The plot thickens: More ‘adored’ characters return to Neighbours as filming starts in Ramsay Street

Watch the new Neighbours trailer

Source: YouTube/Prime Video Australia

Eight months ago, after 37 years on air, Australia’s iconic soapie Neighbours wrapped for the last time, with millions of emotional fans around the world farewelling their stars and reliving their favourite episodes.

Famous for turning little-known Australian actors into Hollywood household names, the show’s 8903rd episode also brought back Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie to share in the grand finale of the long-running, nostalgic series.

Neighbours was to be immortalised forever in a room in the National Film and Television Archives … a sad day for locally produced Australian television.

Hang on!

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Just when hundreds of cast and crew, directors, hair and make-up staff, costume designers and set decorators were applying for jobs elsewhere, streaming giant Amazon saved the day.

Production company Fremantle signed a deal with Amazon Freevee while the Ten Network got to retain first-run rights in Australia (episodes will be available ad-free on Prime Video after seven days).

The cast has been chosen, production is set to start soon, with a world premiere slated for spring (September).

So, who is going back to the future in the new series?

Seven lucky stars.

Annie Jones (as Jane Harris), Rebekah Elmaloglou (as Terese Willis), Georgie Stone (as Mackenzie Hargreaves), and Tim Kano (as Leo Tanaka) will reprise their roles as series regulars.

Returning in guest roles are Ian Smith (as Harold Bishop), April Rose Pengilly (as Chloe Brennan), and Melissa Bell (as Lucy Robinson).

They will be joined by Neighbours icons Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson), Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy), Ryan Moloney (Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi) and Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy), who were announced several weeks ago.

Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison said the “next chapter will be a wonderful mix of the familiar and the new”.

“It will be the Erinsborough we love and remember, with fresh twists and surprises.”

Prime Video said its catalogue of “adored characters” will deliver new storylines “about the lives, loves, and challenges of the residents on Ramsay Street in Erinsborough, Australia, a fictional suburb of Melbourne”.

Plot lines?

Jones, 56, first landed the role of Jane Harris from 1986 to 1989, receiving a Logie for most popular actress.

In 2015, she took part in a documentary special, Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, celebrating the show’s 30th anniversary and by 2018, she had reprised the role until the show’s final episode on July 28.

“I’m beyond excited to be back for this new chapter,” she said.

“It was totally unexpected but an absolute delight to be asked again to join the cast. I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for Jane.”

Elmaloglou, 49, whose Neighbours’ role lasted more than 10 years, said: “Honestly, I’m just as much in the dark as our fans and equally as excited, and a little nervous to see what the writers have planned for Terese.

“No doubt Paul will be lurking in the background. I’ve really missed Melbourne.”

Overseas, the revitalised series will premiere for free, exclusively on Amazon Freevee in Britain and US.

The series will also stream on Prime Video in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.

Prime Video is streaming previous seasons of Neighbours in Australia and NZ.

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