Strewth! Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue return to Ramsey Street

Scott and Charlene are back Back BACK before Neighbours ceases production in June

Neighbours cast kylie Jason Scott Charlene

by Marianna Manson |

Well tie us down with a brass razoo. Or something like that. Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue are reprising the roles that made that famous, Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell, to wave a sad farewell to Neighbours.

The exiting news was announced on the soap's official Instagram account and shared by both stars, and read, "Scott and Charlene are the ultimate Neighbours couple and it would not feel right to end the show without them. We are thrilled that Jason and Kylie have come home to play a very special part in our series finale. It has been an emotional experience for them, for us and I'm sure it will be for our viewers."

The news thrilled fans, with Courtney Act, who played herself in the soap, saying, "Oh. My. Gosh!' and fellow Neighbours star Denise van Outen gushing, "🙌❤️so excited!"

Kylie has previously revealed her gratitude to the show that made her famous, as the production team of Neighbours confirmed that the soap will be 'rested' after nearly 9000 years.

"I’ll be forever grateful for the experience and the friends I made on @neighbours.We had no idea how big the show would become and how passionately viewers would take it to heart," she wrote.

"Pure love! 💞🏡 I can still hear Madge calling … CHARLENE!!!"

Charlene Robinson Scott Robinson
Charlene and Scott were the ultimate #couplegoals ©Network Ten

Guy Pearce, who played Mike Young from 1986 - 9, joined her in wishing a fond farewell to the soap, saying, "I'm so sorry to hear Neighbours will end. Aside from being the incredible launch pad it's been no one can deny the effect it's had throughout millions of homes around the world. It's bonded all of us in immeasurable ways. A true honour to have been a part of it. Great memories Xx"

Neighbours first arrived on UK screens way back in 1986, originally hosted by BBC One until 2008, when it moved to Channel 5.

At its conception in 1985, creator Reg Watson wanted to explore the dynamic between the three original family in the fictional town of Erinsborough – the Ramsays, the Robinsons and the Clarks.

Toadie Fisher
Remember Toadie with long hair? ©Network Ten

As the soap's popularity with Australian – and later, global – audiences grew, so did the careers of some of its most promising young stars.

Of course, we know that bona-fide mega star Kylie got her foot in the dressing room door by playing mechanic Charlene Mitchell. Her onscreen husband, Scott Robinson, was played by another actor who went on to have a long and glittering career – Jason Donovan, who launched his music career alongside Kylie with their duet Especially For You in 1989.

If you cast your mind back to the late ‘90s, you might also remember Holly Valance of Kiss Kiss fame, and long running cast member Stefan Dennis released the ‘80s hit Don’t It Make You Feel Good.

But it’s not just music this talented lot have gone into, from stage work to reality TV and SERIOUSLY big movie gigs (Liam Hemsworth and Margot Robbie, we’re looking at you) we delve into the lives of some of the most iconic Neighbours stars, to find out what they’re up to now.

Neighbours cast – then and now

Gallery

Classic Neighbours cast - then and now

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

The patriarch of the prolific Ramsay family, Max lived at No. 24 with his wife, Maria, and his teenage sons and Shane Danny when the first episode aired in 1985. He lasted on the soap only a year – when it's revealed that Danny is not in fact his son, Maria leaves the family to be with her lover and by 1986, Max has left the street for Queensland, leaving Erinsborough behind for good.

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CREDIT: Facebook

Francis Bell was a New Zealand-born actor who was active for 20 years, from the mid '70s until his death in 1994. He appeared in 15 films during this time, but playing Max was his biggest role.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Next door at No. 26 lived the Robinson family. Jim Robinson is the wealthy, powerful patriarch and widowed father, who Max has a neighbourly rivalry with.His wealth and charisma attract plenty of suitors, eventually marrying Beverly Marshall and suffering two miscarriages with her. When he enters into a relationship "gold digging" Annalise Hartman, the stress becomes to much for him and he suffers a heart attack and dies, with Annalise making off with his money.

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Alan Dale has gone onto enjoy major career success since his time on Neighbours, and well and truly conquered the US serial market with roles as Caleb Nicolls in The O.C and Bradford Meade in Ugly Betty. He's also got credits in Lost, Star Trek Nemesis, Hollywood Homicide, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.Phew!

