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Neighbours Is OVER: Network 10 Confirm Soap Is Officially Axed
Neighbours Is OVER: Network 10 Confirm Soap Is Officially Axed
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Australia's long-running soap Neighbours has officially been axed after 37 years on-air.  

Network 10 and Fremantle, the show's producer, confirmed the news on Thursday and said the final episode of the iconic soap will be filmed in June. 

In a statement issued to MailOnline, they confirmed: 'It is with sadness that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast, we are confirming that Neighbours will cease production in the summer. 

'Following the loss of a key broadcast partner in the UK, and despite a search for alternative funding, we currently have no option but to rest the show.

'Everyone at Neighbours has been overwhelmed by the love and support from the audience since the news came out.

 

 

 

 

The show has brought a sunny slice of Australia into the homes of millions of viewers around the world launching the careers of dozens of household names along the way. 

'But as this chapter of Ramsay Street comes to a close, we promise to do everything we can to give the show the send-off it deserves.'   

Neighbours is OVER: Australia's long-running soap Neighbours has officially been axed after 37 years on-air

Stars including Kylie Minogue - who found fame as Charlene Robinson on the show before launching a hugely successful music career - have since mourned the imminent loss of the show that helped launch their careers. 

Taking to Twitter, the pint-sized pop star wrote: 'I'll be forever grateful for the experience & the friends I made on @neighbours.

 

 

 

 

We had no idea how big the show would become and how passionately viewers would take it to heart. Pure love! I can still hear Madge calling … CHARLENE!!!!' 

The beleaguered soap opera has faced an uncertain future following its cancellation by UK broadcaster 5, where it has spent the last 14 of its 37 years on British TV. 

The show will be taken off-air indefinitely after an 'extensive search for alternative funding' ended in failure. 

Grateful: Stars including Kylie Minogue - who found fame as Charlene Robinson on the show before launching a hugely successful music career - have since mourned the imminent loss of the show that helped launch their careers

Iconic: Charlene's romance with Scott Robinson, played by Jason Donovan, captured the hearts of millions 

Devastated: Actor Rob Mills, who played Finn Kelly on the soap between 2017 ad 2021, recently admitted he was sad to see the show on the brink after enjoying long periods of success during its 1980s and '90s heyday

It has left die-hard fans of the long-running show - which commanded as many as 16 to 20 million viewers a day at its peak - completely devastated. 

It come after more than 60,000 viewers of the Melbourne-based soap signed a petition to keep it on British TV, but to no avail. 

Bosses will now aim to create a suitably dramatic conclusion, with fan-favourite Ian Smith, 83, poised to return for one last time as hapless former Ramsay Street resident Harold Bishop.    

Peter O'Brien, 61, is also set to feature as Shane Ramsay some 37-years after playing the character during its very first episode in 1985, The Sun reports. 

All over: The beleaguered soap opera has faced an uncertain future following its cancellation by UK broadcaster Channel 5, where it has spent the last 14 of its 37-years on British TV.

 

 

 

 

(the cast are pictured in 1995) 

No more: The iconic Ramsay Street sign will no longer be a fixture on TV screens in both Australia and the UK, where it has been incredibly popular 

Legendary: Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan became household names thanks to their roles as young couple Charlene and Scott Robinson 

'There is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to make sure the final few weeks of Neighbours are truly special,' the source added.  

'They are still waiting to hear back from a number of former stars but Peter has agreed to return and will start filming in May.' 

Natalie Imbruglia, 47, who starred as Beth Brennan before finding pop stardom with hit single Torn, has also said she will reprise her role should the show bow out indefinitely. 

She told The Sun: 'I would consider going back, I think it would be lovely to walk through those doors.' 

Saying goodbye: UK broadcaster Channel 5 announced it would no longer be airing the Australian soap in February (pictured, the cast of 1986 including Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue)

News of its abrupt departure from UK's Channel 5 sent the show into a tailspin, with network bosses in Australia scrambling to find a new international broadcasting deal to cover production costs or face the closure of Ramsay Street for good. 

The series announced that production would be ceasing on the long-running in a tweet on Thursday.

