Channel 5 boss Ben Frow has spoken out on Neighbours' axing, saying that funds for the Australian soap can be "better spent" on UK programming.


Frow was speaking exclusively to Radio Times Magazine, and you'll be able to read the interview in its entirety when the magazine's latest issue is released tomorrow.

Discussing the decision to bring Neighbours to an end, the channel's controller explains that it was “a business decision”.

Asked whether there was a point where Frow could have put in more money to continue making the show for its UK audience, he says that was certainly one option; before elaborating on the alternative choice.

“Yes," he replies. "Or I could spend the money on other things, which is what I decided to do. I can better spend the Neighbours money on UK shows.”

As the subject of the only remaining Australian soap, Home and Away, is broached, is this show also under threat? Frow says not. “No. But I think it will be interesting to see what we do with it as we evolve.

"There might be somewhere else to put it in the 5 spectrum. But it’s a life-of-series deal, so it’s not going anywhere until the makers decide to cancel it.”

Frow's reflection on Neighbours comes as he reveals he had a vision for "British shows for British viewers" upon taking control of Channel 5. This outlook led him to drop US shows such as CSI and The Mentalist. His first big hit came with The Yorkshire Vet, and a popular remake of Yorkshire-based drama All Creatures Great And Small eventually followed.

Neighbours is due to conclude on 29th July at 9pm, and will be followed by two specials to air directly after the primetime finale. An array of stars are reprising their roles for the soap's swan song, including Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan who have been seen in character for the first time in over 30 years.

Read more:

Radio Times

Neighbours' final episode premieres on Friday 29th July at 9pm, followed by Neighbours: What Happened Next? at 10:05pm and Neighbours: The Stars' Greatest Hits at 11:30pm on Channel 5. Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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