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Kylie Minogue and Guy Pearce lead tributes to ‘Neighbours’

The long-running Australian soap has been cancelled after 37 years

By Joe Goggins

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan in 'Neighbours', 1987
Minogue played Charlene to Jason Donovan's Scott on the show from 1986 to 1988. (Photo: Network Ten)

Kylie Minogue and Guy Pearce have led the tributes to ‘Neighbours’, which is being axed after 37 years.

The future of the long-running Australian soap was thrown into serious jeopardy last month when Channel 5 announced they would cease to air the series beyond this summer; they had provided the bulk of its budget since 2008. It is believed there was a £5million shortfall between the channel’s outlay to production company Fremantle and ‘Neighbours’ advertising revenue.

The subsequent search for alternative funding has proved fruitless, meaning that production on the much-loved show will end in August. The final episode will air soon afterwards. A statement in a series of posts on the show’s official Twitter account today (March 3) read: “We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in June. Following the loss of our key broadcast partner in the UK and despite an extensive search for alternative funding, we simply have no option but to rest the show.”

The statement continued: “To our amazing, loyal fans, we know this is a huge disappointment, as it is to all of us on the team. We thank you for all your messages and support and promise to end the show on an incredible high. From here on, we are celebrating ‘Neighbours’.”

Kylie Minogue, who shot to fame as Charlene Robinson in the 1980s before launching a hugely successful pop career, was among the first to pay tribute. “I’ll be forever grateful for the experience & the friends I made on ‘Neighbours’,” she said. We had no idea how big the show would become and how passionately viewers would take it to heart. Pure love! I can still hear Madge calling … CHARLENE!!!!”

Guy Pearce, meanwhile, who played Mike Young on the show from 1986 to 1989 before heading to Hollywood, also reacted to the news. “I’m so sorry to hear ‘Neighbours’ will end,” said the ‘L.A. Confidential’ star. “Aside from being the incredible launch pad it’s been no one can deny the effect it’s had throughout millions of homes around the world. It’s bonded all of us in immeasurable ways. A true honour to have been a part of it. Great memories.”

‘Neighbours’ was also responsible for launching the careers of Margot Robbie, Jason Donovan, Natalie Imbruglia and Liam Hemsworth, among others. Filming is set to wrap for the final time on June 10, with the last-ever episodes airing in August.