Neighbours announce return of past favourites for finale

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Mark Little is among the stars returning to Neighbours credit:Bang Showbiz
Mark Little is among the stars returning to Neighbours credit:Bang Showbiz

Ian Smith, Daniel MacPherson, and Natalie Bassingthwaite are among the stars returning for the Neighbours' finale.

The Australian soap is set to end this summer after 37 years on screen and following the announcement Erinsborough's most famous former residents, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan will be reprising their roles as Scott and Charlene Robinson to say goodbye to the show, programme bosses have announced a further string of past favourites who will be back to say farewell.

Ian, 83, is proud to be returning as Harold Bishop.

He said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be back. I'm the biggest sook under the sun. I'm going to be shocking on the last night that 'Neighbours' airs. It really will be an end of an era and I am so proud to have been a part of it.”

Joining Kylie and Jason in representing the 1980s are Mark Little, Paul Keane, and Peter O'Brien, who played Joe Mangle, Des Clarke and Shane Ramsay, while Daniel will be back as hunk Joel Samuels to represent the 1990s era alongside Melissa Bell (Lucy Robinson), Benjamin McNair (Mal Kennedy), and Leslie Baker (Angie Rebecchi).

Daniel said: “Joining 'Neighbours' at age 17, little did I know, was going to kick start a career that continues to be the adventure of a lifetime. To go back and play Joel one more time, was a small way to show my enormous gratitude to cast, crew and fans of the show.”

Natalie is thrilled to be representing the 00s by returning as Izzy Hoyland, while Pippa Black and Jordan Patrick Smith will be back as Paul Robinson's kids Elle and Andrew, as will Chris Milligan as Kyle Canning and Morgan Baker as Callum Rebecchi.

She said: “It is such an honour to be invited back to celebrate the end of an era. I can’t wait to bring Izzy back to life, reunite with the cast and send off Neighbours with a bang.”

Other returnees include Olympia Valance as Paige Smith, James Mason as Chris Pappas, Jodi Gordon as Elly Conway, Zoe Cramond as Amy Williams, Kate Kendall as Lauren Turner, Ben Hall as Ned Willis, and Olivia Junkeer as Yashvi Rebecchi.

The soap's Executive Producer, Jason Herbison, said: “Whether the eighties, nineties, noughties or teens is your favourite decade, we will be delivering something for everyone as 'Neighbours' draws to a close. Alongside the current cast we will be celebrating the most memorable characters from across many eras, with a few surprises up our sleeve.”

The final episode will air on 1 August.

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