Neighbours legends Madge and Harold Bishop have reunited on screen over 30 years after they created one of soap’s most popular partnerships.
Australian acting royalty Anne Charleston and Ian Smith appeared together on ITV’s Loose Women today, Thursday 16 August, as part of the show’s ‘soap week’, today focusing on the goings-on in Ramsay Street, broadcast in the UK daily on Channel 5.
The pair started working together in 1987, when battleaxe matriarch Madge, mother of Kylie Minogue’s character Charlene, reconnected with old schoolfriend, pompous busybody Harold, eventually marrying and becoming one of the most famous couples in TV history.
They were last on screen together as their alter egos in 2015 as part of the soap’s 30thanniversary storyline. Despite Madge having died from cancer 14 years earlier, she returned as a ghost to dispense advice to her beloved other half and help him move on from losing her.
“We actually couldn’t decide if she was a ghost or a figment of Harold’s imagination,” laughed Charleston as she and Smith were interviewed live from Harold’s coffee shop on Neighbours’ Melbourne set. “It would be hard for to go back again because they buried me!”
Smith recalled his character’s famous ‘death’ in 1991 when he was lost at sea, only to be brought back five years later with amnesia. “Nobody wanted Harold to go,” he recalled. “I didn’t want to go either! So I came back…”
The pair also revealed a behind-the-scenes secret from their wedding back in the early days of the show: “I had psoriasis on my hands, it was very bad and couldn’t put the wedding ring on my finger,” recalled Smith. “I actually married the director!” confessed Charleston. “They used his hand for the close up.”
Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy), Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) and Bonnie Anderson (Beth Nilssen) also appeared live from the Neighbours set in Melbourne as part of Loose Women’s special episode.
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