It's the end of an era, as beloved Aussie soap Neighbours is expected to air its final episode this summer after Channel 5 announced that it would no longer be broadcasting it.


Dominating our small screens for almost four decades, the soap opera follows the tumultuous lives of residents on the fictional Ramsay Street, and has been pivotal in the careers of many Hollywood stars; Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth and Margot Robbie all began their career on Ramsay Street.

The longest-running drama series on Australian television, Neighbours continues to bring in 1.5 million viewers in the UK each day it airs. It began on BBC One in 1986 before moving to Channel 5 in 2008. If no other broadcaster picks it up, it is scheduled to end this summer.

However, the soap plans to go out with a bang, with favourite former cast members returning to Ramsay Street for the soap's big finale.

Here's everything we know about what to expect from the final episode and when it will air below...

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When is Neighbours ending?

Channel 5 recently released a statement confirming that it will no longer be broadcasting Neighbours "beyond this summer".

A spokesperson said: "Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer. It's been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we'd like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series."

They added: "We'd also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years. We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers."

Fremantle Media executive producer Jason Herbison told staff and crew that the show's future had been uncertain for a while now and that although he'd love for it to find another broadcaster, it needed to be "rested".

Australian broadcaster Channel 10 released a statement to similar effect, adding: "As outlined in the email to Neighbours cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward. Channel 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide further updates as they become available."

However, long-running star Alan Fletcher told This Morning that hope of the show having a last-minute reprieve was slim.

"Now, if somewhere down the track, a different type of Neighbours was born or a different funder came along, of course, that would be marvellous," noted Fletcher. "But the reality is the show really must end in August and finish production in June."

At present, no other broadcaster partner has come forward to pick up the soap, so we're still expecting the finale to air in August 2022.

Who is returning for the final episodes of Neighbours?

It's not all doom and gloom, as Neighbours fans can expect to see some Ramsay Street favourites returning for the soap's finale. Alan Fletcher, who plays Karl Kennedy, has confirmed that Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) will be back for the big farewell.
"I do know that it has been announced the wonderful Harold Bishop will return to Ramsay Street towards the end of the show," Fletcher told This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield in February. "Someone from Karl's sordid past is definitely coming back and there are many, many other names in the pot.

"I can assure you that the producers are working very, very hard to try and entice some of the most loved characters from Neighbours to at least make some appearances."


He wasn't able to confirm whether big name stars who kickstarted their career on the show – such as Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan – would be back, although he did concede: "I can't give away any spoilers on that yet but that's going to be the joy of those last episodes. Just sitting there and going 'oh look who's here!'"

Kylie and Jason played married couple Charlene and Scott respectively in the soap between 1985 and 1989.

Meanwhile, Natalie Imbruglia – who recently won The Masked Singer – said she'd consider returning to reprise her role as apprentice builder Beth Brennan.

"I would consider going back, I think it would be lovely to walk through those doors. I mean, I probably won't recognise anyone – not even my [on screen] son," she told the Mirror.

Ben Hall plays Beth's on-screen son Ned Willis, whom Beth had with long-time love Brad Willis.

Is there any hope of Neighbours being saved?

Neighbours' Australian broadcaster Channel 10 had seemed optimistic that the production company Fremantle will find a new production partner to continue the show.

However, as time has gone on, it is seeming less and less likely, with Fletcher noting that production will finish in June and the final episode airing in August.

Fans of the soap have already begun using #SaveNeighbours on social media in a bid to encourage support for the soap's survival.

Neighbours usually airs on Channel 5 on Weekdays at 1:45pm. A repeat of the episode also airs later in the day at 5:30pm.


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