Despite the fact that Neighbours was cancelled this year, the serial took the opportunity to commemorate its 37 years on broadcast this week with a series of celebratory messages from its actors.
Yesterday (March 18), Neighbours released a video on social media in which a number of cast members, including Takaya Honda, Richie Morris, and Charlotte Chimes, wished the soap “Happy Birthday,” but it also featured the reintroduction of one of its most iconic performers, Ian Smith.
Smith has played the iconic Harold Bishop on and off for virtually the entire run of the show, first appearing in 1987 and last appearing in 2009, with a few brief appearances in 2011 and 2015.
Neighbours are ecstatic to see a familiar face on Ramsay Street again, captioning the photo: “It’s our 37th birthday today, and we’ve been on screen for 37 years! There’s no better day than today for a Neighbours LEGEND to return to Erinsborough!”
This is the first time Smith has been seen on set since Dr. Karl Kennedy actor Alan Fletcher confirmed last month that he will be returning in the final episodes to help wrap up the series.
Fletcher also hinted that many famous characters will appear in the soap’s conclusion, with fans eager to see Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan return to the setting that launched their careers.
“I can guarantee you that the producers are trying really hard to try and lure some of Neighbours’ most beloved characters to at least make some appearances,” Fletcher stated. “I can’t say anything about [Kylie and Jason’s return] yet because I don’t want to give anything away, but that’ll be the fun of the last episodes. ‘Oh look who’s here!’ I’d say as I sat there.”
We do know, however, that Peter O’Brien will return to the role of Shane Ramsay, which he last played in 1987, to commemorate the soap’s final farewell, and that some cast members, including Kyle Canning (Chris Milligan), Roxy Willis (Zima Anderson), and Ned Willis (Ned Willis), will depart before the show ends (Ben Hall).