The show explains why Sheila is staying in the US.
Neighbours has explained Sheila Canning’s departure from the show in a new scene.
The regular character has been absent from the soap in recent days after some low-key final scenes aired at the beginning of last week.
Sheila was last seen reacting to the news that Roxy Willis (Zima Anderson) had broken into Freya Wozniak’s (Phoebe Roberts) home.
The Canning family matriarch has stayed off screen since then, but viewers later learned that she was urgently travelling to Los Angeles to visit her daughter Naomi, whose partner had fallen ill.
In Friday’s episode on Channel 5, Sheila’s grandson Levi (Richie Morris) let Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher) know that she had landed in the US.
A subsequent scene saw Sheila’s other grandson Kyle (Chris Milligan) take a worrying phone call from her, discovering that she’d be staying in the States for the foreseeable future.
Kyle told Roxy: “She had to go straight to the hospital. Naomi’s boyfriend died. The bloke had three kids. Gran reckons they don’t have any other family, so Nomes has to take care of them. She’s way out of her depth, that’s why gran’s gone to help.”
Roxy replied: “Of course Mama has. She would literally do anything for her family.”
Colette Mann, who played Sheila, recently used Twitter to respond to fans who wanted to know whether her character’s departure is permanent.
She replied: “Looks that way.”
Monday’s (February 21) episode of Neighbours will feature an update to the show’s opening titles, with Levi, Roxy and Kyle starring in a new beachside shot without Sheila.
Zara Selwyn (Freya Van Dyke) is also added to the sequence, appearing alongside her mum Amy (Jacinta Stapleton) and Ned Willis (Ben Hall).
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).