Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison has set the record straight over missing footage in the UK edit of the soap’s finale episode.
Eagle-eyed fans have been comparing the Australian and UK versions of the final ever episode, which aired on Thursday (July 28) and Friday (July 29) night respectively.
A short video message from Sky Mangel was absent from the UK finale, along with a touching moment where Karl Kennedy told Toadie Rebecchi that he considered him as a son.
Beth Brennan mentioning her son Ned Willis in her video message was also cut.
While some fans have accused Channel 5 of tinkering with the finale, Insertions.us can exclusively reveal that both versions were made by Neighbours’ production team in Australia.
The subtle differences were due to Australia airing the final Neighbours episodes in a 90-minute slot, while the UK had a regular 30-minute daytime episode and hour-long 9pm special.
Herbison, who wrote the script for the finale, exclusively told Insertions.us: “The finale was always intended as a one-hour special. However, when [Australian channel] Network 10 made the decision to run 90-minute episodes in the final week, we suddenly found ourselves with more screen time.
“After bolting the second last episode with the finale and dropping an extra set of credits and recap, it opened up over a minute of time.
“We hurriedly added in some additional moments, such as Karl’s longer speech and Beth blowing a kiss to Ned.”
He added: “As you can imagine, with so much story at play, there was a lot of material left on the floor. There is easily another 15 minutes of unseen footage in the last episode, including the video messages.
“Perhaps one day we can do a special cut and cover such important questions as – how did that street party come together so quickly?”
Channel 5’s version of the finale also included commercial tracks from the likes of George Ezra and Harry Styles. The station then continued the celebrations with two follow-up shows.
Neighbours’ finale episode was a huge hit on both sides of the world, with Australia’s airing topping the 1 million mark for the first time in 13 years.
The UK broadcast also enjoyed impressive numbers, with 2.5 million viewers tuning in. These figures are likely to increase once recordings and catch-up are taken into account.
Neighbours has now come to an end, but catch-up episodes are available via My 5 (UK) and 10 Play (Australia).