Just days after the long-running Australian soap’s finale was filmed, the stars of some of the UK’s biggest dramas paid tribute to Neighbours ahead of its last episodes.
Daniel Brocklebank (Billy Mayhew), Rebecca Ryan (Lydia Chambers), Jack James Ryan (Jacob Hay), and Charlie de Melo (Imran Habeeb) from Coronation Street spoke to RadioTimes.com in exclusive interviews at the British Soap Awards on what Neighbours meant to them as viewers.
“It was the biggest thing when I was growing up,” Georgia Taylor, who portrays Toyah Battersby in the ITV soap, remarked. Everyone would rush home from school to watch it, and the next day you’d be talking about it. So it was simply a part of my youth, and I’m heartbroken for them as a company – I can’t imagine how it must feel.”
Meanwhile, Millie Gibson (Kelly Neelan), Bill Fellows (Stu Carpenter), and Paddy Beaver (Max Turner) discussed the end of Neighbours, with Julia Goulding (Shona Ramsey) adding, “I simply think they’re great and it’s a sad shame that it’s no longer being made because it’s an institution.”
Shona McGarty (Whitney Dean) and Zaraah Abrahams (Chelsea Fox) of EastEnders also spoke about Neighbours becoming “history” as a major soap, with Abrahams telling RadioTimes.com: “They’re such an incredible show, they’ve represented so many incredible storylines, such talented actors, and we absolutely salute them.” They will be sorely missed.”
“It was the first one of the ’80s that represented Australian life and vim and vitality, and of course so many stars have come from that,” Annie Wallace (Sally St. Claire) said of the “revolutionary soap.”
“Let’s hope everyone here gets to continue,” she said, “because what would we do without the soaps?”
Neighbours announced earlier this year that series will be ending after 37 years, with filming wrapping last week.
On weekdays at 1:45 p.m., Channel 5 broadcasts Neighbours. Later in the day, at 5:30 p.m., a replay of the episode will air.