Neighbours cancelled after 36 years as Channel 5 soap undergoes schedule changes?

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Neighbours has been on the air for 36 years, with the residents of Ramsay Street keeping viewers intrigued over their ever dramatic and turbulent lives. Over the past three and a half decades, the soap has moved from BBC One to Channel 5 but since it made the switch, there haven’t been any other changes to the show. However, recent reports are suggesting Australian network 10 Peach is going to cut the number of episodes it airs of the programme on a weekly basis, leaving fans worried this could be the beginning of the end.

Broadcaster 10 Peach is going to get rid of the Friday edition of the weekday serial drama and air re-runs of the American sitcom, Friends, instead.

The change to the schedule has been issued with immediate effect, meaning no new episode will air this Friday, meaning Thursdays instalment will be the last of the week.

Over in the UK, viewers won’t have to worry about the changes as five weekly episodes will continue to broadcast.

Great Britain is already behind with regards to storylines airing in Australia after Channel 5 slashed the number of weekly episodes from five to two last Spring as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

By the summer, the schedule was back to normal but the reports coming from Australia means the UK could finally catch up.

Express.co.uk have contacted a representative of the programme for comment on the latest reports.

A source has previously spoken out on the show being cancelled due to recent storylines and the number of viewers tuning in.

The insider said: “Channel 5 aren’t happy. They think the show is stale. They’re deciding whether to continue the show or not.

“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.

“It doesn’t help that the cast’s contracts are also said to be stripped back too – with many of them only being renewed for a few months at a time,” they told Woman’s Day.

Channel 5 aren’t happy

A source

However, there has been no official confirmation of the weekday serial drama coming to an end after almost four decades on the air.

Currently, the UK is four weeks behind the Australian schedule and as a result, fans are usually informed of what happens before the episodes air in Britain.

It was hoped the programme would continue to air over the Christmas period last year but Channel 5 decided to take it off the air for a week.

There is, again, no confirmation on when the UK and Australian schedules will synchronise after they finally caught up with one another in 2015.

Following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, back in April, Neighbours and its sister show, Home and Away, were taken off the air.

Channel 5 confirmed at the time there would not be any chance for the extra episodes to be slotted in anywhere in their schedule.

This meant there was further delay put on the UK and Australia synchronising when they would air the same episode at the same time.

The chief executive behind production company, Fremantle Media, Chris Oliver-Taylor spoke last year about the show being cancelled.

Following the impact of the pandemic on filming, the chief executive explained the show could be at risk if the situation behind the scenes were to change dramatically.

Chris said: “‘I think in the free-to-air environment Neighbours could most certainly be at risk if the quotas [for Australian content] were to change.

“If there’s no incentive financially for those (Australian) networks to commission – to make content reasonably cheaper – then those networks will look to acquire content from overseas at a cheaper price point,” he told ABC.

Meanwhile, Sheila Canning star Colette Man spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about a new character who is set to cause chaos on Ramsay Street.

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1:45pm and 5:30pm on Channel 5.

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