'We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in June,' they wrote. 

'Following the loss of our key broadcast partner in the UK and despite an extensive search for alternative funding, we simply have no option but to rest the show.

'To our amazing, loyal fans, we know this is a huge disappointment, as it is to all of us on the team.

 

 

 

 

We thank you for all your messages and support and promise to end the show on an incredible high. From here on, we are celebrating Neighbours.' 

Not happy: Devastated fans expressed their sadness at the show's demise on Twitter after the announcement was made 

Network 10 addressed the end of the series in a statement to Australian media on Thursday, admitting it had been a 'difficult decision'.

'Today, Fremantle confirmed that Neighbours will cease production in June, after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes,' a network spokesperson announced. 

'This difficult decision came after the search for an alternative UK broadcast partner proved unsuccessful.'

They added that the series would 'not air on 10 Peach beyond September 2022', marking the end of its decades-long run.   

'A much-loved stalwart of our program schedule for over 35 years it has been a staple of Australian television drama, and Australian cultural exports,' they added.

'Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, is a cul-de-sac recognised all over the world and has been home to Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Dr Karl and Susan, Dee and Toadie, Aaron and David and many, many more neighbours.

'Network 10 thanks the cast, crew, all the production team and Fremantle for bringing the perfect blend of soap and sunshine to audiences in Australia and around the world.'

They also praised 'the Australian fans and audiences for their continued support of the series'.  

'Their encouragement particularly in the past few weeks has been incredible.

 

 

 

 

It shows that our audience still want Australian scripted drama,' continued the statement. 

'We have listened to them and there are exciting new local projects in the pipeline, which is great for our audience and for the local industry.

'We are confident that the cast, crew and writers will bring their distinctive warmth, style and humour to the Neighbours set as they embark on filming the final episodes over the coming months.'

Mixed response: Others picked out hitherto unknown facts about the show, while one admitted he was glad to see the back of it

Meanwhile, British broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed the end of its 14-year deal with Neighbours in February, with a spokesperson telling MailOnline that the decision to axe the soap comes as the channel's 'current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama.' 

The Australian soap has been aired in its home country since 1985, but has received a notably warmer reception in Britain over recent years.

 

 

 

 

It is now facing the chop altogether, http://lostfilm.hd-lostfilm.net three years before its 40th anniversary. 

Fans were quick to express their disappointment with the news, with one writing on Twitter: 'This makes me so sad. It is the only show I rush home for.

 

 

The only show I MUST WATCH every day. Come on @CBC HELP!! #SaveNeighbours.'

Another said: 'I love Neighbours - so sad to see it's been axed!', while a third moaned: 'Sad to hear Neighbours is being axed! Come on BBC, Do the right thing and bring it home back to BBC 1?

 

 

 

 

You know it makes sense.'

A fourth commented: 'No!!!! How can this happen???' as a fifth said: 'Not gonna lie, I'm truly gutted by this. I've watched this show my whole life, it's gonna leave a huge void. So many laughs and great memories, gonna miss this show.'     

Reaction: Fans were quick to express their disappointment with the news, with one writing on Twitter: 'This makes me so sad.

 

 

 

 

It is the only show I rush home for. The only show I MUST WATCH every day. Come on @CBC HELP!! #SaveNeighbours'

Actor Rob Mills, who played Finn Kelly on the soap between 2017 ad 2021, recently admitted he was sad to see the show on the brink after enjoying long periods of success during its 1980s and '90s heyday. 

Taking to Instagram, he wrote: 'I am deeply saddened to hear the news about the possibility of @neighbours finishing up in June.

'It's an institution. A living, breathing, creative machine that has employed 1000's of people over the 37 plus years it's been bringing Australian stories to life.

 

 

 

 

It gave a job and training to so many actors, directors, writers, costume designers, wardrobe hands, hair and makeup artists, set designers, casting agents, agents, soundies, camera operators, and assistants, caterers, cleaners, security guards, admin staff, publicists, social media teams, producers the list goes on… let's not forget the Editors!

'@Neighbours produces the equivalent of 2 FEATURE FILMS a week!

