From Kylie to Chris Hemsworth, the stars whose careers began on Neighbours

Channel 5 is looking to invest in British-made content instead, leaving the future of the iconic show uncertain, as ITV News North of England Reporter Hannah Miller reports

After more than 30 years on British televisions, the future of Australian soap, Neighbours, is in doubt after Channel 5 confirmed it will stop airing it later this year.

The soap that was once aired twice a day on BBC1, became a much loved staple on UK TV and launched the career of many famous Australians.

Neighbours became a right of passage for many actors who went on to hit the big time in films and music.

Here are some of those famous Neighbours.

Kylie Minogue (Charlene Mitchell)

Possibly the most well known of the former Ramsay Street residents, Kylie played Charlene, whose romance with Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) - quite literally the boy next door - won many hearts.

The love birds walked down the aisle to great fanfare and when the episode aired in the UK on November 8, 1988 (and Angry Anderson's Suddenly became a number one hit), it was watched by 20 million British viewers.

Soon after her small screen wedding, Kylie launched her music career, while still filming Neighbours. She finally left the soap at the end of 1988 (the UK was over a year behind Australia meaning she appeared on our small screens as Charlene and on Top of the Pops for several months).

Liam Hemsworth (Josh Taylor)

Liam Hemsworth played Josh, who became a paraplegic after a surfing accident, from 2007 to 2008 on Neighbours before he left and became a household name in Hollywood.

Chris Hemsworth (Jamie Kane)

The man who went on to be Thor, Chris joined his brother Liam in Erinsborough for one episode in 2002. He then went onto to play Kim Hyde in rival Australian soap Home and Away (2004) before heading to LA and a life of a superhero.

Russell Crowe (Kenny Larkin)

Russell Crowe made his first of four appearances on September 21, 1987, a "small-time crook" a former cellmate of Henry Ramsay (Craig McLachlan). The character (and Crowe) left for good after a bust-up outside hotel bar, Lassiter's.

Guy Pearce (Mike Young)

Guy Pearce went on to be a Golden Globe winning Hollywood heavyweight, but for many Brits of a certain age, he will always be 'Mike from Neighbours' (Mr Pearce reportedly did not like visiting the UK as people would always call him 'Mike').

Mike lived with Des and Daphne Clarke, and was best mates with Charlene Mitchell and Scott Robinson. He left Erinsborough in 1989 after nearly three years on the show.

Margot Robbie (Donna Freedman)

Ms Robbie made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast in June 2008 as a guest character before going on to be a regular on Ramsay Street - a role she won two Logies (Australia's Baftas) for her portrayal of Donna.

She left after almost three years for Hollywood (her character, Donna headed for a fashion design school in New York).

Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson)

As the other half of Ramsay Street's great love story, Jason Donovan stayed on the show for a further 10 months after Kylie left to launch her music career.

Mr Donovan also enjoyed success in the UK charts after she swapped suburban Melbourne for London. His debut album Ten Good Reasons was the highest-selling album in the UK in 1989 and he had four UK No. 1 singles, including "Especially for You" - his 1988 duet with fellow Neighbours co-star Kylie Minogue. He later took the lead role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the early 1990s.

Mark Little (Joe Mangel)

Australian actor, television presenter, comedian and screen/stage writer, Mr Little is still best known in some quarters as Joe Mangel. His role was originally intended to last for three months but he was on the show for three years, before returning for four months in 2005.

Mr Little took part in Dancing on Ice in 2019 and has performed regularly at the Edinburgh Festival.

Holly Valance (Felicity Scully)

Ms Valance left Neighbours in 2002 after three years playing Felicity, or Flick, "a devoted feminist", who had a "very active social conscience," to concentrate on her music career.

Natalie Imbruglia (Beth Brennan)

Ms Imbruglia as Beth made her debut screen appearance in the episode broadcast on January 6, 1992 and is best remembered for her on-off-on again romance with surf hunk, Brad. After she left the fictional suburb, she achieved musical immortality as a pop star with the record breaking single Torn.

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