Neighbours cast: 12 celebrities who started careers on Australian soap - from Margot Robbie to Russell Crowe

Channel 5 has announced its axing Neighbours - after almost 40 years on UK television. Do you remember some of these stars from Ramsay Street?

Neighbours fans throughout the UK will be devastated by Channel 5’s announcement that it is axing the show to make way for more British TV.

The Australian soap, which follows the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street, has aired on UK television for almost 40 years.

As well as being a life-long favourite for many fans, the show launched the careers of some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Kylie Minogue, Liam Hemsworth, and Margot Robbie.

But what other names made it big after leaving Erinsborough? Here are 12 celebrities who started their careers on Neighbours.

Kylie Minogue 

Kylie Minogue played tomboy mechanic Charlene Robinson from 1986-1988

Melbourne-born Kylie Minogue, 53, shot to fame playing tomboy mechanic Charlene Robinson from 1986-1988 and struck up a romantic relationship with Scott, played by Jason Donovan.

In the late 1980s, she released four bubblegum and dance-pop influenced albums, leading to several top ten singles in UK and Australia such as “I should be so lucky” and “Better the Devil You Know”.

Kylie has won numerous awards for her music, including three Brit awards in 2002 and 2008, a Grammy in 2004 for Best Dance Recording, and multiple ARIA Music Awards from 2001 to 2021.

In 2008, she received an OBE for her services to music.

Jason Donovan 

Jason Donovan Credit: Shutterstock

Jason Donovan, 53, was born in Malvern, Australia and launched his career playing Scott Robinson in Neighbours from 1986-1989, after replacing Darius Perkins.

Donovan began his career in music in 1988, and to date he has sold over three million records in the UK. His debut album, Ten Good Reasons, was the highest-selling album in the UK in 1989.  Donovan had four UK number-one singles, including duet “Especially for You” with Kylie Minogue.

He has also taken to the stage, playing the lead role in the Broadway show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the 1990s, and recently made his pantomime debut as the Ringmaster in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Guy Pearce

Guy Pearce played Mike Young between 1986 to 1989 in Neighbours

Guy Pearce, 54, played Mike Young between 1986 to 1989 in Neighbours. Pearce was born in Cambridge, UK, but he and his family moved to Geelong, Australia when he was three years old.

Pearce launched his acting career after Neighbours through securing big roles in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994, and later worked on  films such as Memento (2000), The Time Machine (2002) and The King’s Speech (2010).

Recently he starred in Zone 414 as David Charmicheal and as Richard Ryan in Mare of Easttown.

Russell Crowe 

Australian acting star Russel Crowe narrated Amazon’s Take Me Home, documenting Leeds’ failed 2018-2019 promotion bid.

Russell Crowe, 57, was born in New Zealand, but spent 10 years of his childhood in Australia before moving there permanently at the age of 21.

In 1987 he starred in four episodes of Neighbours as Kenny Larkin,Henry Ramsay’s former cellmate. .

Crowe is bestt known for his role as Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator (2000) for which he won an Academy Award, Empire Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award and London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Actor.

Crowe is best known for playing the role of “the tough guy” and has been in films such as American Gangster (2007) and Robin Hood (2010).

For his roles in The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, he received three consecutive Oscar nominations.

Margot Robbie 

Margot Robbie (C) poses with former Neighbours actors Alan Fletcher, Totti Goldsmith, Stefan Dennis and Dan OConnor. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Born in Dalby, Queensland, Margot Robbie, 31, played the role of Donna Freedman in Neighbours between 2008 and 2011.

Robbie is best known for her roles in blockbuster and independent films,and won the Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer in 2014 for her role as Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street.

In 2017, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world and in 2019, Forbes ranked her as one of the world’s highest-paid actresses.

Robbie has starred in films such as The Legend of Tarzan (2016), Suicide Squad (2016) and I, Tonya (2017).

