Home and Away is an Australian soap opera produced in Sydney by the Seven Network since January 1988. It also enjoys success within the UK, where it briefly became the subject of a bidding war between ITV1 and Channel Five (Five won). The show has more overall viewers in the larger UK market than it has in its home market, but a higher proportion of viewers in Australia, due to Australia 's smaller population base, making it the highest rating locally produced drama.
Furthermore, many fans believe the shift in the UK from ITV1 to Five damaged its popularity. Contract obligations sent it off air in the UK for a year and the smaller audience share Five has means the show now rates significantly lower than it did on ITV (though it is Five's second highest rated show) and its ratings are less than half of BBC1's Neighbours. Five funds more than half of the production costs.
Home & Away focuses on the inhabitants of a fictional small coastal town in New South Wales named Summer Bay.
The interior shots are filmed at a permanent set for the show in Seven Sydney's Epping studio. The exterior scenes are filmed on location at Palm Beach in Sydney 's exclusive Northern Beaches region.
Actors Kate Ritchie and Ray Meagher have been with the show since the first episode, the longest such run in Australian television history.
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