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Channel 5 axe sees Aussie soap Neighbours end after almost 37 years

Neighbours began airing on BBC One in the UK in 1986

Long-running Australian soap Neighbours will come to an end this summer after almost 37 years, after Network 10 failed to find a new UK home for the show since it was dropped last month by ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5.

Neighbours has aired in the UK since 1986, switching over to Channel 5 from original broadcaster BBC One in 2008. But last month, Channel 5 said it would drop the soap from its schedule this August in order to free up budget to invest in original UK drama.

Network 10 in Australia and producer/distributor Fremantle were then forced to hunt for a new UK home for the soap, since Channel 5 is a key broadcast partner and its decision to axe the show leaves the producers with a funding gap.

The official Neighbours Twitter account posted a statement this morning saying: “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 the summer.

“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.”

Set in Melbourne, Neighbours first aired in Australia in 1985, premiering in the UK on BBC One a year later. The soap helped launch the careers of Aussie talent including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donavan, Guy Pearce, Margot Robbie and Liam Hemsworth.


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