The show will air its final episode in August.
Fremantle confirmed the return of the ‘iconic couple’ via the official Neighbours Social media accounts earlier today, following Tweets by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue showing parts of a script that featured the names of their characters Scott and Charlene.
The luring back of Donovan and Minogue was kept so secret that even the cast of the Aussie soap was in the dark about the comeback which will form part of the final episode of the long-running saga.
Neighbours Executive Producer Jason Herbison:
“Scott and Charlene are the ultimate Neighbours couple and it would not feel right to end the show without them. We are thrilled that Jason and Kylie have come home to play a very special part in our series finale. It has been an emotional experience for them, for us and I’m sure it will be for our viewers.”
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan became the show’s top couple as Charlene Mitchell and Scott Robinson in the 1980s, with the highlight seeing the pair married in 1988. The characters, after moving away from Ramsay Street in the same year, have had a happy marriage ever since – thanks to never being seen on screen since then. However, the brief return gives fans a chance to catch up with the pair as the show concludes after nearly 9,000 episodes. Was it really happy ever after? Will they be moving back to the cul-de-sac? Will they do Karaoke to the theme as the credits roll?
Earlier this year Channel 5 announced it was ending its funding of the programme to concentrate on more UK based dramas. Production company and Australian broadcaster Fremantle and Network 10 said the show wouldn’t be able to continue without a UK partner. The series is expected to wind-up production within the next month.
Created by Crossroads’ executive Reg Watson Neighbours has been part of the British television landscape since 1986, having arrived a year earlier in Australia. Originally airing on BBC One, the show commanded huge ratings in the 1980s and early 1990s making household names of the cast including Stefan Dennis as Paul Robinson, Alan Dale as Jim Robinson, Guy Pierce as Mike Young, Ian Smith as Harold Bishop, Anne Haddy as Helen Daniels and Anne Charleston as Madge Mitchell.
Fremantle Statement released in March:
“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”
Neighbours originally aired on BBC One in the UK between 1986 and 2008, before Channel 5 bought the rights to the show to make an ‘Aussie Soap Hour‘ having previously gained the rights to Seven Network’s Home and Away, in 2000, which had aired on ITV since 1989. It joined the network’s line-up in 2001. Home and Away is not affected by Channel 5’s discontinuing of its cul-de-sac counterpart.