Neighbours: Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan finally return to soap
Neighbours finale: Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan FINALLY make much-anticipated return to Ramsay Street as Margot Robbie and Holly Valance also reprise their fan favourite roles for the soap opera’s star-studded last ever episode
- WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR UK VIEWERS
- Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan have made their epic return to Neighbours, arriving back on Ramsay Street for the soap’s final ever episode
- The Channel 5 soap first aired in 1985 and has been on screens for 37 years, but in March it was announced the Australian series was being axed
- The finale was packed with appearances from long-gone characters as fans were given a nostalgic glimpse at Neighbours, with characters flipping through photo albums
- The finale centered around Toadie’s (Ryan Moloney) wedding to Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) as many familiar faces reunited for the ceremony
- As well as Kylie and Jason making a final appearance, there were also epic returns made by Margot Robbie (Donna Freedman), Holly Valance (Flick Scully)
- And Kylie and Jason’s beloved characters Charlene and Scott Robinson made their entrance to the garden party after as they pulled up in their car
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan have finally made their epic return to Neighbours, joining a host of stars including Margot Robbie and Holly Valance arriving back on Ramsay Street for the soap’s final ever episode.
The Channel 5 soap first aired in 1985 and has been on screens for 37 years, but in March it was announced the Australian series was being axed after 8,903 episodes with the finale airing in Australia on Thursday and on Friday evening in the UK.
The finale was jam-packed with appearances from long-gone characters as fans were given a nostalgic glimpse through Neighbours’ history, with characters tearfully flipping through photo albums, a lingering melancholic piano score and the odd in-joke.
They’re back! Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan have made their epic return to Neighbours, arriving back on Ramsay Street for the soap’s final ever episode
Reunion: In the emotional scenes, the couple were seen leaning against their car, as they took in the surroundings and reminisced on their time together in the town
The finale centered around Toadie’s (Ryan Moloney) wedding to Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) as many familiar faces reunited for the picturesque lakeside ceremony and street party afterwards, while other pals – including Margot Robbie’s Donna Freedman) – sent their well wishes in sweet video messages to mark the big day.
And appearing on screens once again, Kylie and Jason’s beloved characters Charlene and Scott Robinson made their much-anticipated entrance to the garden party as they pulled up on Ramsay Street in their recognisable green Mini before surprising their pals.
The couple returned to Erinsborough for the first time since they bid farewell to the suburb and moved to Brisbane after tying the knot in a romantic wedding ceremony more than 30 years ago.
As well as Kylie and Jason making a final appearance on the show, there were also epic returns made by Holly Valance (Flick Scully), Natalie Imbruglia (Beth Brennan), Guy Pearce (Mike Young) and Ian Smith (Harold Bishop) as they reprised their roles on the soap opera.
Sweet: As the characters returned to the show, real life exes Kylie and Jason’s famous duet Especially For You could be heard playing in the background in a crossover moment
Star-studded: As well as Kylie and Jason making a final appearance on the show, there was also an epic return made by Margot Robbie as Donna Freedman (pictured) as she appeared in a video message for Toadie’s wedding day
Dedicated: Neighbours fans rugged up as they gathered at Federation Square in Melbourne to watch the beloved iconic Australian soap’s finale
They were joined by Daniel MacPherson, (Joel Samuels), Peter O’Brien (Shane Ramsay), Natalie Bassingthwaighte, (Izzy Hoyland), Mark Little (Joe Mangel) and Paul Keane, who memorably played Des Clarke.
Also appearing in the finale were Annie Jones (Jane Harris), Anne Charleston, who portrayed matriarch Madge Bishop, Jacinta Stapleton (Amy Greenwood), and Delta Goodrem (Nina Tucker).
And stars from more recent years on the soap joined the episode, including Olympia Valance (Paige Smith), Jodi Gordon (Elly Conway), Zoe Cramond (Amy Williams) and Kate Kendall (Lauren Turner).
With Ben Hall (Ned Willis), Olivia Junkeer (Yashvi Rebecchi) and Zima Anderson (Roxy Willis) completing the line-up of Neighbours alumni returning.
Happily ever after: The Neighbours finale, which aired in Australia on Thursday, centered around Toadie’s wedding to Melani
Reunited: Holly Valance (Felicity Scully) was also among the iconic stars who returned for the finale
Famous faces: Natalie Imbruglia, who played Beth Brennan, also returned to the show
The much-anticipated final episode focused on Ramsay Street favourite Toadie, played by Ryan Moloney, finally getting his happy ending as he tied the knot with Melanie (Lucinda Cowden), surrounded by familiar faces.
