A Co Down couple will be among millions tuning in once again following the news that Neighbours is to return to our TV screens next year after Amazon swooped in to breathe new life into the Aussie soap.
Karen Rainey from Millisle has long been Northern Ireland's ultimate Neighbours fan and she has even turned her husband Gareth into one too.
The show, which kick-started the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie and Guy Pearce, will go back into production within months - with new episodes due next year.
Read more: Belfast Neighbours star Patrick Harvey on his time in the popular soap
And it will bring back favourite characters including Stefan Dennis as Paul Robinson, Alan Fletcher as Karl Kennedy, Ryan Moloney as Toadie Rebecchi, and Jackie Woodburne as Susan Kennedy.
The new show will air on Amazon Freevee in the UK, meaning fans like Karen and Gareth can watch without paying. In Australia, it will return to its home of Network 10, where it has aired for the past 36 years.
Neighbours devotees including Karen and Gareth, both 33, were left in tears as the popular Aussie soap screened its final episodes over the summer.
It had been confirmed back in March that Neighbours would be ending after 37 years on our screens and despite valiant efforts from the show's fans to help save the soap, with more than 60,000 people signing a petition in a bid to stop it being axed, viewers were left devastated.
In fact, Karen, who first started watching the soap as a child some 28 years ago, loved the show so much, one of its most iconic characters played a key role when Gareth popped the question and on their wedding day.
Gareth proposed to Karen while on holiday in Cornwall in December 2019 and wearing a Paul Robinson mask as she is obsessed with him. And at their wedding in October 2021 at Orange Tree House in Greyabbey, they also had a life-size Paul Robinson welcoming guests.
Talks between Freemantle and Amazon were prompted by the huge fanfare over the show’s demise this summer. The finale episode on Channel 5 in July attracted an average audience of 2.5 million.
Now Amazon says it is in the “early stages” of planning the next chapter of the show. More cast will be confirmed in the coming weeks along with the number of new episodes fans can expect to see.
As well as new episodes, the deal will include streaming rights for thousands of classic shows from across the past four decades.
Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer since 2013, will maintain his position along with Andrew Thompson, who returns as producer.
Gareth told Belfast Live: "We can't believe it's coming back - it's unreal and just the best news. Karen saw the video on Twitter and was absolutely loving life so she sent it to me straight away.
"I just thought it was amazing and it was the best day. It's even better as they'll be showing all the old episodes too so we can binge on every single one.
"We've been in mourning since the show ended back in July because we watched it every day. We can't wait to see such an iconic show being reborn again."
Amazon Freevee is a complimentary service to Prime Video, offering thousands of premium movies and TV shows available for free.
Neighbours launched in 1985 and ran for 23 years on BBC1, before switching to Channel 5 from 2008. Over the years it notched up nearly 9,000 episodes and was shown in over 60 countries.
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