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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Neighbours fans 'seething' over soap's replacement as boss hits back at Kylie criticism

It's almost been a week since Neighbours fans were forced to say an emotional goodbye to the soap after 37 years on-screen. The Australian favourite was taken off air last Friday (July 29) following a special finale episode which was full of familiar faces returning to Ramsay Street for one last time.

In the opening of the finale, it becomes clear Ramsay Street as the community once knew it is coming to an end as Susan Kennedy, played by Jackie Woodburne, looks at all the houses up for sale around her home.

There was also the wedding of Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowden) and Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) which provided moments of reunion and love as it sees the happy couple tie the knot, and brought Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou) and Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) back together, as well as girlfriends Chloe Brennan (April Rose Pengilly) and Elly Conway (Jodi Anasta).

READ MORE: ITV Coronation Street star Millie Gibson looks fresh-faced posing in dressing room as she 'quits' soap

The double-episode special also featured star-studded cameos from Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie and singer Natalie Imbruglia. Another fan-favourite character to return to their old stomping ground is Mike Young, played by Guy Pearce, who shows his daughter Sam (Henrietta Graham) around the area.

And it was Kylie's appearance that caused a bit of a stir, with viewers flocking to social media in confusion over the pop star's part in the final episode. She and former love interest Jason Donovan played Charlene Mitchell and Scott Robinson from 1985 until their departures in 1989 and 1988 respectively.

In a bittersweet moment for Neighbours fans, Jason and Kylie were finally reunited as they reprised their roles as Scott and Charlene with one last visit to Ramsay Street. As the wedding of Melanie Pearson and Toadie Rebecchi was underway, the couple made their long-awaited return to the cul-de-sac in a green mini with a Queensland number plate.

(Channel 5)

Charlene showed her typically feisty spirit by nearly breaking into a house – reminiscent of Kylie's very first scene on the soap in 1986 when Scott caught her breaking into her mother’s home and got punched for his troubles. During their moment on-screen, Scott leaned in to kiss Charlene on the head in a sweet moment.

"Wow wow wow," Scott said as they stepped out of the car, "This is crazy. We made it eh?" Charlene then declares: "Home sweet home." The couple then finally got their reunion with Jane and Mike to bring the four friends back together. But Charlene's only other audible word in the cameo appearance was when she exclaimed "Harold!" after seeing fan favourite Harold Bishop.

Those watching were quick to wonder if Kylie 'lost her voice' or whether she 'charged per word' due to her limited dialogue. However, The show's boss Jason Herbison has now spoken of the reason behind the lack of dialogue between Jason's character and his wife Charlene.

"Our discussions with Jason and Kylie were always about making a small appearance," the Express reports him as saying. "I hate to see Kylie copping any criticism – she was nothing short of amazing on the day. They didn’t want to overshadow the current cast or make the finale about them. We also filmed their scenes before I’d written the episode, so whatever we filmed had to fit in with that."

The emotional final episode aired at the end of last month (PA)

But fans have since been left disappointed by Neighbours' replacement on Channel 5 and are threatening to switch off the channel all together. @WebbyJamesHere tweeted: "Used to watch @5_News before @NeighboursTV now they’ve replaced #Neighbours with Cash in the Attic repeats so I won’t bother watching @channel5_tv at all. #bringbackneighbours."

@liselou145 complained: "#channel5 so turned on channel 5 to see what great show they are replacing #Neighbours with and where the money is going. Cant believe its cash in tbe attic. Sorry but if they are going to axe such a great soap. Could they not find a better programme." @Loujaney1 fumed: "F**ks sake, Cash in the Attic instead of #Neighbours Channel 5, I hate you! #PerfectBlend."

@steppyhen_ shared: "It still amazes me that C5 cancelled #Neighbours. It has been incredible the last few years, and they’ve cancelled it to show Cash in the Attic?! Seething." @gerardcassidy added: "The absolute pain of seeing Cash in the Attic in the Neighbours slot. @channel5_tv has replaced a cruise liner with a makeshift raft. #BringBackNeighbours #Neighbours."


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