Jason Donovan appeals to save 'Neighbours' after axe announcement

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Jason Donovan hopes that a UK distributor will save 'Neighbours'. (Getty Images)
Jason Donovan hopes that a UK distributor will save 'Neighbours'. (Getty Images)

Jason Donovan has appealed for a UK distributor to save Neighbours, following the announcement the Australian soap is to be axed later this year.

The 53-year-old actor and singer found fame playing Scott Robinson in the show in the 1980s, opposite Kylie Minogue as his sweetheart Charlene Mitchell, and they both went on to launch pop careers following the release of duet 'Especially For You' in 1988.

Donovan tweeted: "@Neighbours changed the Australian television landscape. It launched many careers over decades including mine. Engaged and entertained audiences for generations.

"Hoping that it will find a new home with another UK broadcaster and continue to provide opportunity and entertainment."

Read more: Jason Donovan's daughter lands Neighbours role

In 2019 Donovan's daughter Jemma Donovan was cast as Harlow Robinson in the soap.

Channel 5 has confirmed it will no longer air Neighbours in the UK from the summer.

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as Charlene and Scott Robinson (Credit: Neighbours/Grundy Television)
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as Charlene and Scott Robinson (Credit: Neighbours/Grundy Television)

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that production company Fremantle Media has informed staff that filming will stop indefinitely after June 10 due to a lack of broadcast partner offering financial backing.

A spokesperson for the Channel 5 said: "Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer.

"It's 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.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan pictured together on the set of neighbours when they played the Aussie soap’s resident sweethearts.Melbourne.January 01 1990 in Melbourne, Australia
(Photo by Impressions / Getty Images)
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan pictured together on the set of Neighbours in 1990 when they played the Aussie soap’s resident sweethearts (Impressions / Getty Images)

"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."

The soap airs on Channel Ten in Australia but they need a partner backer to continue production.

Neighbours began in 1985 and was shown on BBC One in the UK until 2008 when it moved to Channel 5.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 02: Margot Robbie attends Warner Bros. Premiere of
Margot Robbie made her name playing Donna Freedman in 'Neighbours'. (Getty Images)

The show helped launch the careers of many Australian actors including Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Liam and Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Spencer, Natalie Imbruglia, and Alan Dale.

Neighbours has always had a strong link to its British audience with storylines set in the UK as well as guest stars appearing in the soap Down Under.

Amanda Holden filming her 'Neighbours' cameo with Jemma Donovan in London. (C5/PA/Fremantle)
Amanda Holden filming her 'Neighbours' cameo with Jemma Donovan in London. (C5/PA/Fremantle)

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden was last year cast in a guest role in Australian soap which was filmed in London in the autumn and is due to air later this year.

Read more: 'Neighbours' actor Shareena Clanton alleges racism on set

Other British guest stars include Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Denise Van Outen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Ryan Thomas and Janet Street-Porter.

Watch: The Neighbours theme tune in 2022

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