Neighbours, the renowed Australian soap, has been axed after failing to find a new home.
Channel 5 announced it was dropping the long-running soap from its schedule, leaving Fremantle Media – the production company making Neighbours – to find a new home.
However, the firm was unable to, and now the show has been cancelled.
The cast and crew of Neighbours gathered in Melbourne on Friday (10 June) to film the final scenes for the soap -and included some familar faces such as stars Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan.
The production company shared a final photo of its cast and crew after filming wrapped on the last scene:
Why has Channel 5 dropped Neighbours?
Channel 5 said dropping the soap will allow funding to be diverted to original UK dramas.
A spokesperson for the channel said: “Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer.
“It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.
“We’d also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years.
“We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however, our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers.”
When will the final episode of Neighbours air?
The final episode of Neighbours will air on Monday 1 August 2022 on Channel 5.
TV Tonight reported the Australian broadcaster 10 Peach will air double episodes from June so viewers can watch the show’s finale on the same day as UK viewers.
What has been said about Neighbours ending?
Executive producer Jason Herbison said: “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.”
Stefan Dennis, who has played the villainous Paul Robinson on and off throughout the show’s 37-year history, described the last day of filming as “a melancholy day” to the Australian breakfast programme Studio 10 on Friday.
The actor said he “surprised himself” by becoming incredibly emotional while shooting the last scenes, admitting that he had to keep a “very low profile” in order to avoid becoming “an absolute mess”.
Which characters will feature in the finale?
Executive producer Jason Herbison said the pair will play a very special part in the Australian soap.
He said: “Scott and Charlene are the ultimate Neighbours couple and it would not feel right to end the show without them.”
Memento star Guy Pearce, who started his career playing Mike Young in the Australian soap, had also confirmed he was reprising his role after sharing photos reuniting with the cast and crew in recent days.
Joining them will be Peter O’Brien who appeared in the show’s first episode as Shane Ramsay, Mark Little who played Joe Mangel and Paul Keane who played Des Clarke.
Among those returning from the 00s era are Chris Milligan who played Kyle Canning, Morgan Baker as Callum Rebecchi, Natalie Bassingthwaighte who played Izzy Hoyland and James Mason as Chris Pappas.
Pippa Black who played Elle Robinson and her on-screen brother Jordan Patrick Smith who played Andrew Robinson will also return.
Olympia Valance who starred as Paige Smith in the latest era of the show will also return, alongside Jodi Anasta as Elly Conway, Zoe Cramond who played Amy Williams and Kate Kendall as Lauren Turner.
Ben Hall as Ned Willis, Olivia Junkeer who played Yashvi Rebecchi and Zima Anderson as Roxy Willis were also announced as returning.
When did Neighbours begin?
The soap, which launched in 1985, has long been more popular in the UK than in Australia, so this news has thrown the future of the show into doubt.
It is the longest-running drama series on Australian television, Neighbours initially launched on Australia’s Seven networks in 1985, but the channel axed it before Ten picked it up the following year and it became an international hit.
Neighbours was shown on BBC One until 2008 when it moved to Channel 5.
It has featured a number of British guest stars in recent years, including Amanda Holden, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Ryan Thomas and Janet Street-Porter.
In Australia, it has been shown on digital channel 10 Peach since 2011 after losing its place following the nightly news on the main channel and has been reliant on the UK broadcaster for funding.
Donovan, who played Scott Robinson from 1986 to 1989, tweeted: “@neighbours changed the Australian television landscape. It launched many careers over decades including mine.
“(It has) Engaged and entertained audiences for generations. Hoping that it will find a new home with another UK broadcaster and continue to provide opportunity and entertainment.”