Channel 5 has unveiled the full list of returning cast members for Neighbours’ final episode, which promises to be a dramatic finale.
The Australian serial, which debuted in 1985, was abruptly cancelled in March of this year due to the loss of its key UK broadcast partner Channel 5, with the final episode planned to screen on August 1, 2022.
With the finale approaching, the network has assured that Neighbours will go out on a high note, with actors such as Ian Smith, who played Harold Bishop, and Daniel MacPherson, who played Joel Samuels, reprising their roles alongside fans’ favourites Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan.
The’massive homecoming’ will see a slew of stars from the show’s nearly 40-year history return to Erinsborough for one last hurrah.
Peter O’Brien (Shane Ramsay), Mark Little (Joe Mangle), and Paul Keane are among the 80s Neighbours making a comeback alongside Kylie (Charlene Mitchell), Jason (Scott Robinson), and Ian (Des Clarke).
Benjamin McNair (Mal Kennedy), Melissa Bell (Lucy Robinson), and Lesley Baker (all from the 1990s) join Daniel on the honour roll (Angie Rebecchi).
Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy Hoyland), Chris Milligan (Kyle Canning), and Pippa Black (Pippa Black) are among the cast members who will return to Ramsay Street (Elle Robinson).
Morgan Baker (Callum Rebecchi), Jordan Patrick Smith (Andrew Robinson), and James Mason (Chris Pappas) are among the cast members who have returned.
Finally, Olympia Valance (Paige Smith), Jodi Gordon (Elly Conway), Zoe Cramond (Amy Williams), and Kate Kendall (Kate Kendall) will appear in the 8,903rd episode of the series (Lauren Turner).
Neighbours alumni Ben Hall (Ned Willis), Olivia Junkeer (Yashvi Rebecchi), and Zima Anderson (Roxy Willis) round out the cast.
‘Whether the eighties, nineties, noughties, or teens is your favourite decade, we will be giving something for everyone as Neighbours draws to a close,’ stated Jason Herbison, Executive Producer of Neighbours.
‘We’ll be commemorating the most legendary characters from throughout various decades, with a few surprises up our sleeves,’ said the cast.
‘It’s an amazing delight to be back,’ Ian Smith, 83, (Harold Bishop), stated. I’m the biggest jerk in the planet.
‘On the final night of Neighbours, I’m going to be startling.’ It will truly be the end of an era, and I am honoured to have played a role in it.’
‘Joining Neighbours at the age of 17, little did I know, was going to kick start a career that continues to be the experience of a lifetime,’ Daniel MacPherson, 42, (Joel Samuels), added.
‘Returning to portray Joel was a little way for me to express my thanks to the cast, crew, and fans of the show.’
It comes after Neighbours stars Kylie and Jason appeared to confirm their return after more than 30 years at the beginning of this month.
According to rumours, the duo, both 53, are scheduled to reprise their roles as adored on-screen couple Scott and Charlene Robinson on the Australian soap series before it is cancelled this summer.
Last week, the stars attempted to confirm the happy news by posting photos of what appeared to be a Neighbours screenplay on their own Instagram profiles.
Kylie’s post included the first half of the show’s title as well as the name Scott, whereas Jason included the second half of the title as well as Charlene’s name.
Jason also tagged his old Neighbours co-star in the post, which sent fans into a frenzy as they seemed to confirm their return to the programme before it ended.
Following their posts, Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison wrote on Instagram, “Scott and Charlene are the ultimate Neighbours pair, and it would not feel right to conclude the programme without them.”
‘We’re overjoyed that Jason and Kylie have returned home to play a pivotal role in the series finale.’
Filming the episode was an emotional event for the couple as well as the show’s production team, he said.
In 1987, two million Australians and over 20 million British fans watched Scott Mitchell of Donovan and Charlene Robinson of Minogue tie the knot in episode 523 of the show.
The wedding scene, replete with Minogue’s lace gown, coral-colored bridesmaids’ costumes, and Donovan’s mullet, became a cult classic in Australia during the 1980s.
Minogue’s international career was begun with the publication of her first hit song, Locomotion, just weeks after the show aired.
In March, it was revealed on Twitter that the long-running soap would be cancelled owing to financial concerns.
‘After over 37 years and approximately 9,000 episodes broadcast, we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in June,’ they wrote.
‘We simply have no choice but to put the show on hold following the loss of our important broadcast partner in the UK, despite a thorough hunt for alternative funding.’
‘We know this is a big disappointment to our amazing, dedicated fans, as it is to all of us on the team.
‘We appreciate all of your messages and support, and we pledge to end the show on a positive note.’ We’ll be commemorating Neighbours from now on.’
Kylie hurried to express her appreciation for the show, stating she would be “forever thankful for the experience.”
‘I’ll be forever grateful for the experience & the friends I made on @neighbours,’ the singer added.
‘We had no clue how popular the show would become or how deeply people would care about it.’ Pure adoration! Madge’s voice can still be heard calling… CHARLENE!!!’
In a statement to Australian media, Network 10 acknowledged that ending the series was a “tough decision.”
‘Today, Fremantle confirmed that Neighbours will end production in June after nearly 37 years and approximately 9,000 episodes,’ according to a network representative.
‘This sad choice was made after an unsuccessful search for an alternate UK broadcast partner.’
They went on to say that the show would ‘not air on 10 Peach after September 2022,’ effectively ending its decades-long run.
‘It has been a cornerstone of Australian television drama and Australian cultural exports for almost 35 years,’ they stated.
‘Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, is a well-known cul-de-sac that has housed Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Dr Karl and Susan, Dee and Toadie, Aaron and David, and a slew of other residents.
‘Network 10 appreciates the cast, crew, production team, and Fremantle for bringing the ideal blend of soap and sunshine to Australian and international audiences.’
Neighbours was home to a slew of mega-stars, including Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, and Liam Hemsworth, in addition to Kylie and Jason.