Ramsay St famously launched the careers of stars Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie and Liam Hemsworth.
But as the series draws to a close, the biggest loss may be behind the scenes, according to a long-time screenwriter on the show.
‘The industry does not yet fully comprehend what they have lost in terms of industry training,’ Sarah Mayberry told AAP.
Neighbours scriptwriter Sarah Mayberry (pictured) says that when the curtain finally falls on Ramsay St for good this week the local TV and film industry will lose a major training ground
A writer on the show since 1998, Mayberry penned 230 episodes of the beloved series.
During that time, Sarah saw the show serve as a TV training ground, where crew could start on the lowest rung of the production ladder, and end up as director of photography.
‘It’s going to be a while before it sinks in that those opportunities are no longer there,’ added Mayberry.
In one of the most recent she penned, Mayberry killed off popular character Hendrix Greyson (played Ben Turland) with a failed lung transplant.
Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison (pictured) says that the beloved soap offered cast and crew a unique opportunity to develop their skills and hone their craft
‘That was a great episode to write because it was from beginning to end just all emotion. I bawled my eyes out for two weeks writing it,’ she said.
Neighbours was axed after the UK’s Channel 5 decided in March not to renew its contract with production company Fremantle to finance and broadcast the series.
Episodes 8901, 8902 and 8903 will air on Thursday in a 90-minute special, bringing the adventures of Ramsay Street’s residents to an end after 37 years on air.
‘It’s such a strange, quirky, funny, good-hearted show, there won’t be anything like it ever again. It’s a huge part of Australian culture,’ Mayberry said.
With old favourites such as Blue Heelers, All Saints and A Country Practice long gone, the demise of Neighbours leaves Home and Away as the last high-volume scripted drama on Australian free-to-air TV.
Thousands of people have worked on Neighbours since it began in 1985.
With about 260 episodes aired every year, there were 60 in production at any one time – from initial plot development, such as Hendrix Greyson’s untimely fate, to filming and post-production.
With about 260 episodes aired every year, there were 60 in production at any one time – pictured are Neighbours fan favourites Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan
The sheer volume meant the show had to be a well-oiled machine, according to executive producer Jason Herbison, with a strong culture of welcoming people making their start in TV.
‘If you come to Neighbours, no matter what job you’re doing you’re likely to have a chance to actually do your craft,’ he told AAP.
‘That’s why it’s such a unique opportunity in the industry.’
The sheer volume meant the show had to be a well-oiled machine says Herbison Picture: Margot Robbie as Donna Freedman, Jackie Woodburne as Susan Kennedy
For decades, Melbourne’s Swinburne University film course taught many of those who got jobs behind the scenes, and the uni’s Susan Kerrigan told AAP the end of the show is heartbreaking.
‘These kinds of soap operas, you learn how the craft works, you learn to behave creatively inside the constraints of production,’ she said.
‘Nothing can compare with what Neighbours was doing and what it was offering in the marketplace in terms of not just acting talent but production as well.’
While the streaming giants may take up some of the slack, it is unlikely they will hire untested graduates, Kerrigan noted.
With old favourites such as Blue Heelers, All Saints and A Country Practice long gone, the demise of Neighbours leaves Home and Away as the last high-volume scripted drama on Australian free-to-air TV Picture: Kylie and Jason in the Neighbours finale
As the last episode airs, longtime Neighbours talent has already moved on. Herbison is filming a mystery thriller miniseries called Riptide. Mayberry is working on a romantic comedy in the US and a thriller for the UK market.
It is also worth mentioning her successful side hustle – Mayberry is the author of more than 45 romance novels, with titles including Irresistible Cowboy and She’s got it Bad.
But she openly admits the end of Neighbours has forced her out of Ramsay Street’s comfort zone. ‘We’ll see what happens next, I could be working at Bunnings next year,’ she laughed.
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