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

The very first episode of Neighbours opens on local bachelor Des Clarke's stag do (known as a Buck Night over in oz) as he prepared to wed Lorraine Kingham, but he ends up falling in love with the stripper hired to perform. Des was involved in a battle for Daphne's affections with his best friend, Shane Ramsay, but in the end real love won out and they were married in 1986, and went on to have a son together, Jamie.

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CREDIT: Network Ten

After his exit from the soap in 1990, actor Scott Keane had a very public battle with drink and drugs and fell from grace as one of the country's most loved actors."I have had a lot of problems. It's only years and years later that I have realised that I was struggling with mental health issues - with anxiety disorders and depression. I was hospitalised numerous times for substance abuse," he told the Herald Sun in 2015. "The doctors were so focused on treating the addictions that they didn't diagnose the underlying conditions that were causing it."That same year he returned for a one-off reunion episode featuring the twelve original characters.

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CREDIT: Facebook

Elaine Smith decided to leave Neighbours in 1987, agreeing with producers that fans wouldn't accept her leaving Des and so became the first regular character to be killed off.Since then, she's moved away from acting and works as a primary school teacher in her native Sydney."I found all the attention pretty overwhelming because I'm quite a private person and people would shout 'stripper' at me in the street!' she said.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Perhaps the most loved couples to have graced Ramsay Street were Harold and Madge Bishop. Madge Mitchell was a single mother raising her teenage children alone when she met Harold, a church-going, tuba-playing, Salvation Army donating salesman in 1987. Despite their differences, the two married and were deeply in love until Madge's death in 2001 from pancreatic cancer.

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Actors Ian Smith and Anne Charleston reunited for the first time since Harold's vision of his late wife in 2015, during a special reunion episode. The old colleagues even appeared in Harold's cafe to speak to the Loose Women and reminisce about their time on the soap.Since making his official exit in 2009, Ian has eased into retirement from acting, but has appeared as himself on plenty of panel and radio shows. Meanwhile, Anne has been living in Ireland since 2001 and made a career in theatre and pantomime.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

The first bonafide Neighbours heart throb, Scott Robinson was one of four Robinson children. Despite their fathers' rivalry, Scott was great friends with Danny Ramsay. Scott begins dating young Charlene Mitchell and quickly proposed despite both their parents, Jim and Madge, being against them marrying at such a young age. They eventually leave Erinsborough for Brisbane in 1989 and have two children together, Daniel and Madison.

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In 1989 a reporter from the Canberra Times confirmed that Jason Donovan's contract had been altered and he was leaving the show to pursue a singing career.He went onto enjoy success with solo hits like Too Many Broken Hearts and 10 Good Reasons in the late '80s and early '90s. After Neighbours, he's best known for his year long run as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but has worked on plenty of stage productions and reality shows since.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Charlene Mitchell was the sassy teen daughter of Madge, who had been living with her dad after her parents marriage broke down before moving to Erinsborough following an abortion. She was a self-confessed tomboy who liked to be known by her nickname Lenny, and had ambitions of becoming a mechanic. After marrying Scott and becoming Charlene Robinson, she was offered an apprencticeship in Brisbane and left Erinsborough and Scott, only to be joined by him months later.

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After leaving Neighbours in 1988 to focus on her own pop career, Kylie Minogue became – well, she became Kylie Minogue. One of the biggest pop icons of our age, Kylie has had 7 UK number one singles and countless more across the globe. In 2015, she won the right to trademark her name 'Kylie' around the world (minus the USA), and in 2019 she headlined the coveted oldies slot at Glastonbury. That's how big she is.

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Brother of Scott, Julie and Lucy and eldest son of Jim, throughout the '80s Paul's character was developed into a ruthless, arrogant businessman who was often at loggerheads with others on the street and had a reputation for cheating in all his relationships.