After two decades of storylines which saw his wife Dee go missing on their honeymoon, his second wife Sonya tragically die from cancer, and Dee coming back from the dead, Toadie’s marriage was the perfect end point for the soap after 37 years on air.
And the romantic wedding also saw celebrity appearances made by Margot Robbie and Delta Goodrem as the happy couple were played a montage of video messages from Toadie’s pals to mark their big day.
Toadie and Melanie got hitched in a ceremony officiated by the lake by his old friend Susan Kennedy, before a party on Ramsay Street to celebrate.
The bride recited emotional vows to Toadie as their friends looked on, telling him: ‘Before I met you, I thought I was done. Finito! Send in the clowns! She’s never going to meet anyone ever again!
Kiss the bride: Long-standing Ramsay Street favourite Toadie, played by Ryan Moloney, finally got his happy ending as he tied the knot with Melanie (Lucinda Cowden),
Love: The bride recited emotional vows to Toadies as their friends looked on, telling him: ‘Before I met you, I thought I was done. Finito!’
Friends and neighbours: Toadie and Melanie got hitched in a ceremony by the lake officiated by his old friend Susan Kennedy
‘But then, I met you. And what started with tiger print… ..ended up being the happiest, of my entire life. most loving relationship Nell, Hugo, Cal, you’ve given me the family that I’ve always wanted. And I’d like to remember your very special mummy today too.’
Later, it was down to Karl Kennedy to spring a surprise on the newlyweds, telling Toadie: ‘You’re like a son to us. Well, that’s ridiculous, isn’t it?’
‘Toad, you ARE a son to us. Toadie, Melanie, the kids, you’re part of our family, and you always will be.’
‘Of course, today has special significance because you’re leaving Ramsay Street. The street is not going to be the same without you, and we’re not the only ones who think that.’
‘Some of our old neighbours who couldn’t be here have sent you some messages.’
Karl played a video with messages from Toadie’s old pals, featuring a huge selection of cameos including Margot Robbie’s Donna Freedman, much to the delight of fans.
Familiar faces: Harold Bishop was one of the many returning characters for the finale
Home sweet home: The couple celebrated their marriage with a street party back home after the lakeside ceremony
Guy Pearce (pictured), known for his role as Mike Young, also made an appearance on the show
As the video messages ended, Toadie decided to listen to his friends, telling Karl and Susan: ‘Right. Well, uh, I… guess we’re not going anywhere, are we?’
After their lakeside wedding ceremony, the couple celebrated their marriage with a street party back at home, where they were reunited with a host of familiar faces.
In Charlene and Scott’s emotional scenes, the couple looked as smitten as ever as they leant against their Mini, took in the surroundings and reminisced on their time together in the town.
Charlene sported a navy denim jumpsuit as she stayed true to her famous overall fashion trend and brought back her iconic blonde curls.
Meanwhile, Scott cut a casual figure in jeans and a plaid shirt as he wrapped his arm around his partner as they looked as loved up as during their wedding day.
Emotional: Arriving at the garden party, Charlene declared: ‘Home sweet home,’ before reuniting with their pals Mike Young (Guy Pearce) and Jane Harris (Annie Jones) for the episode’s closing moments
Neighbours: Scott and Charlene were seen embracing their pals Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) and Mike as they enjoyed drinks and chatted on a balcony, while waving down to groups of their friends partying in the garden
As the characters returned to the show, Kylie and Jason’s famous duet Especially For You could be heard playing in the background in an unexpected crossover moment.
Kylie and Jason, who dated in real life, recorded the love ballad together in 1989 – one year after they left Neighbours and soon before they ended their three-year romance.
‘Wow wow wow,’ Scott said as they stepped out of the car, ‘This is crazy. We made it eh?’
Charlene then declared: ‘Home sweet home,’ before reuniting with their pals Mike Young (Guy Pearce) and Jane Harris (Annie Jones) at the street party for the episode’s closing moments.
Scott and Charlene were seen embracing their pals Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) and Mike as they enjoyed drinks and chatted on a balcony, while waving down to groups of their friends partying in the garden.
Although many of the Neighbours had made moves to leave Ramsay Street, with For Sale signs seen erected outside the well-recognised houses, they decided to stay in their beloved home by the end of the finale.
Farewell: In the final monologue, lead character Susan Kennedy, played by Jackie Woodburne, waxed lyrical about the street and the show’s global community of fans
Daniel MacPherson, known for his role as Joel Samuels, reprised his role on the show
Ian Smith, who played Harold Bishop from 1987 to 1991 also returned for the last ever episode
In the final monologue, lead character Susan Kennedy, played by Jackie Woodburne, waxed lyrical about the street and the show’s global community of fans.
