Neighbours fans were left in shock on Thursday when it was revealed the show is returning next year.
The beloved soap came to an end in July after 37 years, with the last episode airing on Channel 5 – and in a shock announcement on Thursday, Amazon Freevee and Fremantle revealed the show will be returning.
A new series will begin filming in Australia next year and will see the likes of Stefan Dennis, [Paul Robinson] Alan Fletcher, [Dr Karl Kennedy], Ryan Moloney, [Toadfish] and Jackie Woodburne, [Susan Kennedy], returning to reprise their leading roles.
UK fans got to see the last installment in July – featuring the return of Kylie Minogue Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce with Australian fans tuning in the day before.
And while the extended special was a hit over here, down under it was a runaway success, with the episode winning the television ratings for the first time in more than a decade.
In the years since the some of the soap’s most beloved actors made their debut on the show, much has changed.
So where are all the beloved stars of the iconic series now?
Memories: The stars of Neighbours: Where are they now? MailOnline catches up with the soap’s most beloved actors as it’s revealed the show has been saved by Amazon Freevee
Ian Smith – Harold Bishop
Fame: As Harold Bishop, Ian Smith became one of the show’s most legendary characters. He appeared as Madge’s (Anne Charleston) husband. Pictured together on Neighbours
As Harold Bishop, Ian Smith, 83, became one of the show’s most legendary characters.
Ian first appeared on the show between 1987 and 1991, returning between 1996 and 2009, again in 2011, and 2015.
He was there from day one and his relationship with Madge Bishop was a focus of numerous plots while his friendship with Lou, who nicknamed him ‘jelly belly’, often added comedy to the show.
Ian first appeared on the show between 1987 and 1991, returning between 1996 and 2009, again in 2011, and 2015.
He was infamously killed off in 1991 – or so we thought – as he then made a miraculous return to appear in the show on and off from the Nineties until 2015.
Speaking on Network 10’s Studio 10 in 2018, the much-loved character admitted that he wished he would have quit the series sooner.
While trying to branch outside of his character into alternative acting roles, the star said he was turned down from various opportunities because of his long-standing association to Harold.
The famous face said that during an audition for an entirely dissimilar role, he was told: ‘Oh you were Harold. You couldn’t possibly be a murdering paedophile.’
Back! When asked about his dream role, Ian admitted to wanting to play one as far away from Harold as possible – but he did return for the finale in July (second from left)
Following a series of attempts, Ian decided that he had had enough and wanted to retire the role.
He went on to star in Blue Heelers in 1994, Underbelly in 2010, and most recently appeared in How to Stay Married in 2021.
When asked about his dream role, Ian admitted to wanting to play one as far away from Harold as possible.
While he said he still loves Harold, he expressed the importance of venturing beyond those constricted territories for himself as an actor.
‘I would like to go as far from Harold as I can, not to prove it to other people, but to prove it to myself,’ he explained.
However, he did return to the show finale in July alongside a host of other fan favourites.
Daniel MacPherson – Joel Samuels
Career: After leaving the soap in 2002, Daniel MacPherson (pictured on Neighbours) went on to star on The Bill as PC Cameron Tait between 2003 and 2004
After leaving the soap in 2002, Daniel MacPherson, 42, went on to star on The Bill as PC Cameron Tait between 2003 and 2004.
His next major TV role was on City Homicide as Simon Joyner between 2007 and 2010, before he moved onto Wild Boys in 2011.
More recently, he has had roles on TV shows Bad Mothers, Strike Back as Sgt. Samuel Wyatt between 2017 and 2020 and Foundation in 2021.
Endings: He split from his actress wife Zoe Ventoura (right) back in December 2020
He also this year landed a role in Poker Face, the Russell Crowe directed film.
Daniel said he’s now based back in Australia, in his hometown of Cronulla, NSW and has been focusing on fatherhood amid the pandemic.
‘I’m just loving fatherhood,’ he said of raising son Austin, two.
He split from his actress wife Zoe Ventoura back in December 2020.
‘Zoe and I are co-parenting and we’re really good, she’s a fantastic mother,’ he added.
Baby love: Daniel said he’s now based back in Australia, in his hometown of Cronulla, NSW and has been focusing on fatherhood amid the pandemic
New look: There have recently been rumours he is being considered to be the next Bachelor following his split with Zoe. Pictured with son Axel
There have recently been rumours he is being considered to be the next Bachelor following his split with Zoe.
According to New Idea magazine, the actor is ‘officially on the top of The Bachelor wish list’ for producers ‘who are on the hunt for a big name this year’.
‘They want someone that is instantly identifiable and well known,’ a source told the publication.
‘Daniel is a prime candidate… everyone loves him. He has massive appeal.’
