It’s the end of an era for beloved Australian serial Neighbours, which will air its final episode this summer after Channel 5 declared it would no longer air it.
The soap opera has dominated our tiny screens for nearly four decades, following the stormy lives of people on the fictional Ramsay Street, and has played a key role in the careers of several Hollywood actors, including Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth, and Margot Robbie.
Neighbours, Australia’s longest-running drama series, continues to draw 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom every day it airs. In 1986, it premiered on BBC One before relocating to Channel 5 in 2008. It is set to finish this summer if no other broadcaster picks it up.
The soap, on the other hand, intends to go out on a high note, with familiar former cast members returning to Ramsay Street for the show’s grand finale.
Here’s everything we know about the final episode so far, including when it will air…
When does Neighbours come to an end?
Neighbours will no longer be carried on Channel 5 “beyond this summer,” according to a statement made yesterday.
According to a spokeswoman, “After this summer, Channel 5 will no longer broadcast Neighbours. We’d like to congratulate the cast, Fremantle, and the entire production crew for their excellent work on this landmark series, which has been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade.”
They also stated: “Of course, we’d want to thank the fans for their unwavering support of Neighbours over the years. We understand that this decision will cause sadness; nevertheless, our present focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has a significant appeal for our viewers.”
Executive producer Jason Herbison of Fremantle Media told workers and crew that the show’s future had been unknown for some time and that, while he’d love for it to find a new home, it needed to be “rested.”
Channel 10 in Australia issued a statement to the same effect, adding: “We intend to continue our affiliation with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward, as stated in the email to Neighbours cast and crew. Channel 10 is committed to the show, its cast and staff, and hopes that Fremantle can find a new production partner. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.”
Long-running performer Alan Fletcher, though, told This Morning that the show’s chances of getting a last-minute reprieve were limited.
“Now, if a different type of Neighbours or a different funder came along someday down the road, that would be fantastic,” Fletcher said. “However, the truth is that the show must end in August and production must be completed in June.”
At this time, no other broadcasting partner has expressed interest in picking up the serial, therefore the finale is still set to air in August 2022.
Who will make an appearance in the last episodes of Neighbours?
Fans of Neighbours may expect to see certain Ramsay Street favourites return for the soap’s finale, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) will be back for the grand farewell, according to Alan Fletcher, who plays Karl Kennedy.
In February, Fletcher told This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, “I do know that it has been reported that the brilliant Harold Bishop will return to Ramsay Street towards the conclusion of the season.” “Someone from Karl’s shady past is unmistakably returning, and there are a slew of other names in the mix.”
“I can guarantee you that the producers are working really hard to lure some of Neighbours’ most beloved characters to at least make cameo appearances.”
He couldn’t say whether big-name stars who got their start on the show, such as Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, would be returning, but he did say: “I can’t say anything about it yet because I don’t want to give anything away, but that will be the thrill of the last episodes. ‘Oh look who’s here!’ I’d say as I sat there.”
Between 1985 and 1989, Kylie and Jason portrayed married couple Charlene and Scott on the serial.
Meanwhile, Natalie Imbruglia, who recently won The Masked Singer, has expressed interest in reprising her role as Beth Brennan, an apprentice builder.
“I’d consider returning; I believe it’d be nice to go through those doors again. I mean, I’m not sure I’ll recognise anyone – not even my [on-screen] son, for example “She told the Mirror about it.
Beth’s on-screen son Ned Willis, whom Beth had with long-time love Brad Willis, is played by Ben Hall.
Is there a chance that Neighbours will be saved?
Channel 10 in Australia, which broadcasts Neighbours, had expressed optimism that the production company Fremantle would find a new production partner to keep the show going.
However, with Fletcher stating that production will end in June and the final episode airing in August, it is becoming less and less likely.
Fans of the serial have already started using the hashtag #SaveNeighbours on social media to rally support for the show’s survival.