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Stefen left the show in 1994 after producers realised his bad behaviour had gone too far. Though they considered killing him off, the role was left open and he returned in 2004. During the late '80s he (surprise, surprise) launched a music career and had some success with the single 'Don't It Make You Feel Good' which reached number 11 in the UK charts. During his haitus he played Mickey in Blood Brothers, touring in New Zealand and Australia, before appearing in the West End production, and lived for a while in the UK where he met and married his wife, Gail.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Dr. Karl Kennedy was introduced in 1994 after producers realised their was a gap in the cast for a normal, stable family. Karl was introduced as the local GP so that the family could have immediate links with other characters. The family arrived in Erinsborough under difficult circumstances, with Karl having been accused of being responsible for a patients death, and though they initially struggled, the Karl Kennedy has been a solid character on Ramsay Street for over 20 years.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Susan took on a job as a teacher at a local primary school when she first came to Erinsborough with her family, and has since worked as a journalist and the principal of a high school. In 2007, Susan was diagnosed with MS, but despite her illness offered to act as her daughters surrogate in 2009. She and Karl's marriage suffered multiple infidelities on both parts, but have always found their way back together.

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Despite their sometimes rocky on screen marriage, actors Alan Fletch and Jackie Woodburn both still star on the soap after twenty four years, and count each other among their closest friends. Awh!

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Karl and Susan Kennedy were parents to these cherubic beauties, Billy and Libby Kennedy.

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And boy, did they GLOW UP during their time on the show. Billy becomes close friends with 'Toadie' Rebecchi' and falls in love with local girl Anne Wilkinson, and gets a job as a local lifeguard. After school, Billy narrowly misses out on a university place in Queensland with Anne and the couple try to do a long distance relationship.Eventually Billy is offered a carpentry apprenticeship where he is reunited with Anne and the couple have a son. In 2017, Susan reveals that the childhood sweethearts are married, and have given birth to twins.

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Jesse starred on the soap from 1994 - 2000, then again briefly in 2005. He has since co-starred in films such as Winning London, Uptown Girls and Swimming Upstream. From 2004 to 2012, he starred as Dr. Robert Chase on the Fox medical drama House.

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Opinionated and with lofty political ambitions, Libby studies Journalism and followed in her mother's footsteps when she took up teaching at the local high school.Her most controversial storyline was when Susan offered herself to act as surrogate during Libby's pregnancy with husband Dan Fitzgerald, which ended in tragedy when the baby miscarried.

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Since working on Neighbours, Kym Valentine has become a much loved Australian actress, appearing as the lead character, Baby, in Dirty Dancing: the classic story on stage and following the show to London's West End. In 2016, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy with partner Trent Croad, who they named Phoenix.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

One of the original Robinson clan, Julie was characterised as a classic nosey neighbour who was always a little stuck up.She came to a tragic end in 1994 when, during a murder mystery weekend, which was attended by many Erinsborough residents, Julie's body was found at the bottom of a staircase. Mullins explained that originally Julie was going to commit suicide, but the writers changed the storyline a couple of days before filming without telling her.

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CREDIT: Facebook

Julie Mullins wasn't the first actress to play Julie Robinson, but the second incarnation when the character returned in 1992. She's since moved to Ireland and has been playing Mrs Lovett in the Lyric Belfast's production of Sweeney Todd, and is very politically engaged, by the looks of her Twitter.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Shane Ramsay was the eldest (and favourite) son of Max Ramsay, and was initially Des Clarke's love rival when he began dating Daphne Lawrence.Throughout his run on the soap, Shane was involved in two car crashes, and was locked in a wine cellar by an obsessive stalker, before leaving Ramsay Street in 1987 to travel around Australia.

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Peter O'Brien is another to have done very well for himself following his time on Neighbours. He's earned heavyweight credentials in both Australia and the UK, and even some in the US, having starred in Queer as Folk, White Collar Blue, Hell Has Harbour Views and Gossip Girl.

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You may not remember little Kenny Larkin, who appeared in just four episodes in 1987 scamming Madge out of $50 and costing her and Henry their jobs.

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So he might not be a genuinely CLASSIC neighbours character, but Kenny gets a mention on this list because he was played by the actual Russel Crowe, who went onto have actual Gladiator fame. Talk about a career boost.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Ahh, Toadie. Toadie, Toadie, Toadie. A much loved character since 1995, Jarrod Rebecchi was intitially introduced as a troubled, misunderstood teen, but we've watched him grow into a great friend (particularly to Billy Kennedy) and father, and has recently returned to the street.

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Although Neighbours has remained Ryan's biggest acting gig, he's also starred on ABC's Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell and the 11th series of Celebrity Big Brother. He married fellow actress Alison Hayward in 2003.