‘Everyone deserves a place in the history of Ramsay Street, even those who watched us from afar, we have been a perfect blend,’ she said.
Ahead of the emotional finale, executive producer Jason Herbison said it was meant as ‘a celebration of the past and the present’.
He refused to rule out ‘Neighbours’ continuing in some form if a new broadcaster can be found. The last episode ends ‘with the door very much left open for the future’, he said.
As well as returning cast members, Neighbours also featured a very notable musical moment as Kylie and Jason’s real-life love song Especially For You was used to mark their reunion.
Singer Kylie had previously teased that their track might be used on Neighbours as she took to Instagram to caption on-set snaps, ‘now we’re back together’, referencing the hit song.
Viewers were quick to take to Twitter to share their delight at Kylie and Jason’s song making an appearance on the soap opera, describing it as the perfect entrance for Scott and Charlene.
Goodbye! Fans were all smiles as they gathered in Federation Square in Melbourne where they posed and took photos alongside the iconic Ramsay St sign
Overwhelmed: Fans held posters and clapped as they watched the final scenes of the series
Fans: Viewers rugged up as they sat in chairs and watched the last-ever episode of the show
Stars: The finale episode saw a galaxy of Neighbours stars return to Ramsay Street. Ian Smith, who played Harold Bishop, Peter O’Brien (Shane Ramsay), Natalie Bassingthwaighte, (Izzy Hoyland), and Guy Pearce (Mike Young), all featured
One person wrote: ‘I dreamt of an ‘Especially For You’ singalong last night… what an entrance!’
Another penned: ‘Oh wow… they’re playing *Especially For You*… as Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan enter Ramsay Street in their cute car.’
A third gushed: ‘I think tomorrow I may have to listen to Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue’s Especially For You on repeat in honour of the last episode of Neighbours.’
And a fourth added: ‘Amazing entrance.’
But other viewers also shared their disappointment that Charlene and Scott’s return to screen didn’t last longer, with many taking to Twitter to joke about their fleeting appearance.
One person joked: ‘So was Charlene contractually not allowed to speak more than 5 words?’
Overjoyed: Viewers were quick to take to Twitter to share their delight at Kylie and Jason’s real-life love song making an appearance on the soap opera
While another quipped: ‘How did you remember all those lines?’
A third said: ‘They really had Kylie Minogue appear and she didn’t even say a single word.’
Elsewhere, other fans gushed that they were left ‘crying’ and feeling ’emotional’ after finally seeing Scott and Charlene back on their screens in the ‘nostalgic’ scenes.
One viewer penned: ‘Goosebumps. So good.’
Another gushed: ‘I am surprised by how moved I was by the Neighbours finale. Mike Pearce & Annie Jones were the stars of the show. The nostalgia has my heart bursting & my love for @kylieminogue is stronger than ever.’
Reunions: Charlene sported a navy denim jumpsuit as she stayed true to her famous overall fashion trend and brought back her iconic blonde curls. Pictured: Scott and Charlene reunite with Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) in the closing moments
Brief: But other viewers also shared their disappointment that Charlene and Scott’s return to screen didn’t last longer, with many taking to Twitter to joke about the fleeting appearance
A third wrote: ‘Nope it all hurts too much.’
And a fourth insisted: ‘Nope, I am not crying. That was perfection.’
In the 80s, Neighbours was unstoppable with Kylie and Jason’s onscreen wedding as Scott and Charlene was watched by two million Australians on July 1, 1987.
Their union was an even bigger attraction when it aired in the UK a year later, drawing 19.6 million viewers, making it Britain’s third most-watched show of 1988.
Kylie and Jason, who at the time were household names in both countries, and would each go on to launch music careers in the UK.
A step back in time: Kylie (right) pictured in her famous overalls as Charlene with Jason (centre) and Guy Pearce (left) – pictured in the 80s
Their on-screen relationship began after Scott mistook Charlene for an intruder at his neighbour Madge Ramsay’s house, before eventually learning she was Madge’s daughter.
After getting married, the pair left Erinsborough and moved to Brisbane, before finally returning for Neighbours’ final episode.
In what was a gripping and emotional finale, fan favourites from the past returned to Ramsay Street to celebrate with Erinsborough locals.
A number of other Neighbours legends also returned to screens for the epic finale including Joel Samuels (Daniel McPherson) and Mike Young (Guy Pearce).
