Soapland’s most famous (and only?) tuba player Harold Bishop and his devoted wife Madge are coming back to Neighbours for a 30th anniversary Neighbours special.
It’s come as quite a surprise seeing as Madge Bishop – played by Anne Charleston – died on screen in 2001 after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer. As yet there are no details about the storyline but we’re hoping for a ghostly resurrection rather than a dream sequence or a case of mistaken corpse.
This won’t be the first time one of the Bishops has defied the grim reaper. In 1991, Ramsay Street thought Harold – played by Ian Smith – was dead when he was swept out to sea while on a coastal jaunt. He returned to the soap five years later: Helen Daniels discovered him working in a Salvation Army shop, suffering from amnesia.
He renewed his vows with Madge when his memory eventually returned, only for her to die of cancer a few years later.
“It was an immediate ‘yes’ when I was invited to return for the 30th anniversary. I wouldn’t have missed it and I’m thrilled with the way their story unfolds,” said Charleston.
The actress suggested in August this year that she might be involved and said to The Mirror, “I look on those days with fondness and there is no way in hell I’d walk away from the special because it’s a celebration and I think we should all be involved in it.”
The creators of the show say Charleston and Smith are the first in a “number of of celebrated past cast members” to return to the programme for its anniversary in March next year.
Although there were rumours that Kylie Minogue was making a comeback too, she has since said that she won’t be retuning for the special. So, no perms and overalls then – just (hopefully) Harold’s trusty tuba.