After a record-breaking 36-year run, and launching the international careers for countless stars including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, and Margot Robbie, the iconic Australian soap Neighbours has been axed in the UK, with the TV programme wrapping up in August.
After a story of the show’s cancellation ran in UK tabloid, The Sun, over the weekend, Channel 5 confirmed late last night that Brits searching for their Ramsay Street fix, will no longer be able to watch the small screen staple, unless it is picked up by another broadcaster.
A spokesperson from the network tells The Guardian that while the show has been a “much-loved” part of the Channel 5 schedule for more than a decade, they “recognise” there will be “disappointment” over the decision the network’s “current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama.”
View this post on Instagram
The decision comes as a surprise to many, as the residents of Ramsay Street still currently attracts 1.5 million UK viewers everyday. When Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) married Charlene (Kylie Minogue) in 1987, 20 million Brits tuned in to watch the iconic couples big day.
Many fans have taken to social media to express their sadness over the news, with one even making a petition to save the loved TV programme, using the hashtag #saveneighbours to spread awareness.
View this post on Instagram
Neighbours star, Jason Donovan, took to Twitter late last night to share his devastation about the announcement.
@neighbours changed the Australian television landscape. It launched many careers over decades including mine. Engaged and entertained audiences for generations.Hoping that it will find a new home with another U.K. broadcaster and continue to provide opportunity and entertainment
— Jason Donovan (@JDonOfficial) February 6, 2022
Since 2008, the sun-soaked Aussie drama, which told followed the story of the residents of Ramsay Street, has been largely paid for by the UK broadcaster after it was no longer feasible for Network 10 to fund the production solo.
The Guardian also reports that on Sunday, Network 10, told the show’s cast and crew today’s filming will be paused for a meeting as they look for another broadcasting partner.
“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 Ten spokesperson said.
“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.”
Channel 9 reports that the show’s executives are also interested in the possibility of bringing back of the Neigbours’ biggest stars including Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, Russel Crowe or Liam Hemsworth for a special return.
First broadcast on Seven Network in March 1985, before being famously axed and becoming a worldwide hit on Ten, Neighbours is the longest-running drama series on Australian television, earning a spot in the Logies Hall of Fame in 2005.