 

 

 

 

Take that TikTokkers! I can't help but think if this were mining or aviation, the government would step in and help.

'If they are all about Jobs Jobs Jobs like they say they are… well, this show employs hundreds if not 1000s of Aussies every single year.' 

Reaching out to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he added: 'Throw us a bone @scottmorrisonmp.

 

 

 

 

As artists we will always find the light. But geez it's getting dark in this country. Would love to have a leader who valued more in this country. Considering how much everyone has relied on them the last two years.

'I loved my time on this show.

 

 

I met and worked with some incredibly talented and warm and generous people. Fingers crossed there's a solution.'   

Emotional: Neighbours actress Jackie Woodburne (pictured) - who has starred on the iconic Aussie soap for 27 years - fought back tears as she revealed on Australian talk show The Project that it's been a 'rollercoaster' of emotions

Devastated: The cast of Neighbours looked utterly shell-shocked as they left set of the soap after a meeting with production bosses about the possible axing.

 

 

 

 

Pictured left: April Rose Pengilly, right: Jason Donovan's daughter Jemma

Fast exit: Actress Freya Van Dyke only recently joined the soap as Zara Selwyn and looked upset following the crisis talks 

Neighbours still draws 1.2 million viewers a day in the UK.

 

 

 

 

By comparison, Channel 4's Hollyoaks gets around 600,000 viewers and fellow Aussie drama Home & Away, which Channel 5 also broadcasts in the UK, draws around 400,000 a day.

The decision from Channel 5 doesn't stem from audience numbers, instead it's a question of focus, with the broadcaster wishing to redistribute budget to homegrown dramas which they have seen huge success from over the past two years.

Shows such as nightly drama The Teacher starring Sheridan Smith has been met with critical acclaim as well as a healthy audience share.

 

 

 

 

Evening dramas also mean more eyes on the adverts. 

In January, the channel said it expects its profits for last year to be the biggest since it launched, thanks to their lockdown hits such as All Creatures Great and Small and Our Yorkshire Farm, which have seen advertisers flocking to fill their timeslots.  

A Channel 5 spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline that they are shifting focus to UK drama, stating: 'Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer.

'It's been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we'd like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.

 

 

 

 

We'd also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years.

'We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers.' 

End of an era!

 

 

 

 

Channel 5 ended its decade long association with iconic Aussie soap (Jason Donavan and Kylie Minogue pictured on show in 1988)

Channel 5 bought the UK broadcasting rights to the soap in 2008 in a 10-year £300m deal, after its hugely successful run on the BBC. 

The shortfall in funding from Channel 5 is significant enough for bosses to tell cast and crew that they will be forced to 'rest' the soap come June, and unless a new deal can be made it will be axed for good.  

Although the show is filmed Down Under, UK broadcaster Channel 5 foots most of the production bill and the advertising revenue brought in  at the time.

At the time, Channel 5 also announced it would be cutting broadcasts of Neighbours and Home and Away from five nights a week to just two due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

An insider told : 'Channel 5 aren't happy.

 

 

 

 

They think the show is stale. They're deciding whether to continue the show or not.'

Rollercoaster: The 66-year-old was emotional as she revealed it's been a 'rollercoaster' of emotions over the past 24 hours, with the cast having attended a crisis meeting with producers on the Melbourne set that day (pictured as Susan Kennedy, the wife of Dr.

 

 

 

 

Karl Kennedy, portrayed by Alan Fletcher)

'I can't stress how much this move shows Neighbours is no longer the powerhouse in the UK that it once was. Many believe this is the beginning of the end.'

Neighbours has launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Margot Robbie and it's current cast have reacted with shock at the sudden news their jobs could be axed.

Veteran actress Jackie Woodburne appeared on the verge of tears as she discussed the news during an appearance on Australian talk show .

The 66-year-old, who has starred on the show for the last 27 years, was emotional as she revealed it's been a 'rollercoaster' of emotions, with the cast having attended a crisis meeting with producers on the set that day. 

When asked by host Carrie Bickmore how she's feeling, Jackie said that she's still 'in shock' and is 'overwhelmed' by the situation. 