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CREDIT: Network Ten/Seven Network

Danny Ramsay was the misunderstood youngest son of Max Ramsay, who made firm friends with Scott Robinson and had some groundbreaking storylines where he struggled to come to terms with his sexuality.

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David Clencie has gone on to work as a voice over artist.

When can I watch Neighbours on TV?

You can currently catch Neighbours on Channel 5 on Thursday and Friday afternoons, at 1.45pm and 6pm - but the end is in sight following the UK channel's statement they would be axing the show from their programming.

The show, which first aired in the UK in 1986, originally featured on the BBC but moved to Channel 5 in 2008 and 2017 it was reported that discussions between producers and Channel 5 had come to a halt.

WATCH: Alan Fletcher AKA Dr Karl Kennedy reveals Neighbours secrets you need to know

Neighbours characters - how could we forget this lot?

As well as the golden oldies, let's not forget these notable neighbours characters from episodes gone by...

Neighbours: Margot Robbie

While Kylie Minogue (Charlene Robson) was undoubtedly the biggest star to come out of the soap, there were plenty of others you may not know made their debut on Ramsey Street. One Margot Robbie, known now for mega Hollywood hits like I, Tonya, Mary Queen of Scots an Suicide Squad, joined the cast as Donna Freedman for three years between 2008 and 2011.

Neighbours: Toadie

While he wasn't an OG cast member, joining a decade after the soap's inception in 1995, Jarrod 'Toadie' Rebecchi aka Ryan Moloney has become one of the most iconic characters in the soap's history.

Speaking to MailOnline Australia in 2019 about the mullet that made his character famous, Ryan said, "I hated that hair but that is how I got the job in the first place.

"I'd auditioned previously and they rang up and said, 'Is your hair still the same?' I said, 'Yes', and they said, 'Great, you have got the job. Don't cut it'."

Neighbours: Paul Robinson

Without a doubt one of the most controversial characters in the soap's 36 year history has been OG baddie Paul Robinson. With the exception of an 11 year haitus between 1993 and 1994, Paul - played by actor Stefan Dennis - has been terrorising the street since 1985 when he was first brought home drunk by neighbour Max Ramsey.

Paul's money-making schemes and scandals have been the crux of his storylines ever since - most notably when he's forced to flee the country in 1993 over fraud charges and lives on the run in Brazil.

Neighbours: Amanda Holden

In 2021, Blighty's own Amanda Holden was spotted on the set of Neighbours for the first time after landing the role of Harlow Robinson (played by Jemma Donovan, IRL daughter of Jason Donovan) flies to the UK to find out what happened to her mum Prue, played by Denise Van Outen, with Amanda making her first appearance in the last half of last year.

Amanda said at the time, "Like most people in the UK who were around in the late Eighties and early Nineties, I grew up watching Neighbours every single day.

"I was glued to our TV for the wedding of Kylie [Minogue] and Jason [Donovan], while cursing Mrs Mangel [Vivean Gray] and praying that Mike and Jane [Guy Pearce and Jane Harris] would eventually get together! Not to mention all the other greats over the years.

"To now have the opportunity to be a part of such an iconic Australian show is simply fabulous. I can't wait to work with Jemma in London. This feels like a joyous occasion for everyone."

Neighbours 2021

As well as Amanda making her debut last year, it's promising news for Neighbours fans as the soap has continued to announce new characters joining the cast.

In fact, as recently as last month (January 2022), the long running soap revealed newest cast member Kiri Hua Durant, played by actor Gemma Bird Matheson, was set to make her debut later this year.

Gemma said, "I felt honoured to be a part of such an iconic Australian show, but I was also excited by what this representation would mean for a lot of people, especially on such a mainstream show," she said of her reaction to landing the role.

"I'm a big advocate for queer people playing queer roles. I'm excited about this representation for several reasons – I get to play myself, a queer Papua New Guinean Christian. That's pretty monumental."

Neighbours theme song

Shy of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (Sorry, Kylie) the Neighbours theme song is probably one of Australia's most famous songs.

The song was penned by British songwriters Tony Hatch and then wife Jackie Trent in the 1980s, with the original sung by Aussie pop star Barry Crocker. It's been through nine (yes, nine) iterations since, but the tune is still undoubtedly one of the most recognisable in the world.

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