This is like a real life story straight from the heart of Erinsborough.
Only last week we enjoyed the massive high of discovering that the next week’s (which now means THIS WEEK’s) episodes of Neighbours had been filmed in London – but now we experience a crushing low by hearing that the legendary soap might be leaving UK screens following a ‘contract row’ with Channel 5.
If only Helen Daniels was around to offer moral and emotional guidance to help us through this difficult time.
The show celebrated its 32nd birthday on Saturday, being first broadcast back on March 18, 1985 and has made its way through an astonishing 7,560 episodes (as of Friday). Originally broadcast on the BBC, it hit its popularity peak in 1990, when 21 million viewers would sit down to watch the exploits of the Ramsay Street residents. However, viewing figures dipped in the following years – but remained, relatively, high – and it moved to Channel 5 in 2008, where it has remained – until now.
Now though, The Sunday People (and when have they ever been wrong) are reporting that talks over the show’s UK rights, between Channel 5 and makers Freemantle Media, have broken down.
An unnamed source (so definitely real) told them: "The renegotiation of the Neighbours Channel 5 deal has become very fraught and is in jeopardy. Channel 5 really want to keep the show. But the failure to reach a deal is being blamed on Channel 5's new American owners Viacom for refusing to sign off on the figures and not understanding the cultural importance of the show in the UK. Neighbours has become a British TV favourite and it would be a sad day if it were to go."
Yeah you American bastards, first you vote in Trump and now you try to take Neighbours away from us? Consider the special relationship OVER (until we need to sort out a trade deal, yeah?)
Naturally, because this is 2017 and it’s the only form of protest that consistently works, with proven results (Ed: check this), a petition to save the show has been launched, by people who need good neighbours in their lives and are angry that they might be taken away from them. Here is a screenshot of it, and you can add your voice which will be listened to by, erm, someone we’re sure, by clicking here.
Even Adele has seemingly been showing support, visiting Ramsay Street to hang out with Dr Karl Kennedy:
The show gets around a million viewers per show and remains more popular than in its native Australia, where 200,000 viewers tune in on channel Eleven.
Just because, here’s a clip of the Pet Shop Boys’ Chris Lowe appearing on Neighbours in 1995.