They both shot to fame in the Australian soap in the 1980s playing couple Scott and Charlene, and have both also had music careers.
Speaking to Scott Mills on BBC Radio 2, Donovan, 55, who is currently appearing in musical Grease in London’s West End, said that Minogue was “incredibly hardworking”.
He noted that even in the early days of the television show and the start of her chart career, you could see that the Padam Padam hitmaker had “a gift”.
“I always used to remember on Neighbours she would come in on set, I would be slogging my way over the script the night before and Kylie would read five pages on the day and just get all the lines right,” he said.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that one’s going to develop into the most amazing artist, but she has, and she’s just built on it.”
Donvan was asked if what Minogue was doing inspired him.
“Definitely,” he replied.
“Yeah, I was jealous,” he went on.
“God, I wanted... I was looking at it going, ‘I want some of that’, you know, and I talk very openly about that. I am very honest about that.”
Donovan and Minogue joined Neighbours in 1986, with Minogue waving goodbye to Ramsay Street in 1988 and Donovan following her.
They teamed up together in 1989 for duet Especially For You, which reached number 2 in the UK singles charts.