EastEnders and Home and Away have paid tribute to fellow long-running soap opera Neighbours, as the Australian soap airs its final ever episode in the UK tonight (July 29). After almost four decades and broadcasting a total of 8,903 episodes, the show is drawing to a close in what is sure to be an emotional conclusion for fans of the soap.
For 37 years, the residents of Ramsay Street have kept viewers entertained with plenty of drama, celebrity cameos and some unforgettable stories. But on Friday, July 29 the soap will air its final ever instalment with a double episode at 9pm on Channel 5 which will see the return of iconic characters such as Charlene (Kylie Minogue) and Scott (Jason Donovan).
Whilst many fans have been taking to Twitter to share their memories of the last 37 years, the Australian soap has also received heartfelt messages from fellow long-running dramas. Home and Away was the first to post on social media paying tribute to the "iconic" programme on July 28.
The tweet read: "Hats off to the amazing cast and crew at Ramsay Street for an epic 37 years. @neighbours will forever be an iconic part of Australian television history. From everyone here in the Bay, massive respect and admiration for you all #celebratingneighbours." To which Neighbours replied: "Big love to Summer Bay."
BBC's EastEnders have also shared a special video which showed Neighbours' Dr Karl Kennedy star Alan Fletcher swapping Ramsay Street for a cameo in Walford. He pops into the café to ask where he could find a taxi, where he bumps into Linda played by Kellie Bright, who was left star-struck.
Following the short sketch, a number of the BBC One soap's cast could be seen sharing kind words to the cast and crew of Neighbours. Natalie Cassidy, Danny Dyer, Balvinder Sopal and Charlie Brooks were amongst the many EastEnders stars wanting to congratulate Neighbours on their long run.
The tweet read: "Is that Dr Karl Kennedy in Walford?! From everyone here at #EastEnders, thank you @Neighbours for 37 wonderful soap years! @alanfletcher @kelliebright76 @ShonaBM #Neighbours #CelebratingNeighbours."
Soap fans were delighted with the tribute with some saying it was a "brilliant" tribute and "loved" the crossover. Whilst others said they were in tears after watching the clip.
When it was announced earlier this year that Neighbours would no longer air on Channel 5, a spokesperson for the broadcaster said in a statement: "Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer. It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.
"We’d also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years. We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers."
The Neighbours finale will air on Channel 5 on Friday, July 29 from 9pm. You'll be able to stream on My5.