Neighbours could be set to face the axe after nearly four decades as Channel 5 cancels the Australian soap.
Channel 5 confirmed the news and explained the money will be dedicated to investing in original British dramas.
According to SkyNews, a statement said, “Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer.
“It has 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.
“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.”
Channel 5’s decision means that unless Network 10 and Freemantle can find another UK channel to broadcast the Ramsay Street soap, it will face the axe entirely, as Channel 5 currently foots most of the production bill.
A spokesperson for Network 10 said, “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.
“Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner.”
There are still 1.2 million UK viewers of the soap, which shot Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan to fame in the eighties, who are all devastated over the news and have launched a #SaveNeighbours campaign on social media.
One fan tweeted, “I’ve watched Neighbours for my entire life. It’s brought me joy, escapism and comfort when I’ve needed it. It’s introduced me to many amazing people who care so deeply about the show. It’s more than just a TV show for me and many others, it’s a community. #SaveNeighbours”
Another said, “Dear @neighbours @Channel5Press please give us hardcore fans a statement about the rumours in the Sun! We’re all literally clinging onto hope like Terese dangling off Lassiters roof. We bloomin adore the show & can’t face the thought of it being axed #Neighbours #saveNeighbours.”
According to The Sun, bosses are looking to the show’s most famous actors to save the soap.
An insider revealed, “Channel 5 pay Fremantle Australia many millions of pounds every year and, sadly, there’s a shortfall of about £5million in what it brings back in through advertising.
“There’s a lot of disbelief and sadness among those who know it’s struggling.
“They are currently in the process of approaching a number of former cast members, including Kylie, to make a special return.
“If it’s the end, it really would be something special to have her back in Ramsay Street one last time.”
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