Neighbours star Guy Pearce reveals why he pitched big show finale twist

A shorter version of Neighbours’ grand finale aired in the UK (Picture: Channel 5 / Fremantle)

Neighbours icon Guy Pearce agreed to return as Mike Young on one condition: that the finale revealed his character to be Sam’s biological father.

Sitting down to offer some context, the LA Confidential and Iron Man 3 star recently explained on the soap’s Twitter page that Sam actress Henrietta Graham is a “very good friend” of his, and he wanted to collaborate on screen before the curtain closed forever.

“She was cast in the show some months back at the beginning of the year, so I was very excited for her to get on the show. Couldn’t believe it, I was really over the moon.

“I’ve known their family before Henry was even born, and sadly and strangely, right on Henrietta’s 18th birthday in February was the day I read the article that the show was finishing. So I was going: ‘No! No! This is terrible, I can’t believe it!'” Pearce recalled.

“My first port of call was to sort of check in and go: ‘Well is she going to get to film anything at all? Is she going to get to be on the show?’ And I found out that the show was going to continue on at least filming until the June, so she was at least going to get to do some stuff.”

The Hollywood star’s immediate thought was to pitch Mike and Sam’s surprise connection, otherwise his return might come across as a little odd.

“So getting to come back and work with Henrietta, and more specifically to play her father, was a real joy, and Jason [Herbison] the producer and the other writers I think were very happy with that idea straight away. So that’s what we all agreed to do,” he smiled.

In an exclusive chat with, Herbison elaborated on this further: “Guy was brilliant. We had a shape for the story, which of course involved revisiting Mike and ‘plain’ Jane. But he brought so much more to it. It was his idea that Mike turn out to be Sam’s father, which we all felt was one of the most touching elements of the finale.”

Neighbours has now come to an end, but catch-up episodes are available via My 5 (UK) and 10 Play (Australia).