Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan to return to Neighbours
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Neighbours is set to come to an end after 37 years in August after Channel 5 confirmed it was dropping the long-running Australian soap to focus on original UK dramas. Actor Stefan Dennis, who plays Paul Robinson, has warned the same fate could befall much-loved British soaps including ITV Coronation Street.
Stefan has been a part of the show since 1985 and played ruthless businessman Paul, who is currently the longest-serving character.
Touching on the show’s end, he explained he fears for other soaps: “Though I would have loved Neighbours to be the first recognised commercial soap to make the switch to a streaming channel, sadly, there were no takers.
“My concern is that if a soap does not soon make that transition, we will start to see the demise of these beloved programmes around the world.
“That would be an incredible shame because, like them or hate them, they bring viewers great pleasure, and they provide a plethora of work and training for those in the industry
Writing in the opinion piece for The Age, Stefan admitted the survival of favourites such as Coronation Street and US shows Days of Our Lives are “in the viewers’ hands”.
“No amount of wailing and upset from fans is going to stop what was an extremely tough economic decision that Channel 5 never wanted to make,” he explained.
“Ultimately, Neighbours is a product in the big business of film and television, and like any other business, if a product isn’t making money, it will make way for one that will.”
To celebrate the success of the show over the years, the British Soap Awards took a look back at some of the most iconic moments in the soap.
After filming came to an end on June 10, show producer Jason Herbison shared a photo of the final cast and captioned it: “We all knew this day was coming, but until we were here in this moment when the very last scene was filmed, it was hard to express how we would all feel.
“Of course, it is sad, and tears were shed, but we’re also enormously proud. 37 years is an incredible achievement, and that should be celebrated.
“We’ve also been incredibly touched by the response from our viewers all over the world. Neighbours is more than a TV show to many people.
“They see us as part of the family, and we feel privileged to have been invited into their homes, and I know the legacy of Neighbours will live on for many years.”
In a spectacular final episode, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan are set to return to revive their characters Charlene and Scott one last time.
Kylie has recently opened up about her time on the show and credited the soap as her “big break”, adding it is a part of her history.
Speaking to Sky News on her return, Kylie explained: “It was emotional going back to the set and felt beautiful, actually, the fact that we could see each other.
“I haven’t seen these people in – some of them – for over 30 years. And, you know, life passes by, and we’ve all gone through different stuff.
“And just to kind of be face-to-face and say, wow, this is part of our history. It was great.”
She added: “I started acting some years before that, but my kind of big break and I guess how I became a household name was through Neighbours in 1986, so many moons ago.”
Kylie is one of the numbers of stars who rose to fame on the show, with co-star Guy Pearce also returning for the final episode.
Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie, Holly Valance, Natalie Imbruglia and Liam Hemsworth also found their calling in acting through the series.
The last episode will air on Channel 5 on Monday, August 1.
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