A petition to save Neighbours from being axed by Channel 5 has gained more than 34,000 signatures.
The Australian soap, which has been running for almost 40 years, is under threat as the UK network announced it will stop broadcasting the show later this year.
Here’s all you need to know about why Channel 5 cancelled the popular daytime TV show and what you can do to help save it...
Why did Channel 5 axe Neighbours?
Neighbours has been a monumental platform for many Australian stars such as Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie and Russell Crowe to launch their careers.
The show is set on the fictional Ramsey Street cul-de-sac in Melbourne, and drew in a bigger audience in the UK than in Australia, with a funding deal between UK’s Channel 5 and Australia’s Network 10 to keep the programme on the air since it left the BBC in 2008.
But Channel 5 said axing the soap meant that more investment could be diverted into original UK shows.
But what is this petition for and how can you sign it?
The petition to save Neighbours and how you can sign it
Edward Skylover, the petition organiser, said on their petition on Change.org: "Neighbours is more than just a TV show - it is a source of comfort and entertainment for generations of fans who have watched it for decades - it is one of the most loved TV shows in the UK and brings lots of viewers from all backgrounds to Channel 5’s catalogue of channels.
“Even Adele is a fan.
“Channel 5 - we plead with you - please find a way to keep Neighbours on air."
Through Change.org, a popular site to gain signatures for petitions, the fan is attempting to gather 35,000 signatures on his petition “Channel 5 - Don’t Axe Neighbours”.
Victoria Waters, who lives in Polegate, East Sussex, said: “Neighbours is one of the few soaps that transports me to a happy place.
"The brightness, the sun, the characters, the street, the nostalgia. It simply cannot go.”
Another fan, Amanda Deans, said: “I love this programme. I remember my nan and my mum watching this when I was growing up. And now I watch it with my daughters and my 9-year-old granddaughter who loves it too. Please don’t scrap it."
The petition to save Neighbours from being scrapped by Channel 5 is available to sign on Change.org. To sign, you need to register a free account and click “Sign this petition”.
If the petition gains 35,000 signatures it will become one of the top signed on Change.org.
What have Neighbours stars said about the petition?
Neighbours star Lucinda Cowden, who plays Melanie Pearson, has also signed the petition to save the show.
She said: “It’s my job… and I love it… and the idea of not being Mel anymore is devastating."
Star Jason Donovan tweeted on 6 February 2022: “Neighbours changed the Australian television landscape. It launched many careers over decades including mine. Engaged and entertained audiences for generations. Hoping that it will find a new home with another U.K. broadcaster and continue to provide opportunity and entertainment.”
Will Neighbours still air in Australia?
The move to drop Neighbours by Channel 5 means the Australian soap would end for good unless their production company can find a new partner to help fund the show.
A spokesperson from Australia’s Network 10 has said: “It is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward. Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle [its production company] will find a new production partner.”
However, the filming of Neighbours will continue until 10 June 2022 and may be paused temporarily after as Network 10 searches for a new partner.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.