Neighbours star to lead the cast of a brand-new audio soap

Neighbours logo Ramsay St
A tome-time Ramsay Street resident has moved Riverside (Image credit: Channel 5)

The end of Neighbours has been sad news for the show's cast, its fans, and basically everyone in the whole world as far as we can see.

The show's finale will screen on Friday 29 July with a feature-length special featuring the return of many old faces.

Among those who have been recalling their time on the show in the run up to the final episode is 1980's star Lisa Armytage, who played Dr Beverly Marshall, wife of Jim Robinson and stepmum to Paul, Lucy and Scott.

Jane Harris, Harold Bishop, Paul Robinson, Scott Robinson, Charlene Robinson in the final episode of Neighbours

The gang get back together to toast 37 years of drama (Image credit: Fremantle)

Lisa spoke about her time on the show just as she herself is about to make her move back into soap, leading the cast in Riverside, a new audio soap that launches on several platforms this week.

And as someone who quit the soap at the height of its success in Oz and Down Under, she has advice for the cast just signing off. 

"It's a huge thing to lose all your security, your structure," she sympathised. "But the only way to take it, is to grab the opportunity of doing other things. Things you haven't had a chance to do in however many years you've been with Neighbours.”

Neighbours Jim and Beverly

Jim and Beverly married in 1987 (Image credit: YouTube/Fremantle)

The actress starred in Neighbours from 1987-1989, when it was at the height of its fame. And she revealed that Neighbours fever was quite overwhelming back them.

"I went to a friend's daughter's school play with my husband and two children, and we were mobbed by primary school age children – we had to escape!” she recalls. "When I went shopping for clothes I had dark glasses with me. Have you ever tried buying coloured clothes with dark glasses on?"

After Lisa quit the show, the character of Beverly was recast with new actress, Shaunna O'Grady: "It's strange, isn't it? Your wife goes off to a medical conference and comes back looking completely different, and you don't even notice!” laughs Lisa about the changeover. 


Neighbours, Dr Beverly Robinson

(Image credit: Channel5/Fremantle)

Shauna made several reappearances as Beverly in recent years, while Lisa has gone on to play many roles in TV. However, her latest acting gig in audio drama Riverside one she feel is not too far away from a certain Aussie drama.

"Riverside has that optimistic Neighbours feeling. A sense of community at a time when we all really need it," she says. "It's so good to be part of a soap again."

The 14-part drama is based on the weekly magazine serial of the same name, which has been running successfully since 2016. The cast also features actors from The Archers among others. 

Riverside artwork

Riverside is a new 14-part drama (Image credit: Riverside)

Riverside will be available from Audible, Amazon and iTunes from Wednesday 27 July.

For more on the Neighbours finale, check out our dedicated Neighbours spoilers section.

Steven Murphy

Steven is a writer, editor, and commentator with a passion for popular TV and soap operas. He spent 20 years as the editor of Inside Soap magazine, documenting every punch-up and pucker-up in the Street, the Square and the village. As a feature writer, he’s covered TV crime dramas, period dramas and even some real-life star dramas. He’s been seen as a talking head on more TV clip shows than he cares to remember, has a life-long passion for TV sci-fi – the older and creakier the better – and is a slight obsessive about any reality show featuring hotels.