Neighbours fans delighted as soap announces Georgie Stone has been promoted to series regular

Neighbours, Mackenzie Hargreaves
Shane has some SHOCK news for Mackenzie on Neighbours...

Georgie plays the soap’s first transgender character Mackenzie Hargreaves

Neighbours fans are thrilled after the Australian soap announced it has promoted Georgie Stone to a series regular.

The actress – who plays Mackenzie Hargreaves, the soap’s first transgender character – will be made a permanent member of the cast starting in early 2020 following a hugely positive response to the character and her storylines.

“I am so excited to be joining Neighbours full-time," Georgie said. "I love the character of Mackenzie so much and to have the opportunity to go back and continue her story is a dream come true.

"I can't wait to see what's in store for her!"

Executive producer Jason Herbison added: "I think with most people who are marginalised in society, everyone just wants to be visible and treated the same as everyone else. And that's what you will see with Mackenzie.

"I look forward to the day when the fact that she is transgender doesn't even warrant the batting of an eyelid. That day will come very soon in Erinsborough, and that alone is very powerful for anyone going through the experience in real life."

Fans were equally excited with the news, with one tweeting: “This is fantastic news. I love her character & she has certainly bought some much needed stories to the show.”

Another added: Great news! Georgie has been a fabulous addition to the cast. Covering a really important storyline. Look forward to her future character growth.”

Neighbours, Mackenzie Hargreaves, Yashvi Rebecchi, Harlow Robinson

Georgie is transgender and hopes to raise awareness through her character's storyline.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, she said: "I really wanted to tell the story of Mackenzie being trans so people can learn, but I also wanted her to just be a regular teen at the same time, and get caught up with the teen drama which has nothing to do with her being trans.

"There's a lot of discussion happening [about transgender people] now in the media."

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

Jenni McKnight

Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo!  Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.