Neighbours turns up the nostalgia for its 35th anniversary celebrations as five couples from different eras of the Aussie soap prepare to tie the knot, the twist being they all failed to make it down the aisle first time round for one reason or another.
The cursed characters, some of whom haven’t seen each other in decades, just happen to drift back to Erinsborough while the Lassiters wedding expo is in full flight. With romance in the air and a ready-made altar, who are the popular pairs hoping to get a belated happy ending? And what stopped them getting hitched in the first place?
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Jane Harris & Des Clarke
Back in the classic 1980s Kylie and Jason era, Plain Jane Superbrain and widowed bank manager dreary Des were an unlikely match so it’s no wonder their whirlwind engagement never went the distance. Jane abruptly left Erinsborough in 1989 to care for sick granny Mrs Mangel in the UK. She promised to come home to get wed but eventually dumped single dad Des remotely and settled overseas. Jane’s had rotten romantic luck since, most recently becoming the victim of a cat fishing scam. Will returning Des prove to be the one that got away?
Lucy Robinson & Mark Gottlieb
Paul Robinson’s bookish little sister was recast for a second time in 1991 in the shape of minxy Melissa Bell. In 1995 she fell for cute chef Mark Gottlieb, who jilted fiancée Annalise Hartman a few months earlier when he suddenly found God and chose religion over romance to become a priest. His vow of celibacy was challenged by his attraction to the raunchy Ms Robinson which put paid to any full-blown shenanigans, and frustrated Luce left town when she realised she couldn’t compete with the man upstairs.
Sky Mangel & Lana Crawford
Schoolgirls Sky and Lana had the soap’s first lesbian kiss back in 2004, which was headline news at the time. Lana had moved to Erinsborough High from Canada and confided in new BFF Sky she had been bullied for being gay by her former classmates. Their sweet crush never went further than a smooch before lovesick Lana decided to return home, and Sky became a mum and eventually moved away with little daughter Kerry to be nearer baby daddy Dylan Timmins. As Sky returns to Erinsborough secretly engaged in 2020, it appears her feelings for Lana went deeper than she was prepared to admit 16 years ago…
Paige Smith & Mark Brennan
Hunky, high maintenance cop Mark moved on from the murder of true love Kate Ramsay when he fell for hot housemate Paige. The tentative twosome were on and off more times than a light switch for much of the 2010s, but their wedding day in 2015 was wrecked by the groom having to arrest the bride who had been framed by a local crime ring to get to Mark. In between other relationships they reunited and almost got engaged again, only for Paige to end up pregnant by Father Jack Callahan who she left Erinsborough with in 2018. Fast forward two years and she’s wondering whether she chose the right man.
Prue Wallace & Gary Canning
Bringing us right up to date is this ill-advised union which has been met with such universal disapproval we’re not even sure it’ll even take place. Cupid hasn’t been kind to gormless Gary since he joined the show in 2014 – he lost the long-running battle for Terese Willis’s heart to arch-rival Paul, and came second in Amy Williams’ affections when she chose his son Kyle over him. Plunged into a shaky courtship with Harlow Robinson’s peripatetic mum, Gary is heading for a fall as flaky Prue still has unfinished business with creepy cult the Order. What is the future Mrs Canning hiding from her intended?
Plus… will Sheila Canning & Clive Gibbons get hitched?
A curveball coming at the end of anniversary week sees volatile couple Sheila and Clive spontaneously considering tying the knot. Following five days of wedding fever at Lassiters, the blonde battleaxe and heritage favourite are convinced they are receiving ‘signs’ from the universe they should get hitched – Sheila wins a voucher for swanky bridal gown, then catches Jane’s bouquet… so could #Shlive be the surprise sixth ceremony? Or will they have to wait until the next big anniversary to get their chance?
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