On 18 March 1985, Australian viewers were introduced to a suburban cul-de-sac. Over the course of an unremarkable pilot, a noisy stag do disrupts the sleep of Ramsay Street residents and one of them decides to take matters into his own hands. Four months later, the show was cancelled and its network, Seven, destroyed all the sets to make sure it couldn’t be replicated.
But by 1986, Neighbours had been revived and rebuilt by rival studio Network 10 and become a surprise hit in the UK. A daytime staple for students, the sun-kissed scandals of Ramsay Street lent an exotic glamour to the murky TV schedules of Coronation Street and EastEnders. Despite a declining viewership since its late-80s heyday, Neighbours has become Australia’s longest-running soap, launching the careers of the likes of Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie and Guy Pearce.
With its final episodes airing this week, after Channel 5 announced it was axing the show, we meet its longstanding cast members who reveal the joys and challenges of playing the same characters for decades – and their most memorable moments.
Read the feature in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 22/07/22]