The spectacular send-off had something for everyone, spanning all generations and decades from the opening scene in 1985, to the final episode in 2022.
Nostalgia: Elsewhere, other Neighbours fans gushed that they were left ‘crying’ and feeling ’emotional’ after finally seeing Scott and Charlene back on their screens
The beleaguered soap opera faced an uncertain future following its cancellation by original network Channel 5, where it has spent the last 14 of its 37-years on British TV.
And Fremantle Media, the production company responsible for its development confirmed it would be taken off-air indefinitely over the summer after an ‘extensive search for alternative funding’ ended in failure.
Their final scenes on Neighbours come after Kylie took to Instagram to share behind-the-scenes snaps of herself and Jason after they reunited on the set of the soap opera.
The superstar brought back her iconic curls to reprise her role as Charlene Robinson to star alongside Jason, who plays her husband Scott, for the iconic soap’s final episode.
Snap happy: Their epic return to the soap comes after Kylie took to Instagram to share snaps of herself and Jason after they reunited to film their final scenes on Neighbours
The hair! Kylie shared this caption alongside the snaps she shared and lots of people were very excited by her return to Neighbours
Kylie captioned images of the pair together on her Instagram account, ‘Now we’re back together’, referencing their hit song, Especially For You.
The pint-sized pop star donned her character’s famous mechanic’s overalls for what would be her final appearance on the series, which has been cancelled after 37 years.
Kylie quit Neighbours in June 1988, having become the first person to win four Logie Awards in one year and the youngest ever recipient of a Gold Logie.
She went on to launch a phenomenally successful music career, selling more than 80 million albums worldwide.
After leaving Neighbours in 1989, Jason, like Kylie, pursued a pop career and while he may not have been as successful as his on-screen bride, he had a string of hits including Too Many Broken Hearts and Sealed With A Kiss.
Loving their experience: He shared a small video of them laughing and joking around as they filmed their final scenes on set
Ready for his close-up: He shared a snap of his chuckling mouth as he remained in high spirits
Off screen, the couple dated from 1986 to 1989 – famously sharing a night of passion in a Travelodge.
They were so popular at this time, they even recorded the Christmas Number 1 single Especially For You.
Jason told the Mirror in 2016: ‘It was an extremely painful parting of the ways and, without a doubt, I took a long time to recover from it. Years, definitely.’
Kylie then dated the late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. She is now in a romance with British GQ’s Creative Director Paul Solomons and Jason is married to Angela Malloch
Absolutely iconic: Kylie and Jason were so popular in the 80s, they even recorded the Christmas Number 1 single Especially For You
Icon: Actor Alan Fletcher, 65, who’s played Dr Karl Kennedy in the show for 28 years, appeared on This Morning on Monday, saying ‘we can be sad this journey is over’
Meanwhile, actor Alan Fletcher, 65, who’s played Dr Karl Kennedy in the show for 28 years, appeared on This Morning on Monday.
He said: ‘We can be sad that this journey is over. The last episode was amazing. It was such a family atmosphere on the last day it was great. They asked me to come back and I readily accepted.
‘The affair with Izzy was my best storyline. It was great and we just laughed.
‘We were prepared to leave it, we know that it could end anytime. I was there for 28 years. I has mixed emotions when I found out it was ending. We can be sad the journey is ending but we have to be happy that the journey happened at all!’
‘I am doing country music now so I will be back in the UK doing this soon.’
End of an era: The actor has played the role of Karl Kennedy since 1994 (pictured with co-star Jackie Woodburne who played his dutiful wife Susan)
Goodbye: (L-R) Ryan Moloney, Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne, Angela Bishop, Ian Smith and Stefan Dennis say farewell to the soap’s Melbourne set
While Kylie and Jason filmed their roles away from the set, due to the pop princess’s schedule – Memento actor Guy (Mike Young) returned to Melbourne.
‘One of my favourites was Guy Pearce. There wasn’t a single person who was asked to do something for the end, who was available, who said no,’ Alan revealed.
Fans in the UK can watch the iconic Australian soap come to a close at 9pm on Friday 29th July with a double episode special.
Featuring in it’s usual TX slots at 1:45pm and 6pm it will be followed by the history-making finale which will air later the same evening.
Tour: The stars of Neighbours will reportedly embark on a ‘farewell tour’ of the UK after the finale episode aired in July
Channel 5 teased that further announcements will be made in the coming weeks about additional surprises to send off the iconic soap in style.
The Australian soap was axed in March this year following the loss of its main UK broadcast partner, Channel 5.