Gone: Fremantle Media executive producer Jason Herbison said in an email to staff and crew this week that the soap's future has been 'uncertain' for a time.

 

 

 

 

Pictured: the show's 2021 cast

'Oh Carrie, it's been a rollercoaster absolutely... the last 24 hours or 36 hours as you can imagine,' she said. '[It's] kind of a lot of information to try and process but I still feel a bit in shock, a bit overwhelmed.'

Jackie, who is known for portraying Dr.

 

 

Karl Kennedy's wife Susan Kennedy on the soap, said she's 'certainly' been in touch with the cast amid the shock news.

'[I] certainly have. We had a meeting today where our producers gave us some more information and really nothing more that's already been out there,' she revealed.

'But look, I have to say the feeling was one of...

 

 

 

 

it was just... it was quite lovely. Everybody was sad, we were all crying, we were all very emotional about it all, but we're all so determined to bring this show home as best we can.' 

Filming was paused as news of its cancellation broke, with cast and crew having been called to an all-staff meeting at 11am that morning. 

Not enough: Despite recent high-profile casting like Aussie expat Tammin Sursok, the decision places the series' future in jeopardy given Channel 5 foots most of the show's production bill

The soap first hit UK television screens in 1986 when it was shown on BBC One.

Two years later, nearly 20million viewers switched on to watch Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie) get married.

That year, Kylie left the show to launch her legendary pop career, with Jason quitting a year later to break out as a singer himself.  

The Kylie and Jason public obsession reached fever pitch when the couple got together in real life and they had a hit record together, Especially For You. 

The soap has also seen a number of international stars set foot on the Melbourne set, including Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie, Natalie Imbruglia, Delta Goodrem, Liam Hemsworth, and Holly Valance. 

Hollywood star: Margot Robbie (pictured in Neighbours, right) has since hit the big time starring in blockbuster movies

Multi talented: Holly Valance left her role as Felicity 'Flick' Scully in 2002 to pursue a music career and scored a hit with Kiss Kiss

Film veteran: Russell played ex-con Kenny Larkin in four episodes in the eighties

Superstar: Delta Goodrem, who played Nina Tucker, has since been a coach on Australia's The Voice and has had eight number one singles and three number one albums in Australia and sold over six million albums worldwide

Playing the part: Chris Hemsworth launched his career playing wheelchair-bound hunk Josh Taylor (right) on the street from 2007 to 2008 (pictured left in 2020)

Russell played ex-con Kenny Larkin in four episodes in the eighties, while Liam launched his career playing wheelchair-bound hunk Josh Taylor on the street from 2007 to 2008.

Margot started her on screen life as Donna Freeman in Neighbours 2008 and Natalie left her role as Beth Brennan and kissed goodbye to her onscreen surfer-dude husband Brad Willis to launch a singing career in 1997.

Delta, who played Nina Tucker, has since been a coach on Australia's The Voice and has had eight number one singles and three number one albums in Australia and sold over six million albums worldwide

Holly left her role as Felicity 'Flick' Scully in 2002 to pursue a music career and scored a hit with Kiss Kiss.  

End of an era: The series announced that production would be ceasing on the long-running in a tweet on Thursday

Reports emerged last month that Neighbours' future is in jeopardy after British broadcaster Channel 5 announced it would no longer air the show.

According to a report by  at the time, production was brought to a halt on the long-running soap and cast were called into a meeting.

'As outlined in the email to Neighbours cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward,' a spokesperson for Network 10 told TV Tonight. 

'Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner.

 

 

 

 

We will provide further updates as they become available.' 

In a statement to  last month, a spokesperson for Channel 5 said the network was focused on 'increasing our investment in original UK drama'. 

Meanwhile, Fremantle Media executive producer Jason Herbison said the show would be 'rested', according to a report by . 

'Our audience remains steady and Channel 10 would love the show to continue if we could find another broadcast partner to replace Channel 5,' Herbison said in an email to staff last month.

'These discussions are ongoing, however, there is no new broadcaster at the moment and production must end, effectively resting the show.'

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