Saturday, 30 July 2022

Farewell Neighbours

The Australian soap Neighbours came to an end last night with a special hour-long finale.

I've been watching Neighbours since it started in the mid 80s, at first the dinnertime episode on a tiny TV in a classroom at secondary school, and then the teatime one in a shared student house in the early 90s (one of my lecture shy housemates always used to get up especially for it).

While ratings have inevitably dropped since their late 80s peak, the real reason that Channel 5 - who took over the show from the BBC in 2008 and underwrote its production since - has finally pulled the plug is that it's now cheaper for it to make its own programmes - like their inferior remake of All Creatures Great and Small - and then sell them to the US networks, rather than buying them in from elsewhere.

The appeal of Neighbours has always been that it's sunny, breeezy and light, a youthful, upbeat and optimistic contrast to, and escape from, the gloomy, divided Thatcherite Britain of the 80s and now, politics having come almost full circle, our post-Brexit fate of isolation and decline, and although the show became more issue-driven of late it never lost its balance of drama and comedy, and thankfully never descended to the unrelenting grimness of Eastenders or, having chosen to ape it, Coronation Street, which has broken from its roots in Northern working-class humour and transformed itself into a completely different programme more akin to a Salford-set equivalent of The Wire.


  1. Thanks for sharing that clip of the final scene from Neighbours, Matt. It saved me the trouble of having to search for it myself. Like you, I watched the soap, back in the late 1980’s, at home after work, before moving house, changing my job, and starting a family.

    Lack of time, and changed commitments, meant that the show fell off the radar. I agree with your assessment of both Neighbours, and the other soaps, along with the divided and increasingly impoverished nation, we seem to have become.

    I thought it a nice little clip, especially as I was wondering how the show’s producers were going to end it, after all these years. If only everything in life was that simple, though!

  2. I'm not sure why the above comment is showing as anonymous, as I was logged in under my Google account, and it definitely was me. 🙂