News of the finale air date comes after it was reported that the stars of Neighbours will reportedly embark on a ‘farewell tour’ of the UK after the finale episode.
Key cast members will visit eight cities across England, Scotland and Wales – London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff – in March 2023, according to Digital Spy.
Back for more: Former stars Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce all returned briefly to the roles that made them famous (Guy pictured in the show in 1988)
Can’t wait: The send-off had something for everyone, spanning all generations and decades from the opening scene in 1985, to the final episode in 2022 (Pictured: Kylie and Jason on the show in 1988)
The soap had previously planned an ‘in conversation series’ in 2020, coinciding with its 35th anniversary, but had to cancel due to Covid.
These plans have now apparently been rebooted as a ‘farewell tour’ but the ‘key stars’ taking part in the rumoured tour have not been revealed.
Executive producer Jason Herbison recently told The Herald Sun of Kylie’s return: ‘Seeing Kylie back as Charlene was quite a moment. Very special and I think for them too it was a real full circle for them.’
Neighbours’ most memorable storylines
Scott and Charlene’s wedding
Perhaps the most famous Neighbours moment, 20million people tuned in to watch Scott and Charlene Robinson, played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, get married in November 1988.
The pair’s friend and family were seen in floods of tears as Charlene walked down the aisle to Angry Anderson power ballad Suddenly, with neighbour Nell Mangel catching the bouquet.
Mark leaves Annalise at the altar
Mark Gottlieb and Annalise Hartman’s nuptials didn’t go to plan in 1994. While both parties were nervous on the day, Mark left Annalise at the alter, saying he couldn’t marry her.
However, it wasn’t totally down to Annalise as he decided marriage wasn’t for him and decided to become a priest.
The death of Helen Daniels
Helen Daniels, played by the late Anne Haddy, established herself as the grandmother of Ramsay Street.
Embroiled in some gripping storylines, over the years she saw her life stolen by a conman, she had an affair with her daughter’s fiancé, and she fell down some stairs before suffering a stroke.
In a bid to bring the warring Ramsay and Robinson families together, she gathered them round to watch Scott and Charlene’s wedding together but, as they bickered over their differences, she quietly passed away on the sofa in her sleep.
The Lou, Madge and Harold love triangle
Madge Ramsay (Anne Charleston), Harold Bishop (Iain Smith) and Lou Carpenter’s (Tom Oliver) lives were entangled before the show even hit screens, with the trio knowing one another from their school days.
Madge fell head over heels for ‘Jelly Belly’ Harold but was also strongly attracted to cheeky Lou.
However, Madge’s life took an unexpected turn for viewers when she married Fred Mitchell, with their relationship soon becoming troubled.
Madge and Harold later got back together and he proposed much to the distaste of Lou who attempted to win Madge over. Madge eventually married Harold in 1988.
After Harold’s death, Lou set his sights on Madge once more and the pair planned to marry but they called it off when he realised he wasn’t a match for Harold.
Harold returns from the dead
Harold was killed off on the soap when he was swept out to sea when Madge’s back was turned, leaving nothing behind other than his glasses.
However, he made a shock return to Erinsborough five years later, declaring he’d suffered from amnesia, with Helen Daniels running into him by chance while browsing in a Salvation Army shop.
He returned to Ramsay Street to be reunited with Madge.
Madge appeared on the show from 1986 to 1992 and again from 1996 to 2001 as a much-loved character.
After Harold’s return, the pair renewed their marriage vows and fostered a child but she was later diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Doctors told her she had just months to live but further tragedy struck when her life was shortened even further after she developed septicaemia after cutting her finger.
Before her death, Lou confessed his undying love for her and she died in the arms of Harold.
Susan’s memory loss
In typical soap style, Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) totally lost her memory after slipping on the milk from a spilled bowl of cereal in 2002.
She was convinced she was 16 years old again, a situation that left her incredibly confused when she found herself by chance at a 70s-themed birthday party.
Jarrod “Toadfish” Rebecchi, played by Ryan Moloney, found was first heartbroken just hours after his wedding to Dee Bliss (Madeleine West) in 2003 when he lost control of their car and drove it off a cliff, with her body never being found.
In 2010 he left Steph Scully (Carla Bonner) at the alter when he realised she didn’t love him and during his third wedding to Sonya Mitchell (Eve Morey) in 2013, a gas bottle exploded during the reception, destroying their marquee and leaving Sonya with a fractured skull and no memory of the wedding. Characters Priya Kapoor and Rhys Lawson were also killed in the blast.
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