Neighbours’ Alan Fletcher reveals ‘SHOCKING’ storylines set for show relaunch

Alan Fletcher, Micha Barton and Jackie Woodburne on the Neighbours set
Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne will be joined by Micha Barton in the new series of Neighbours on Amazon Freevee. (Image credit: Amazon Freevee)

Neighbours legend Alan Fletcher has been in the thick of things filming scenes for the revived Aussie soap, which is set to air later this year. 

After four weeks on set, the actor and musician is taking a break from Ramsay Street for a 24-date UK tour with his fan favourite Neighbours-themed live show, The Doctor Will See You Now.

Following the shock announcement last year that the 37-year-old soap was being axed, over five million people in the UK and Australia tuned in to watch the all-star finale. 

A fan-led campaign to save Neighbours saw streaming giant Amazon pick it up and filming recommenced in April.

Alan took a few moments out of rehearsing for his show to chat to What To Watch about his tour and all things Neighbours...

Alan Fletcher with wife Jennifer Hanson

Alan Fletcher is joined by wife Jennifer Hansen on The Doctor Will See You Now tour. (Image credit: Alan Fletcher)

You're bringing your tour back to the UK after a short run last September. Did you know you’d be back on Neighbours when you set the dates?

"It was planned late last year in conjunction with the Neighbours – the Celebration Tour [which ran in March this year]. 

"I was going to finish touring the UK with my band on The Point Album Tour, then I was going to shoot back home to Australia, spend four weeks revamping the Doctor Will See You Now show and come back to the UK. 

"Those plans changed very quickly! I’ve just come from the first four weeks of filming Neighbours and flown straight here to do my show."

Does this mean Dr Karl Kennedy will be taking a break from Ramsay Street?

"Just for a little bit! It’s not too long at all. The producers have organised it quite cleverly and we do have production breaks, as well. There’s a time while I’m here that the rest of the cast are also on holiday.

"We don’t work all year round on the show — it’s structured in such a way that we don’t have to be there all the time. We get an opportunity to do our passion projects. 

"For me, music is a big passion project and the Doctor Karl show, which I really enjoy."

Will there be a few surprises on your 'The Doctor Will See You Now' tour?

"It’s a fun rollick through Karl Kennedy’s 28 years on Neighbours as well as his relationships with women on the show, Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) being first and foremost! 

"We’ve got lots of video footage so people get the chance to go down memory lane and look back on iconic moments, some of which I think people will have forgotten. It’s interesting telling the stories again in a lovely encapsulated way. 

"There’s also a collection of music, some from my album The Point, but I also have some delicious music offerings that will reference Neighbours.

"My wife Jen [former newsreader Jennifer Hansen] will be interviewing me. She knows more about me than any other person on the planet, so she's the perfect person.

"Back in September last year, people loved the show and I’ve revamped it since. It’s a lot of fun."

Do you feel a special connection with the Neighbours' fanbase?

"I feel like the fans are family! I have enormous contact with all the fans of Neighbours on social media and through my website and subscription base and I try to answer everyone’s questions.

"The fans are the reason the show exists and never more so than now. It was freely admitted that it was the outpouring of grief from the fans and the messages on social media and the petitions that led to Amazon realising they should pick up the show."

What are some of the most memorable moments in your time as Dr Karl?

"When Jackie and I were told that Karl was going to have an affair with Sarah Beaumont (Nicola Charles), it shocked us to the core. We’d only been on the show a couple of years and we thought we’d established a really tight-knit family and suddenly there was the possibility of us breaking up. Mercifully the writers have made sure that Karl always finds his way back to Susan!

"Probably the most emotional story for Karl was when Susan contracted MS because, as a physician, he was unable to help her. 

"Also, when Karl broke up with Susan he said, “I’m sorry, I don’t love you anymore”. That scene remains etched on my memory. It was emotional personally, as well as for the character because Jackie and I were so invested in our relationship."

Now for the BIG question… What can you tell us about Neighbours when it returns?

"I’m sworn to secrecy about what’s actually on the show! One thing I can say is that I was absolutely wowed by the first episodes of the new scripts. When I read them, my jaw hit the ground.

"I think people are going to be stunned by them and amazed by them. I’ve read about 30 episodes of scripts and it’s some of the best writing I’ve seen on the show. Some of the most interesting, intriguing, shocking storylines.

On top of that we have a wonderful returning cast and crew, who have been on the show for a long time, but we also have the injection of some new cast and crew.

It’s really helped reinvigorate the programme and it’s a wonderful opportunity. Not to reinvent Neighbours, because it will still be the Neighbours everyone knows and loves, but to give it a fresh look and bring a new perspective."

Can you hint at when we’re likely to see Neighbours back on our screens?

"The big announcement – that I don’t even know yet – is when exactly Neighbours will go back on air. We know it’s going to be later in 2023 but we still don’t know when.

"There are plenty more teasers to come and of course once the show goes to air that will be the most exciting time. I’ll probably do a Facebook Live the night the first episode goes to air to try and gauge the fans’ reactions straight from the start."

Guy Pearce joins former Neighbours co-stars Annie Jones, Stefan Dennis and Peter O'Brien.

Guy Pearce returned as Mike Young in 2022 alongside Neighbours stars Annie Jones (Jane), Stefan Dennis (Paul) and Peter O'Brien (Shane). (Image credit: Channel 5)

You mentioned the new cast, can you tell us a little bit more about that and any future returning cast announcements?

"There’s quite a few announcements still to be made and there are still more cast to be announced, absolutely.

"It’s really interesting having Micha Barton from The OC joining us. Amazon will be showing Neighbours in the USA and Canada for the first time and we're very hopeful it will build a new audience for the show. Micha Barton is an important element in that and she’s absolutely fabulous.

"Also, Guy Pearce’s return as Mike Young in the last few episodes of Neighbours last year was one of the great highlights. He came back and did three episodes and he wouldn’t have had any expectation that there would be any more. 

"I’m so full of admiration for him that he’s agreed to come into this incarnation of Neighbours to keep that story with Jane Harris (Annie Jones) going. He’s a wonderful bloke."

Neighbours has filmed in the UK several times, could we expect to see some Ramsay Street regulars again?

"One of my favourite times on Neighbours was when we came to London and Karl married Susan again on the Thames. I hope we can come again! I don’t know of any stories yet where that is happening but I’m sure it’s very much in the minds of the producers and scriptwriters to maximise those possibilities.

"Generally a few cast members find their way to the UK every year. It’s not uncommon when we’re over here to film little snippets of scenes, so fingers crossed."

The Doctor Will See You Now 2023 tour is produced by Maple Tree Entertainment and will be at venues across the country in June and July. Venues and ticketing information available at