’ says the author. ‘Me too,’ Smith, 83, remarked, adding, ‘Me too…’ Charleston, 79, agreed. It opened doors that would never have been opened otherwise.’

The veteran Australian performers delighted in taking viewers behind the scenes of some of the show’s most memorable scenes.

The producers refused not let Madge ‘die’ with her eyes open for her heartbreaking death-bed scene, according to Charleston: ‘They thought it was too scary.’

Harold’s disappearance amid rough seas was also an example of ‘TV magic,’ according to Smith, because the ocean was calm on the day of filming.

Smith, who worked as a writer on the show, later denied being the creator of one of Neighbours’ most famous moments, Bouncer the Dog’s ‘dream sequence.’

Charleston continued, ‘That’s where we struck rock bottom.’ ‘He was a lovely dog, and he didn’t deserve such a spectacle.’

The announcement that the long-running soap is likely to be cancelled after 37 years on the air left fans saddened earlier this month.

Its future is uncertain as UK broadcaster Channel 5, which has supported the project for years, announced that it will not extend its contract with producers Fremantle Australia.

Even after its record-breaking run, Charleston believes Neighbours has a few more excellent years ahead of it.


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