Kylie Minogue – Charlene Robinson
Remember that? The 1988 wedding of Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) is one of the best-loved moments from Neighbours history. Pictured on Neighbours
Now we’re back together’: Kylie brought back the curls as she cosied up to her on and former off screen lover Jason Donovan to film scenes for the finale episode of Neighbours in July
Pint-sized songstress Kylie Minogue is arguably the show’s most famous export after finding worldwide fame as a singer when she left the soap.
She initially won hearts with her on-screen romance with Scott Robinson, played by Jason Donovan.
The Kylie and Jason public obsession reached fever pitch when the couple got together in real life and they had a hit record together, Especially For You.
But superstardom beckoned for Kylie, now 53, as she enjoyed hit after hit on the music charts.
Home sweet home: Kylie revealed last year that she was leaving London after 30 years to return to Melbourne after spending time there during the pandemic. Pictured recently
Kylie recently relocated to her home city of Melbourne, Australia, after living in the UK for more than three decades.
The formerly London-based singer is believed to have quietly arrived back in Australia at the end of January.
Kylie revealed she was leaving the British capital after 30 years to return to Melbourne after spending time there during the pandemic.
When asked in October about rumours she was returning to her home country permanently, Kylie confirmed it to BBC 2 radio.
Making a move: Her boyfriend, Paul Solomons (right), won’t be joining her but they intend to continue a long-distance relationship
‘It is true, I will be basing myself in Australia,’ she said. ‘I can’t believe the reaction it’s had. I’ve had friends call me.’ I spent a lot of time with my family this year in Australia and it felt really good… I’ve been talking about that for a while.’
Kylie reassured Brits she ‘won’t be a stranger’ and will still visit regularly. ‘Of course I’ve lived here for 30 years. I’m always going to be back,’ she said.
Kylie told friends she wanted to live closer to her family, including her parents Carol and Ron, siblings Brendan and Dannii and nephew Ethan.
Her boyfriend, magazine executive Paul Solomons, won’t be joining her in Australia, but they intend to continue a long-distance relationship.
Jason Donovan – Scott Robinson
Legends: Like his on-screen wife Kylie, Jason Donovan left the soap to pursue a pop career. Pictured on Neighbours
Like his on-screen wife Kylie, Jason Donovan left the soap to pursue a pop career and while he may not have been quite so lucky with his recording career he too topped the charts in the Eighties.
He’s starred in stage productions such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.
The actor hit a rough patch due to alcohol and drug abuse, suffering a cocaine-induced seizure at Kate Moss’s 21 birthday party in 1995.
Busy: The actor has a regular DJ gig on Heart FM. Pictured in 2022
But he has since regained an image befitting of his alter Neighbour’s ego Scott Robinson with a regular DJ gig on Heart FM.
And last year, he made his pantomime debut in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
A year ago, Jason revealed he wouldn’t ‘still be standing’ today without his long-term wife Angela Malloch.
In a candid interview, the singer – who once dated his Neighbours co-star Kylie Minogue – gushed over his wife of over 13 years as he admitted that she ‘saved’ him from cocaine addiction.
‘She saved me’: Jason previously revealed that he wouldn’t ‘still be standing’ today without his wife Angela, who saved him from cocaine addiction. Pictured in 2018
Now: Jason looked delighted to be back in his plaid shirt and with his favourite former co-star Kylie while filming the finale episode
He told The Mirror: ‘Had it not been for her [Angela], I doubt I’d still be standing. She was my saving grace and set to become the real love of my life.’
Jason went on to explain that he believes Angela was sent to him ‘for a reason’, after the pair met in 1998 while Jason was starring in the Rocky Horror Show UK tour.
He continued: ‘Ange gave me my life back, made me see what love really was and to the day I die I will be grateful to her for that.’
The smitten couple tied the knot in 2008 and share three children together – Jemma, 21, Zac, 20, and Molly, ten.
Peter O’Brien – Shane Ramsay
Hard at work: After leaving Neighbours all the way back in 1987, Peter O’Brien has had an extensive acting career with new gigs lined up without pause. Pictured on the soap
After leaving Neighbours all the way back in 1987, Peter O’Brien, 62, has had an extensive acting career with new gigs lined up without pause.
He won hearts on another soap, The Flying Doctors, where he played Sam Patterson between 1987 and 1991.
He worked steadily through the 1990s, adding notches to his belt with roles such as Cameron Roberts in Queer as Folk and Steve Elliot in Halifax f.p.
Wow: Peter took on Hollywood, with a role as John Howlett in action blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. Pictured in 2018
Another iconic Australian soap opera following with his role on Water Rats as Matthew Grierson between 1997 and 2001.
Next was White Collar Blue as Det. Joe Hill between 2002 and 2003, before he played DI Peter Cavanaugh on The Bill in 2004.
Roles on Blue Heelers, Casualty, City Homicide and All Saints rounded out his impressive resume.
