Neighbours is a long-running Australian soap opera that enjoys considerable success in the UK . It originally aired on the Seven Network in Australia in 1985; however, they cancelled the series later that year. The series was immediately picked-up by rival Network Ten. It began screening on that channel in early 1986 and has remained popular with its core teenage audience ever since.
Neighbours was first aired in the UK in 1986. In the late 1980s it regularly had a UK audience in the tens of millions and was sometimes watched by more people than the population of Australia at that time.
The series follows the daily lives of several families who live in the fictional Ramsay Street, Erinsborough (an anagram of 'Our Neighbours') and includes the usual soap staples of births, deaths, and marriages.
The soap is filmed in Melbourne, and for street scenes uses Pin Oak Court in Vermont South, a suburb in eastern Melbourne.
Many successful Australian actors and singers had some of their earliest work on Neighbours, including Kylie Minogue, Jesse Spencer, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe (brief extra appearance), Natalie Imbruglia, Jason Donovan, Holly Valance, Mark Little, Radha Mitchell, Delta Goodrem and Natalie Bassingthwaighte of the band Rogue Traders.
Actor Alan Dale who had previously starred in The Young Doctors, played the central character of Jim Robinson for the show's first seven years and is now a recognisable star in US series such as 24 and The O.C.. One of the most enduring characters currently on the show is Harold Bishop, played by actor Ian Smith who has also written many of the scripts for the show.
The show initially gained notoriety for its depiction of the teenage romance of Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell. Their Romeo and Juliet style romance culminated in a wedding was keenly anticipated by viewers and is still fondly regarded today as being one of the high points of the series.
Until recently, both the Ramsays and the Robinsons had been written out of the series, with the sole exception of the Bishop family (who are related to the Ramsays through the marriage of Harold Bishop to the late Madge Ramsay). However, one of the original characters, Paul Robinson, made a return to the show in the final episode of 2004 and became a regular character in early 2005.
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