'Neighbours': long-running Australian soap opera to end after 37 years

Popular show failed to find another UK broadcaster after it was dropped by Channel 5

'Neighbours', shown in more than 60 countries, has officially been axed after almost four decades on television. Photo: Fremantle
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It helped launch the careers of many young Australian actors, but the long-time soap Neighbours is coming to an end after 37 years.

The drama, which which aired in 1985, centres around three families who live on a cul-de-sac in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough. It follows the Ramsays, the Robinsons and the Clarkes, amid their rivalries and family dramas across the generations.

In February, the show was in danger after it was dropped by UK broadcaster Channel 5, citing the high film costs involved with keeping the show going. Now it will shoot its final scene in June after it failed to secure a new UK broadcaster.

“It is with sadness that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast, we are confirming that Neighbours will cease production in June,” said a representative of the series' production company Fremantle.

“Following the loss of a key broadcast partner in the UK, and despite a search for alternative funding, we currently have no option but to rest the show.

“Everyone at Neighbours has been overwhelmed by the love and support from the audience since the news came out. The show has brought a sunny slice of Australia into the homes of millions of viewers around the world, launching the careers of dozens of household names along the way.

“But as this chapter of Ramsay Street comes to a close, we promise to do everything we can to give the show the send-off it deserves.”

The show has also been the catalyst for a number of actors to get their big-screen break, with names such as Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue and all three Hemsworth brothers appearing on it.

Through its entire run in Australia, Neighbours has been screened as 22-minute episodes and is shown in more than 60 countries. It’s been especially successful in the UK, as The Guardian reports it still had 1.5 million UK viewers a day.

Updated: March 03, 2022, 8:38 AM