When the final episode of NEIGHBOURS is broadcast later this month, Alan Fletcher, the creator of the show, predicts that UK families will be overcome with emotion.
Alan, who has portrayed Dr. Karl Kennedy in the Australian soap opera for 28 years and is one of Erinsborough’s most recognisable faces, thinks the conclusion will please the audience.
In an interview with The Sun, he exclusively remarked: “The storyliners, the screenplay writer, and the executive producer really wanted to focus on celebrating the show at the end, that was the main issue.
There will be a few little surprises and twists because Neighbours wouldn’t be Neighbours without them, but I think the public will rejoice with us when they watch it. At 9.30 p.m. on July 29, I won’t be surprised in the least if tears are being shed in a number of living rooms across the UK.
Numerous well-known characters from previous seasons of the programme will make appearances in some capacity for the poignant farewell.
None are more eagerly awaited than the reunion of 80s sweethearts Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, who will perform together on Ramsay Street for the first time in more than 30 years.
They appeared in the first photos today, which showed them smiling, cuddling, and teasing a happily-ever-after.
Alan thinks that the mixture of new and familiar personalities will entice former viewers who have lost interest in the show to come back for one more viewing.
I hope everyone tunes in, especially those who haven’t seen Neighbours in a while, he remarked. “I hope they return to see the conclusion. There will be a tonne of enjoyable nostalgia there for them.
Alan has no regrets or things he’d change about his nearly three decades as a show mainstay.
Over the years, the writers and his constantly evolving character have worked hard to keep his plots interesting and compelling.
People often ask how I’ve managed to play the same role for 28 years, and I reply, “I haven’t. The character has changed and grown, and doing it with Jackie [Woodburne, Susan Kennedy] means we’ve shared this great experience of playing roles that alter and grow so much.”
There have been affairs, legal run-ins, medical scandals, and comedic misadventures.
And the highlight of Alan’s highlights reel was a classic soap-era act of silliness.
“I really enjoyed episode 7,000 of Neighbours,” he said. A $7000 scratch-off ticket that I lost. In Toadie’s home, I was forced to fully bare up after discovering my scratchy stuck to Toadie’s bum. It was silly and fun.
“When the script was out two weeks prior, I found out. I reasoned that it is what it is and that being a little tubby is just how things are.
And Alan didn’t find it difficult to undress, stating matter-of-factly: “I’ve done it a few times, to be honest with you. Back when we performed the Full Monty, Susan and Karl were twice caught in a nude picture shoot for the Men of Erinsborough calendar. Everything about it is quite subdued.
Neighbours has an evident global appeal, with actors like Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie succeeding in the entertainment industry.
While many of our most beloved stars consider obtaining a sought-after cameo to be a badge of honour.
Alan has chosen his favourite performers from among the wide range of British talent that has been on the show.
“I worked with Michael Parkinson, and for fifteen minutes, we stood by the Thames talking cricket,” he claimed. The funniest thing I’ve ever seen was when Clive James, who portrayed a postman in Julian Clary, raced his bike up Ramsay Street alone.
“I believe Lily Allen was my favourite. In the radio station in Erinsborough, she appeared and performed a song. She had to start filming pretty early in the day. The night prior, she’d just finished a performance. She is professional, and she gave a standout performance while singing live.
After working in a safe and comfortable position for thirty years, some people could be horrified by the idea of becoming unemployed.
However, busy Alan has a lot planned, and his agency is working hard to secure comedic parts.
I need to gradually shed the Karl persona, Alan said. Although there are many options for me, it might take a few years for me to re-establish myself as an actor.
Over the past couple of years, he has also put himself into music, and he will shortly release an album of Americana.
Dispatches, a five-track EP that boasts a wonderful duet with former Neighbours actress Alyce Platt, came before it.
Two intimate performances last week in Balham and Camden demonstrated how well-received the music is, providing the ideal setting for the songs’ exquisite lyrics.
After meeting producers Lachlan Bryan and Damien Cafarella at the Tamworth Music Festival in 2019, Alan, who had previously recorded music with the rock band The Waiting Room, started his Americana voyage.
Alan was asked to write and record with the pair in the studio after what he called a “happy accident,” and they haven’t looked back since.
“The individuals I look up to the most are my producers,” he added. “Lachlan Bryan, with his band the Wilds, is one of Australia’s most renowned Americana performers, and Damien Cafarella, my other producer, also performs with The Wilds.
Their songwriting is so flawless that I genuinely believe everything they do.
He also draws inspiration from several influential US figures.
“Country music is a pretty diverse genre, so guys like Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell,” he concluded.
I adore Willie Nelson as well. Loudon Wainwright III, and other folk writers with a comedic edge, are my favourites. Elvis Costello is one of my all-time favourite musicians; he has written some lovely country music.
Alan hopes to return to the UK in September for a few more shows after the dust has settled and the tears have stopped after the Neighbours finale. Visit him.