Former Neighbours star calls for Australian government to support show amid funding shortfall

“This show employs hundreds if not 1000s of Aussies every single year.”

Former Neighbours star Rob Mills has called on the Australian government to support the soap amid uncertainty over its future.

Over the weekend, it was confirmed that UK broadcaster Channel 5 would be dropping the show from its schedule from this summer, with the series paused indefinitely as it searches for a new broadcaster.

Neighbours also gets funding from the Australian government via Film Victoria, and the initiative was apparently “integral” in the show signing its last five-year deal with Channel 5 back in 2017.

Rob, who played Finn Kelly on the soap until last year, admitted in a new Instagram post that he was “deeply saddened” to hear that the show could end this summer.

“It’s an institution,” he noted. “A living, breathing, creative machine that has employed 1000’s of people over the 37 plus years it’s been bringing Australian stories to life.”

He went on to praise how Neighbours had given work and training to so many people over the years, saying that it “produces the equivalent of 2 FEATURE FILMS a week! Take that TikTokkers!”.

“I can’t help but think if this were mining or aviation, the government would step in and help,” he continued. “If they are all about Jobs Jobs Jobs like they say they are… well, this show employs hundreds if not 1000s of Aussies every single year.”

He implored Australian prime minister Scott Morrison to “throw us a bone”, adding: “As artists we will always find the light. But geez its getting dark in this country. Would love to have a leader who valued #TheArts more in this country. Considering how much everyone has relied on them the last two years.”

Rob went on to admit: “I loved my time on this show. I met and worked with some incredibly talented and warm and generous people. Fingers crossed there’s a solution.”

He then suggested: “PS Here’s an idea… Could @filmvic bank roll Neighbours by turning the whole block into a school? Where students can learn on the job. Just a thought.”

Since the possible axe news was revealed, many fans have signed a petition to save the soap, including star Lucinda Cowden.

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).

Read more Neighbours spoilers on our dedicated homepage.