Wed: He tied the knot with fellow actor and Lord of the Rings star Miranda Otto, 54, in 2003 after meeting during a production of the Ibsen play A Doll’s House. Pictured in 2009
Peter then took on Hollywood, with a role as John Howlett in action blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009.
In more recent years, he has landed gigs in the TV series Tidelands in 2018, The OA in 2019 and Wentworth in 2020.
In 2022, he has just completed work on the miniseries Darby and Joan and the TV series Grey Nomads.
Stars: They recently mixed business with family, working together on the series The Unusual Suspects in 2021 (pictured)
Fun pair! Miranda (pictured on set) said ‘we don’t do boring married couple stuff’
Peter tied the knot with fellow actor and Lord of the Rings star Miranda Otto, 54, in 2003 after meeting during a production of the Ibsen play A Doll’s House.
The pair welcomed daughter Darcey into the world in 2005.
They recently mixed business with family, working together on the series The Unusual Suspects in 2021 with Miranda joking that the pair, ‘don’t do boring married couple stuff’.
Mark Little – Joe Mangel
Much loved: After starring on Neighbours between 1988 and 2005, Mark Little continued to work sporadically as a television actor. The star is pictured in his Neighbours heyday in 1994
After starring on Neighbours between 1988 and 2005, Mark Little, 62, continued to work sporadically as a television actor.
He played Gary Forrester on Casualty in 2008 and landed a role as TV host Darryl Somers in the 2010 series Whites.
Mark also had a big screen role in as Rupert Guinness in The Program, directed by Stephen Frears, in 2015.
Changes: Mark stunned fans with his astonishing transformation after he was announced as a star for Dancing On Ice in 2018 (pictured)
Different: The Australian actor was barely-recognisable from his Nineties look
He’s additionally made his mark on the London stage, starring in Defending the Caveman, and directing A Stretch of the Imagination.
In 2017 he starred in the pantomime production of Jack and the Beanstalk and most recently had a role at Middlesbrough Little Theatre in a production of Peter Pan.
Mark stunned fans with his astonishing transformation after he was announced as a star for Dancing On Ice in 2018.
The Australian actor was barely-recognisable from his Nineties look.
Wife: Mark is married to Cath Farr (pictured together in 2015) and they have two children
The father-of-two was embroiled in controversy on the show, when a stripper who claimed he sent her hundreds of racy messages.
Model Anne Whyte claimed the star, who is married to Cath Farr, sent her a series of suggestive WhatsApp messages after she contacted him online.
A spokesperson for Mark said of the bold claims: ‘The nature of these messages has been completely misconstrued and it is disappointing they are being used in an effort to mischaracterise Mark.’
Mark and his dance partner were the first couple voted off the show.
Paul Keane: Desmond Kingsley ‘Des’ Clarke
Past: Following a stint on Neighbours between 1985 and 1990, Paul Keane starred in a handful of films before dropping out of acting. Pictured with Elaine Smith on Neighbours
Following a stint on Neighbours between 1985 and 1990, Paul Keane, 64, starred in a handful of films before dropping out of acting.
He worked in a pub for a time, while struggling with addiction and anxiety for over a decade.
After being written out of the show following five years on Ramsay Street, Paul’s life began to spiral out of control.
Paul self-medicated with alcohol, painkillers and amphetamines which resulted in depression, losing his home and losing his partner.
Hard: He worked in a pub for a time, while struggling with addiction and anxiety for over a decade. Paul reprised his role as Des for the 35th anniversary special in March 2020
He attempted suicide and cashed in his superannuation when he became too sick to work.
His downward spiral was halted when, in 2006, he saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with a mental illness.
The told The Herald Sun in 2015: ‘I’ve been to hell. I’ve been in hospitals that are like horror stories, but I survived.’
At the time, he told the newspaper he was still too fragile to return to acting.
‘It hasn’t been all beers and skittles for me since leaving the show,’ he said. ‘I have had a lot of problems.
‘It hasn’t been all beers and skittles for me since leaving the show,’ he said. ‘I have had a lot of problems.’ Pictured on the show
‘It’s only years and years later that I have realised that I was struggling with mental health issues, with anxiety disorders and depression.’
He reprised his role as Des for the 35th anniversary special in March 2020, making a brief return to Ramsay Street in a plotline involving Sheila Canning, played by Colette Mann.
Last year, Paul told Digital Spy why he was not returning to Neighbours full time.
‘I live in Sydney, and Neighbours is filmed in Melbourne. Relocating is fine when you’re young, but I’m getting on a bit! I like the idea of popping back every now and again for a visit though, that would be really cool,’ he explained.
