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The beloved Australian soap opera Neighbours is coming to an end this week after a 37-year run, with a star-studded finale.
Over the years, the show has proved to be a launching pad for young Australian actors on their way to superstardom – read here about how Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue’s Scott and Charlene were the original Ross and Rachel.
The Independent has collated a list of the castmembers from years gone by who are returning for the show’s anticipated send-off.
Kylie Minogue– Charlene Robinson
Minogue played Charlene Robinson from 1986 to 1988 before leaving to focus on her singing career. While it’s safe to say Minogue’s decision paid off, she has Neighbours to thank for the inception of her stardom.
Jason Donovan – Scott Robinson
Donovan appeared as Scott Robinson from 1985 to 1989. The actor’s heartthrob character was wed to Minogue’s Charlene, forming a firm fan-favourite couple. In real life, Donovan followed in the Minogue’s footsteps, launching a singing career before returning to acting in the 1990s.
Natalie Imbruglia – Beth Brennan
Imbruglia played Beth Brennan from 1992-1996. Imbruglia reunites with fellow London-based Australian Holly Vance for a short scene in the finale that shows their characters bumping into each other in London and reminiscing about their time on Ramsay Street.
Guy Pearce – Mike Young
Pearce is yet another global star whose career was launched by the Australian soap. He won the role of Mike Young straight out of high school with no professional acting experience. Mike was abused by his father David Young (Stewart Faichney), which led to an outpour from fans who had also been abused by their fathers.
Margot Robbie– Donna Freedman
Perhaps the most famous star born out of the epic soap, Robbie played Donna Freedman from 2008 to 2011. Her character was originally an obsessive fan of musician Ty Harper (Dean Geyer) before being written into a full-time cast member of the series. Network 10 said Robbie’s return to Neighbours will be a “small cameo role”.
Delta Goodrem – Nina Tucker
Singer Goodrem played Nina Tucker from 2002 to 2005. She was was approached by producers after they saw her video for her debut single, “Born To Try”. The show helped launch her music career as she performed the single during an episode, sending it straight to the top of the Australian charts.
Holly Valance – Flick Scully
Valance played Felicity “Flick” Scully from 1999 to 2002. Valance went on to launch a singing career and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. She is currently married to British property developer Nick Candy, one of the richest men in the UK, with whom she shares two children.
Daniel MacPherson – Joel Samuels
MacPherson played Joel Samuels from 1998 to 2002, after joining the cast when he was just 17. His character was the roommate of Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Maloney) and returns in the finale to celebrate Rebecchi’s marriage with Melanie Pearson.
Ian Smith – Harold Bishop
Smith first played Harold Bishop from 1987-1991 before returning to the role from 1996 to 2009 and briefly in 2011. The character was one of the longest serving in soap history and was put through the wringer with two dead wives, two dead children, a dead grandchild and a dead daughter-in-law.
Peter O’Brien – Shane Ramsay
O’Brien played Shane Ramsay from 1985 to 1987. Shane had a series of dramatic storylines, including training to be an Olympic swimmer and being involved in two car crashes, the second of which killed Jean Richards (Margot Knight).
Melissa Bell – Lucy Robinson
Bell was the third actor to portray Lucy Robinson, doing so on-and-off from 1991. The stereotypical “ditzy blonde” character has been involved in incest, drugs, alcoholism and battled a brain tumour, to name just a few trials she’s faced.
Paul Keane – Des Clarke
Keane played Des from 1985 to 1990, appearing in the show’s first episode. The show took its toll on Clarke; he later revealed that he was delighted when it was briefly cancelled by Channel Seven. "Neighbours was my first job. I couldn’t believe how hard it was. I was exhausted. When it ended at Channel Seven I thought, ‘Thank God, I can go home.’ But then Ten picked it up. I was devastated,” he said.
Mark Little – Joe Mangel
Little portrayed Joe Mangel from 1988 to 1991. Joe is a caricature of a hard-drinking labourer and will make his cameo for the finale during a video call with Harold Bishop (Ian Smith).
Natalie Bassingthwaighte – Izzy Hoyland
Bassingthwaight portrayed Izzy Hoyland from 2003 to 2007. She played Max Hoyland’s (Stephen Lovatt) younger sister until deciding to depart the series to focus on her singing career.
Olympia Valance – Paige Smith
Valance played Paige Smith from 2014–2018. She was already a successful model before starring in the series as as the biological daughter of Brad Willis (Kip Gamblin) and Lauren Carpenter (Kate Kendall).
Kym Valentine – Libby Kennedy
Valentine portrayed Libby Kennedy from 1994 to 2005 and 2007 to 2011. Libby was notably involved in a motorbike accident before losing husband Drew Kirk who dies after being thrown from a horse.
Jesse Spencer – Billy Kennedy
Spencer played Kennedy from 1994 to 2000. After leaving the show, Spencer moved to the US where he starred in House and then Chicago Fire.
Benji McNair – Mal Kennedy
McNair played Mal Kennedy from 1994 to 1997 as well as having a smattering of brief returns over the years. McNair joined the cast as the eldest sibling of the Kennedy family.
Pippa Black – Elle Robinson
Black starred as Elle Robinson from 2005 to 2009. Her character was manipulative: she carried out scams and plots against other characters.
Jordan Patrick Smith – Andrew Robinson
Smith played Andrew Robinson from 1991 to 1992 before returning in 2009 to 2013. His backstory was changed retrospectively in order to explain his Scottish accent.
Carla Bonner – Steph Scully
Bonner played Steph Scully from ââ1999 to 2010 before reprising her role from 2015 to 2018. Steph is the eldest daughter of Joe (Shane Connor) and Lyn Scully (Janet Andrewartha).
Morgan Baker – Callum Rebecchi
Baker played Callum Rebechhi from 2008 to 2015. During the show it was revealed that Toadie’s partner, Sonya Mitchell (Eve Morey), was Callum’s biological mother.
Lesley Baker – Angie Rebecchi
Baker initially played Angie Rebecchi from 1995 to 1996 before reprising her role on numerous occasions as the years went on.
The last ever episode of Neighbours airs on Channel 5 at 9pm on Friday 29 July.