Liam Hemsworth 

Liam Hemsworth played Josh Taylor in Neighbours from 2007 to2008

Liam Hemsworth, 32, was born in Melbourne Australia and played the role of Josh Taylor in Neighbours from 2007 to2008.

In 2008, Hemsworth was in The Elephant Princess as Marcus, the lead guitarist in the protagonist’s band.

He is best known for his roles in The Last Song (2010), The Hunger Games series (2012-2015) in which he played Gale Hawthorne, and as Jake Morrison in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016).

More recently, he played Kyle in the film Arkansas and Dodge Maynard in TV series, Most dangerous Game (2020).

Alan Dale 

Actor Alan Dale, as Jim Robinson in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Australia, 20th October 1988

New Zealand-born Alan Dale, 74, moved to Australia at the age of 27 to pursue a career in acting. On Neighbours, he played the role of Jim Robinson, Paul Robinson’s father, between 1985 and1993.

In 2000 Dale moved to the US to pursue acting even further and has had roles in prominent shows such as The O.C, Ugly Betty, and Dynasty (2017).

He also appeared in films such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Star Trek Nemesis and Hollywood Homicide.

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer played Billy Kennedy from 1994 to 2000

Born in Melbourne, Jesse Spencer, 42, played Billy Kennedy from 1994 to 2000.

Spencer is also known for his role as Dr Robert Chase on House (2004-2012) and as Captain Matthew Casey on Chicago Fire (2012-2021) and Chicago Med (2017-2021).

Natalie Imbruglia 

Singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia played Beth Brennan in Neighbours from 1992 to 1994. (Pic: Getty)

Natalie Imbruglia, 47, played Beth Brennan in Neighbours from 1992 to 1994. She was one of the show’s  most popular stars in the 1990s, playing the world’s most glamorous builder’s mate.

In 1997, Imbruglia began her singing career with her chart-topping cover of Torn. Her album, Left of the Middle (1997) sold seven million copies worldwide.

Imbruglia has won eight ARIA Awards, two Brit Awards and received three Grammy nominations.

She has also acted in films such as Johnny English (2003) and Closed for Winter (2009), and has modelled for companies such as Gap, L’Oreal and Kailis.

Delta Goodrem

Delta Goodrem played the role of Nina Tucker between 2002 and 2004

Delta Goodrem, 37, was born in Sydney and played the role of Nina Tucker between 2002 and 2004.

She is most famous for being a singer, and signed with Sony Music at the age of 15. Innocent Eyes (2003) her debut album, topped the Australian charts for 29 weeks (non-consecutive).

Goodrem released Bridge over Troubled Dreams in 2021 alongside an autobiography.

She has had a total of nine number-one singles.

From 2012 to2013 and again from 2015 to 2020, Goodrem was a coach on The Voice Australia.

Holly Valance 

Holly Valance played Felicity (Flick) Scully from 1999 to 2002

Holly Valance, 38, was born in Fitzroy, Australia. From 1999 to 2002, she played Felicity (Flick) Scully, a character who found herself in a number of love triangles.

In 2002, Valance released her first album, Footprints, which gave her top three singles.

In 2003, she released her final album State of Mind.

Since then, Valance has acted, taking on roles in CSI: NY, Entourage and Prison Break.

She was also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2011 and a judge on Shopaholic Showdown between 2013 and2014.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte

Natalie Bassingthwaighte played Izzy Hoyland, between 2003 and 2007.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte, 46, was born in Wollongong, south of Sydney, and played the character everyone loved to hate, Izzy Hoyland, between 2003 and 2007. For her role as Izzy, she gained three Logie Award nominations.

In 2004, Bassingthwaighte was recruited as the lead singer of Rogue Traders, an Australian electro-pop band. In 2008, she released her debut solo album, 1000 stars.

From 2011 to 2014, she was a Judge on X-Factor Australia and in 2015, she was a Judge on X-Factor New Zealand.

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