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Craig Mclachlan, Kylie Minogue, Madge Charleston, Ian Smith
The show was just the start for Kylie Minogue, pictured second from leftImage: Mary Evans Picture Library/picture-alliance
CultureAustralia

Final curtain falls on Australian soap Neighbours

Richard Connor
July 28, 2022

The cult Australian soap opera Neighbours has broadcast its last episode. The show, which enjoyed its heyday in the eighties and nineties, helped launch multiple movie and pop music careers.

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The last episode of the Australian soap opera "Neighbours" was broadcast on Thursday, featuring appearances from former stars including Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie.

Television makers axed the show after 37 years of production due to a declining audience both at home and in Britain, where it was once hugely popular.

What was Neighbours?

The soap's action revolved around the fictional cul-de-sac Ramsay Street, in the the invented Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough — itself almost an anagram of Neighbours.

It was a television fixture of the small screen in Australia since 1985 and in Britain, where it aired twice daily, since 1986.

The show had its peak in the late 1980s, and became so influential to UK pop culture that it was blamed for British teenagers developing Australian accents.

The wedding of Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell, played respectively by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, attracted 20 million viewers when it aired in the UK in November 1988.

Both actors went on to enjoy successful music careers — with Minogue in particular propelled into the pop stratosphere.

Other future pop stars — including Natalie Imbruglia, Delta Goodrem and Holly Valance — also got their big break on the show.

It was the launchpad for a string of Hollywood acting careers of including those of Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth and Guy Pearce.

However, ratings steadily dwindled and the show was dropped by Britain's Channel 5 in March, failing to secure another broadcast partner in the United Kingdom.

Star-studded final episode

The finale came after almost 9,000 episodes, and was filled with appearances from characters flipping through old photo albums.

A mystery figure who appeared on a motorcycle was revealed to be Pearce's character, Mike Young.

Ian Smith, who played one of the show's stalwarts Harold Bishop for nearly two decades, also made an appearance, as well as Imbruglia, Valance, and Robbie.

Minogue reprised her role as Charlene, appearing alongside Donovan as Scott, with the pair still happily married in the show.

Edited by: Mark Hallam

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