Channel 5 has announced iconic Aussie soap (opens in new tab)Neighbours will be broadcast the same day in both the UK and Australia from January 4, 2016.
Neighbours is currently broadcast two weeks later in Britain than it is in Australia. To close the gap between the two markets, Channel 5 will screen an additional 10 episodes from December 7-18.
Greg Barnett, Channel 5 Commissioning Editor, said: “At a time when online piracy can often mean hardcore fans’ enjoyment of continuing drama is spoilt, this is great news for our millions of Neighbours fans. Not only for the first time will it actually be Christmas when it actually is Christmas (instead of February), but viewers will see the new year start with a bang for Ramsay Street rotter Paul Robinson and the woman he’s been taunting, Steph Scully, who are caught up in one of the series’ most gripping storylines.”
Jason Herbison, Series Producer, Neighbours commented: “We’re delighted that UK fans of Neighbours will be able to catch up with Karl, Susan, Toadie and the gang at the same time as Australian viewers. Thanks to today’s technology, and the collaboration of our friends at Channel 5, we’re now able to get episodes sent halfway round the world in record-breaking time, giving viewers of the show immediate access to our stories as they unfold.”
Since Neighbours first hit the airwaves in March 1985 UK fans have always been playing catch up with their favourite Australian soap. The initial lag between the Australian and UK broadcast was 18 months. In recent years, Channel 5 has sought to reduce this gap to two weeks.
Earlier this year, Neighbours turned 30 (opens in new tab), making it the longest running Australian drama, and it's one of the most successful Australian TV exports ever.
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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