Fans of the popular soap Neighbours are unwilling to accept the show’s possible cancellation, with a petition to rescue it garnering more than 50,000 signatures.
Neighbours fans have taken to Change.org to save Ramsay Street as filming halts in Australia after word came that the long-running soap may be removed off the air in the UK.
The fear comes after Channel 5, Neighbours’ largest backer, said that they would not be extending their contract or continuing to fund the show.
The Change.org petition has 54,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning, with fans urging Channel 5 to “find a solution to keep Neighbours on the air.”
“Our audience remains steady and Channel 10 would love the show to continue if we could find another broadcast partner to replace [Channel 5],” executive producer Jason Herbison said last week.
“These discussions are ongoing, however, there is no new broadcaster at the moment and production must end, effectively resting the show.
“We are so proud of the show, you all and everything that you’ve achieved. But for now, this chapter is closing and we want to work together to give Neighbours the amazing send-off it deserves.”
Natalie Imbruglia is one of many former cast members who has lent her support to the Save Neighbours movement.
“Oh I think it’s really sad!” she said of the situation. “I mean, who wants life without Neighbours? Let’s face it,” she said.
Rob Mills, who played teacher Finn Kelly from 2017 to 2021, indicated that the show could be preserved if the Australian government stepped in to help.
“Thousands of employment in the arts have been created as a result of something like Neighbours.” I believe the government could intervene. “It’s possible that Screen Victoria will intervene,” he told A Current Affair.
Meanwhile, Jackie Woodburne, who has played Susan Kennedy on the show for 27 years, is hopeful that it will be renewed.
“It’s been a rollercoaster absolutely … the last 24 hours or 36 hours as you can imagine,” she told the panel during an appearance on The Project.
“It’s kind of a lot of information to try and process, but I still feel a bit in shock, a bit overwhelmed,” she admitted.
The soap’s production is slated to wrap up in June, with a Channel 5 spokesman stating that “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.”
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