Home and Away's Channel 5 scheduling changes confirmed

·4-min read
Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5
Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5

It's the end of an era for Home and Away in the UK this week, as the long-running Aussie soap no longer airs in the evenings on Channel 5. (But don't worry, the show hasn't been dropped completely!)

Channel 5 bosses announced the news earlier this year, but some fans have been caught out by the scheduling change over the past few days.

Here's our quick guide to the Summer Bay shake-up and how UK fans can continue to get their daily fix of Home and Away.

Why is Home and Away not on Channel 5 in the evenings?

Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5
Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5

While Home and Away is still very much part of the Channel 5 schedule, station chiefs have cut the show from the 6pm slot as part of a wider shake-up of the evening line-up.

The changes started in June when Channel 5 applied for permission from broadcasting regulator Ofcom to merge its two weeknight news shows into a single programme.

Channel 5 used to air 30-minute news updates at 5pm and 6.30pm, but the station proposed that a single hour-long news slot from 5pm would better serve audiences.

Ofcom gave this the green light in September and, after a few weeks of planning the revamped news broadcast, Channel 5 has now made the change.

Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5
Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5

With the 5.30pm slot now taken up by news, fellow Aussie soap Neighbours has been moved up to 6pm – Home and Away's old slot.

Channel 5 now broadcasts quiz show Eggheads at 6.30pm and is likely to experiment with other shows in this slot in the coming months, leaving no room for Home and Away in the evenings.

Schedulers at the channel appear to have prioritised Neighbours, as the Ramsay Street soap achieves better ratings in the evenings than Home and Away does.

Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5
Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5

A Channel 5 spokesperson recently told Digital Spy: "As Channel 5 continues to attract larger audiences, its news output is an ever more crucial part of the offering it creates for viewers.

"Following Ofcom's approval of Channel 5's 5pm News Bulletin expansion, Home and Away will no longer air weekdays at 6pm on Channel 5."

But fear not, Summer Bay fans, as all is not lost…

How to watch Home and Away in the UK

Photo credit: Jeremy Greive - Channel 5
Photo credit: Jeremy Greive - Channel 5

Home and Away remains part of the Channel 5 schedule despite the loss of the 6pm slot.

The show still airs in the regular daytime slot of 1.15pm on Channel 5, while those who really grew attached to watching at 6pm can catch a repeat screening at this time on digital channel 5STAR. 5STAR is a free-to-air channel, so is available on all of the major platforms.

5STAR also still has a first-look screening of Home and Away at 6.30pm, which is one episode ahead of the Channel 5 broadcast. This regularly achieves strong viewing figures and is the highest-rated show on 5STAR, so won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Home and Away is also available to stream on Channel 5's on-demand service My5.

Will Home and Away take a break this year?

Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5
Photo credit: Endemol Shine - Channel 5

Here's the bad news: just when we've all had a chance to get used to the scheduling changes, Home and Away will indeed be taking a break.

The show traditionally disappears from screens at the end of each year and returns after Christmas. 2021 will be no exception, with the break coming soon.

As Digital Spy recently revealed, the final Home and Away episode of the year airs on 5STAR on Friday, November 19 at 6.30pm and on Channel 5 on Monday, November 22 at the one-off time of 12.30pm.

Home and Away then returns with the 5STAR first look on Friday, December 31 at 6.30pm and on Channel 5 on Monday, January 3 at 1.15pm.

The final episode of the year for UK fans will feature a cliffhanger, as Tane Parata's secret stalker carries out a deadly attack at local restaurant Salt, so it's definitely one not to miss.

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia). Selected classic episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

Read more Home and Away spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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