For the past 37 years, Neighbours has been a teatime favourite. However, as producers prepare to film the final episodes of the much-loved serial, the end is near. Of course, with over four decades of history to draw from, deciding what — or who — the show should focus on as it enters its last weeks is a major undertaking.
As part of the finale, Neighbours producer Jason Herbison has pledged to pay tribute to the show’s legacy by bringing back some old favourites to Ramsay Street. In recent years, audiences have been treated to various legacy characters returning home for a visit, including the long-dead Jim Robinson (Alan Dale)! But Jason teases that there may be even larger surprises in store. He teased TV Tonight, “I’m definitely hoping some of these faces return, along with others we haven’t been able to bring back till now.”
Ian Smith, who plays Harold Bishop, and Peter O’Brien, who plays Shane Ramsay, have already been confirmed to return.
Will the huge personalities initially spotted on the show say ‘thank you’ by paying a cheeky return visit, given that Neighbours is recognised as a breeding ground for future stars?
Here’s a list of stars we’d want to see return to Ramsay Street, along with their chances of doing so…
Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (Scott and Charlene Robinson)
Let’s get right to the point. Will Charlene and Scott return to Ramsay Street, as everyone expects? Neighbours’ most iconic event is the couple’s wedding, and fans would want to see them return for the show’s final season. Will it, however, ever happen? It’s not impossible, after all…
After the news of Neighbours’ future became public, Jason Donovan (Scott) paid tribute to the show on social media. When asked about a return last year, he stated that it didn’t ‘feel right’ at the moment. Will he reconsider now that it’s his final chance, especially because he’d get to work with his daughter Jenna, who plays Harlow on the show?
Kylie, meanwhile, praised the concert in her social media messages. When questioned about Kylie’s prospective return, producer Jason Herbison told TV Tonight, “I’m doing everything you’d expect me to be doing!” So keep an eye on it!
Natalie Imbruglia (Beth Willis)
Natalie has said that she would be interested in returning to Erinsborough. In terms of the tale, Beth has a compelling motive to return: her son Ned presently resides on Ramsay Street, so a reunion between the mother and her son would be entirely natural.
“”I think it would be amazing to go through those doors,” the star, who last appeared in the performance in 1994, told The Mirror. “I mean, I’m not sure I’ll recognise anyone – not even my own son!””
Guy Pearce (Mike Young)
Jane Harris (Annie Jones), called ‘Plain Jane Super Brain,’ has been back on the show for several years. What a happy ending it would be if she was reunited with her childhood beau Mike, who is now known as Hollywood star Guy Pearce.
Annie Jones told Radio Times that she tried to persuade Guy to return for the 35th anniversary in 2020, but she was unsuccessful because he was’so damned busy.’ Two years prior, Guy and Stefan Dennis (Paul) exchanged several Twitter bants after Paul’s on-screen flirtation with Jane. There’s clearly a lot of affection there, but will it be enough to get Guy – and Mike – back home?
Margot Robbie (Donna Freedman)
Margot is currently one of Hollywood’s best actors, with numerous honours and Oscar nominations, but she was Donna Freedman for three years beginning in 2008. Donna’s plots included a groundbreaking same-sex kiss with Sunny, a high school classmate, and an affair with Paul’s son Andrew. Margot’s profile is so strong in the United States that she’s unlikely to return to Ramsay Street, but don’t count it out. In 2018, she told The Sun, “I had so much on the show.”
Delta Goodrem (Nina Tucker)
In 2002, the music sensation used Neighbours to kickstart her career. Delta was already signed to a record label when she joined the show, and because Nina is a wonderful singer, her song Born To Fly was incorporated in the storylines. Delta departed the programme in 2004, but returned in 2005 for a cameo for the show’s 20th anniversary, as well as a storyline for the show’s 30th anniversary. Will she return for a third time to say her goodbyes to Erinsborough?
Spencer, Jesse (Billy Kennedy)
Producer Jason has guaranteed that the show’s current cast members will not be forgotten in the midst of all the nostalgia. “It has to be a celebration of the present cast as well,” he explains. “Karl, Susan, Toadie, and Paul have deservedly earned a front-and-center position.”
What better way to accomplish this – and give a kiss to the past at the same time – than to invite Karl and Susan’s youngest kid Billy back for a family reunion? Jesse has now gone on to star in successful drama series House and Chicago Fire in the United States. “I’d do a guest episode, for sure,” he said on a return of Neighbours in 2009, according to Digital Spy. So, we’re wondering if the deal is still valid.
(Izzy Hoyland) Natalie Bassingthwaighte
Izzy Hoyland, not sultry secretary Sarah Beaumont, was the one who got Karl and Susan divorced — and later gave birth to Karl’s daughter, Holly. Natalie, a singer and actress who had a number three hit in the UK with her song “Voodoo Child” in 2006, has returned twice since leaving the show in 2006. In 2018, she made her most recent appearance. “Someone from Karl’s dirty past is definitely coming back,” Alan Fletcher (Karl) told This Morning. Is Izzy returning to wreak one last vengeance on the Kennedys?
Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, and Russell Crowe (Kenny Larkin, Josh Taylor, Jamie Kane)
Russell’s stint on the soap is well-known, but he only featured in four episodes as hoodlum Kenny Larkin in 1987. Liam played paraplegic youngster Josh Taylor in 19 episodes from 2007 as he assisted Bridget Parker with her recuperation after she was injured by a car. In 2002, Liam’s brother Chris, who went on to star in Home and Away as Kim Hyde, paid a visit to Ramsay Street for an episode.
Despite their rockstar status, we doubt the trio would be part of any plan for the conclusion, given their small role in the show’s almost 6000-episode count. Even if they did have the opportunity to visit!
Alan Dale and Anne Charleston (Madge Bishop and Jim Robinson)
Madge and Jim are hard to surpass when it comes to classic characters, as they were the show’s backbone in its early years. Both performers have already shown that they are willing to return for cameo appearances, despite the fact that their characters are no longer alive! So, as a special surprise for long-time admirers, would these two favourites make a reappearance?
On Channel 5, Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45 p.m. and 5.30 p.m.