Melissa Bell – Lucy Robinson
Soaps: Following her first stint on Neighbours in 1991, Melissa Bell also briefly appeared on Home and Away in 1996. Pictured on Neighbours
Following her first stint on Neighbours between 1991 and 1992, Melissa Bell, 49, also briefly appeared on Home and Away in 1996.
She went on to have roles in Water Rats, The Venus Factory and the comedy series Housos vs. Authority in 2012.
Melissa returned to Neighbours several times – in 1993, 1995, 2005, and between 2013 and 2016.
Back: The actress reprised her role as Lucy Robinson for 2020’s 35th anniversary special. Pictured recently
The actress once more reprised her role as Lucy Robinson for 2020’s 35th anniversary special.
That year, while speaking to the Courier Mail, she revealed she went through numerous cosmetic surgery procedures over a period of two decades.
Melissa, who joined Channel 10’s soap Neighbours at age 19, admitted of her cosmetic enhancements: ‘Once I started, it was like a trap.’
Surgery: That year, while speaking to the Courier Mail, she revealed she went through numerous cosmetic surgery procedures over a period of two decades
She added: ‘You start changing things and you have to keep going with it otherwise there are more medical issues.’
The soap star explained she felt there would be ‘complications’ if she did not maintain her procedures, but she hadn’t thought about that when first getting the work done.
Melissa listed a breast augmentation, liposuction and Botox as some of the cosmetic procedures she has had in the past.
New love: Melissa revealed in 2021 that she was set to marry her fiancé Grant Thompson (left)
Speaking to Studio 10 in 2014, she revealed she had six procedures over a 20-year period, which also included corrective surgery.
However, Melissa now denies the publicised rumours that she had spent more than $115,000 on surgery, which was first published in an interview with her from Woman’s Day in 2014.
According to the publication, her first procedure was liposuction on her legs when she was 24.
Melissa revealed in 2021 that she was set to marry her fiancé Grant Thompson.
Heartbreaking: Melissa’s late husband Gary Dickinson (left) went into a coma after a heart attack in late 2015, before dying in February the following year. Pictured in 2005 in Sydney
She said she ‘wasn’t looking for love’ when Grant came into her life, after the death of her husband Gary Dickinson in 2016.
She added that Gary would be happy for her moving on with her life.
Gary went into a coma after a heart attack in late 2015, before dying in February the following year. The couple shared three children together.
‘I think he would be happy for me because Gary was that sort of person and, if the roles were reversed, I would want him to find love again,’ Melissa told New Idea.
‘I do miss him every day and there are still times I am triggered, but that’s okay, and you have to be positive and think, ‘He wants me to keep going.”
Natalie Bassingthwaighte – Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Hoyland
Villain: Finding fame on Neighbours in 2003, Natalie Bassingthwaighte stayed on the soap till 2007. Pictured on the show
Finding fame on Neighbours in 2003, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, 46, stayed on the soap till 2007.
She returned to her old stomping ground to reprise her role as Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Hoyland in 2018.
Natalie went on to have an illustrious career as the lead singer of successful 2000s pop group The Rogue Traders who had chart topping hits such as Voodoo Child.
Sing it: Natalie went on to have an illustrious career as the lead singer of successful 2000s pop group The Rogue Traders. Pictured in 2022
The star didn’t quit acting either, starring in shows such as Underbelly in 2010.
She also segued into becoming a television presenter, fronting So You Think You Can Dance for three years before becoming a judge on X Factor Australia between 2011 and 2014.
Natalie appeared on reality series I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Australia in 2017, where she came in third.
Return: She returned to her old stomping ground to reprise her role as Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Hoyland in 2018
In 2020, she stepped away from the spotlight and relocated to Byron Bay with her family.
She told WHO magazine she felt like she ‘needed’ to embrace a more laid-back lifestyle after spending years living in Melbourne.
‘I’d done a retreat up here four years ago and just had this overwhelming feeling that we needed to move here. Then, six months before Covid-19 hit, we did it,’ she said.
Natalie is married to her Rogue Traders bandmate Cameron McGlinchey and they share two children, daughter Harper, 10, and son Hendrix, seven.
Making the big move: In 2020, she stepped away from the spotlight and relocated to Byron Bay with her family. Pictured with her husband, Cameron McGlinchey, and their children, daughter Harper, 10, and son Hendrix, 7
The singer revealed that she and Cameron, 45, try to make sure they don’t take on too much work that will impact their family time.
Most recently, Natalie starred in a stage production of Alanis Morissette’s hit musical Jagged Little Pill in 2021.
The pop star flew to New York to begin rehearsals for the Australian tour, which premiered in Sydney at the Theatre Royal Sydney in December.
Natalie was cast as the musical’s lead, Mary Jane Healy, a housewife who tries to keep her family in a functional state while she deals with opioid addiction and past trauma.
On stage: Most recently, Natalie starred in a stage production of Alanis Morissette’s hit musical Jagged Little Pill in 2021