Madge Bishop returns to Neighbours as the soap turns 30

Anne Charleston and Ian Smith, aka Madge and Harold Bishop. Credit: Channel 5/Neighbours

Neighbours star Anne Charleston has admitted she was "dubious" about returning to the drama, because of the elaborate way her character had been written back in.

Stars of the Aussie soap opera past and present attended a party at the Cafe de Paris in London last night to celebrate the show's 30th anniversary.

Olympia and Holly Valance celebrate as Neighbours turns 30. Credit: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Charleston, Stefan Dennis, Tim Phillipps and Olympia Valance were among the cast who had flown over from Down Under especially to celebrate with British fans of the Channel 5 show, as well as former cast members Mark Little and Holly Valance.

Charleston, 72, played no-nonsense coffee shop owner Madge Bishop for 13 years, until her character died of cancer in 2001.

Anne Charleston at the Neighbours turns 30 event in London. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Madge is set to return for the 30th anniversary episodes in a vision to her widowed husband Harold Bishop, played by Ian Smith.

The actress compared her comeback to the infamous Dallas "shower scene", where Bobby Ewing returned from the dead as it had all been just a dream.

Charleston said working with Smith again was like "putting on a pair of old shoes".