Long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours is coming to an end with a special hour-long finale after the show was dropped by Channel 5.
The show launched the careers of several Hollywood stars including Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, and Chris Hemsworth.
Several of these iconic stars are set to return for the finale, including Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, who left the show in the late 1980s.
When did Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan star in Neighbours?
Donovan played Scott Robinson in more than 400 episodes between 1986-1989, and Minogue starred as Charlene Mitchell (later Robinson) in over 300 episodes from 1986-1988.
Charlene was a teenage tomboy who preferred being called Lenny and was often seen in overalls and baggy sweatshirts.
Scott was an original character appearing in the show’s first episode played by Australian actor Darius Perkins.
The character was recast in 1986 and Donovan took over the role - he played Scott as a Scott was portrayed as charming and likeable teenager.
A romantic storyline between Scott and Charlene helped to boost viewing figures for the soap, and in 1987, the characters married in an episode watched by 2 million Australian viewers.
Kylie Minogue chose Suddenly as the song to be played during the wedding because she thought it was lyrically beautiful- it reached number 2 in the Australian Singles chart, and peaked at
When the episode aired in the UK the following year, almost 20 million people tuned in - more than watched Coronation Street’s wedding of Deidre and Ken in 2005, and several real life royal weddings.
Why did they leave Neighbours?
As Minoguie was becoming a household name through her stint on Neighbours, her music career was starting to take off - she had three number one hits in the Australian music charts whilst still on the show.
Minogue decided to leave Neighbours to focus on her music career, and Charlene was written out of the show.
The character moved to Brisbane where her grandfather had bought her and Scott a house - Scott planned to join her as soon as he could transfer his job.
One year after Minogue’s departure, Donovan also left the soap to pursue a career in music - his character followed Charlene to Brisbane.
Both Minogue and Donovan were invited to return for the 30th anniversary of Neighbours in 2015 but they declined. They both appeared on the documentary Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite along with Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce and other former cast members.
What happens in the Neighbours finale?
Executive producer Jason Herbison told TV Tonight “The ending will be a celebration of the past and the present, with the door very much left open for a future.
"Ramsay Street is eternal and I like to think it will live on in the hearts and minds of the viewers, long after the final scene."
Channel 5 teased: "In what is set to be a gripping and emotional finale, fan favourites from the past will be returning to Ramsay Street to celebrate with our Erinsborough locals, in a send-off that will have something for everyone, spanning all generations and decades from the opening scene in 1985, to the final episode in 2022.
Other returning cast members include Guy Pearce who played Mike Young in more than 400 episodes in the 1980s, and Daniel MacPherson, who played Jason Samuels from 1998-2002.
Donovan also shared a photo of his script to his Instagram page, although none of the dialogue was visible.
Did Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue date in real life?
Yes, Donovan and Minogue dated for three years during their time on the show and just after from 1986-1989.
Minogue left Donovan for INXS founder and lead singer Michael Hutchence, whom she dated for three years.
Donovan has spoken publicly about his relationship and breakup with Minogue, saying that he found it hard to take that she left him for “the greatest rock god of the period.”
When is the Neighbours finale on TV in the UK?
The final episode of Neighbours was originally slated to air on 1 August in the UK and Australia, but it has been brought forward to 29 July.
The finale will air in the UK on Channel 5 at 9pm on 29 July and will be available to watch on MY5 shortly after it is first broadcast.