ITV News Correspondent Ian Woods reports on the end of a show that launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and many more
Old favourites and famous faces joined an emotional cast and crew for the filming of the final episode of long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours.
The globally-recognised soap opera first aired in 1985 and followed the lives of those living and working in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough.
Executive producer Jason Herbison said: “Of course, it is sad and tears were shed, but we’re also enormously proud. 37 years is an incredible achievement and that should be celebrated.
“We’ve also been incredibly touched by the response from our viewers all over the world.“
Ms Minogue, who played Charlene Robinson in the series until 1986, said she had felt "quite a bit of pressure" to return for the finale.
She told the Late Night with Seth Meyers: "I was only in the show for two and a half years. But it just exploded – England just went crazy about it. So it's been with me ever since and it's been a large part of how I entered into the music industry.
"The show was played twice a day, and people would bunk off school, they changed the office hours."
She added: "They're finishing the show, and there was quite a bit of pressure for me to go back, so I shot my scenes back in Australia."
Her on-screen husband, Jason Donovan, who played Scott, also returned for the final episode.
Stefan Dennis, who has played the villainous Paul Robinson on and off throughout the show’s 37-year history, described the last day of filming as “a melancholy day” to the Australian breakfast programme Studio 10 on Friday.
The actor said he “surprised himself” by becoming incredibly emotional while shooting the last scenes, admitting that he had to keep a “very low profile” in order to avoid becoming “an absolute mess”.
One of the most memorable episodes was the wedding of Scott and Charlene
He also revealed that Diana, Princess of Wales and the Queen Mother had both been big fans of Neighbours and would specifically request tapes from the BBC in order to catch up on episodes missed during royal engagements.
The final episode, due to broadcast on August 1, will see fan favourites from throughout the years return to the cul-de-sac community of Ramsay Street to bid the soap farewell.
Memento star Guy Pearce, who started his career playing Mike Young in the Australian soap, reprised his role back in Ramsay Street.
Ms Minogue said Mr Pearce had "just filmed his little return as well, so we're all going to cry".
Joining them will be Peter O’Brien who appeared in the show’s first episode as Shane Ramsay, as well as Ian Smith who played Harold Bishop, Mark Little who played Joe Mangel and Paul Keane who played Des Clarke.
Among those returning from the 2000s era are Chris Milligan who played Kyle Canning, Morgan Baker as Callum Rebecchi, Natalie Bassingthwaighte who played Izzy Hoyland and James Mason as Chris Pappas.
Pippa Black who played Elle Robinson and her on-screen brother Jordan Patrick Smith who played Andrew Robinson will also return.
Olympia Valance who starred as Paige Smith in the latest era of the show will be back, alongside Jodi Anasta as Elly Conway, Zoe Cramond who played Amy Williams and Kate Kendall as Lauren Turner.
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