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Iconic Neighbours character Joe Mangel returns after 17 years as actor Mark Little reprises his famous role ahead of the series finale

After 17 years, Australian actor Mark Little will resume his role as Joe Mangel in Friday’s episode of Neighbours.

The 62-year-old veteran actor currently resides in a far-off farmhouse in Wales and was unable to go to Melbourne to film his cameo there with the cast.

Instead, he participates in a video call with Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) to voice their worries about Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowen).

From 1988 to 1991, Mark played Joe on Neighbours, and he returned for a brief period in 2005.

The way Mark portrayed Joe as a straightforward labourer who enjoyed alcohol struck a chord with viewers in both Australia and Britain.

When Mark decided not to renew his contract in 1991 so he could pursue other opportunities, it disappointed the fans.

He joins a host of Neighbours veterans who are returning to the show before its July 28 season finale, including Guy Peace, Jason Donovan, and Kylie Minogue.

After choosing not to renew its contract with production company Fremantle to produce and broadcast the series in March, UK channel 5 decided to cancel Neighbours.

In June, the TV Week Logie Awards came under heavy fire for failing to properly recognise the series’ cancellation during the presentation.

One of Neighbours’ longest-serving cast members, Ryan Moloney, 42, later criticised the Logies’ organisers for failing to give the Australian soap a proper send-off.

Moloney, who played Jarrod “Toadfish” Rebecchi, expressed his disappointment at the ceremony’s lacklustre tribute, saying it left him feeling “incredibly let down.”

The veteran of Ramsay Street argued that it was unfair that Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Daniel MacPherson, two former Neighbours actors, were chosen to speak on stage about their experiences with the soap opera rather than a character currently playing a role in it.

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