The battle to save Neighbours has hit a dead end as production company Fremantle Media has sadly failed to find a new home for the Australian soap.
It's the news that Neighbours fans have been dreading, but after almost four decades on our screens, the show will cease production this summer. It is thought the last episodes of the soap will air in the UK in August.
The announcement that Channel 5 was cutting Neighbours from its schedules shocked fans last month, but there was hope that another company would pick up funding for the soap. However, the search proved fruitless and today an official statement has been released announcing that the soap will end for good this summer.
Fremantle Media said: "It is with sadness that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast, we are confirming that Neighbours will cease production in the summer.
"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."
Neighbours originally started on BBC1 in the UK in 1986 before moving to Channel 5 in 2008 and launched some of the most famous names in TV, film, and music, including Kylie Minogue, Liam Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie, and Guy Pearce.
Back in early February Channel 5 told What To Watch: "Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer. It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle, and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.
"We’d also, of course, like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years. We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however, our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers."
Neighbours continues weekdays at 1:45pm and 6:00pm on Channel 5
Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz!
As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.
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