Neighbours: Why was the hit Australian soap cancelled?

Neighbours is coming to an end – but why is it being axed? (Pictures: Rex)

Fans of Australian soap stalwart Neighbours have been left devastated in the wake of its final ever episode, following the news earlier this year that the long-running show had been axed.

The soap first arrived on screens in 1985 and has delighted fans ever since, with a whole load of cast members – including Kylie Minogue, Liam Hemsworth, Jason Donovan, Alan Dale and Margot Robbie – going on to become household names.

The final episode wrapped things up neatly as long-time character Toadie (Ryan Moloney) married Mel (Lucinda Cowden), and a whole bunch of familiar faces – including Kylie, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie and Guy Pearce – all put in appearances.

But why was Neighbours cancelled – and could it return?

The show made household names of stars including Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

Here is everything you need to know.

Why is Neighbours being axed?

Neighbours came to an end as the show was unable to find alternative funding after Channel 5 decided to stop broadcasting it.

Ben Frow, boss of Channel 5, has revealed that his decision to axe the soap was simply a ‘business’ one, and that the money is ‘better spent’ on making UK programming.

Producers confirmed the sad news in March.

A tweet sent by the official Neighbours account read: ‘We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in the summer.’

Could Neighbours come back?

Despite the fact the show was unable to find itself another broadcaster, Channel 10 in Australia haven’t ruled out the possibility it could return in some form.

Speaking to The Herald Sun, the channel’s head Beverley McGarvey highlighted the possibility of one-off specials or reunion shows, adding: ‘I also wouldn’t rule out that some day Fremantle will be able to create an environment where they can bring it back in some way. It’s happened to shows before.

‘I still cling to the slim, optimistic hope that would be possible because there’s great appetite for content everywhere.’

Fans of the soap have also attempted to take action, with a petition to save Neighbours having amassed almost 60,000 signatures since March.

Neighbours is more than just a TV show – it is a source of comfort and entertainment for generations of fans who have watched it for decades – it is one of the most loved TV shows in the UK and brings lots of viewers from all backgrounds to Channel 5’s catalogue of channels,’ the petition reads.

The final episode of Neighbours will air on Channel 5 tonight at 9pm.