Neighbours Finale | Goodbye Ramsay Street
I begin this story having watched my first Neighbours episode in many years yesterday evening. My soap-viewing days ended about a decade ago, so I only really recognised Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis). The episode I saw was shown on Thursday 28th July 2022, one day before the last-ever episode.
Izzy, Shane, Mal & Karl
A few characters from the past popped up though – namely Izzy Hoyland (Natalie Bassingthwaite), Shane Ramsay (Peter O’Brien) and Mal Kennedy (Benjamin McNair). Who are, as I write, at the centre of a little love triangle. Par for the course where Izzy’s concerned, who shook things up long ago by having an affair with Dr Karl. Mal’s dad, incidentally.
Lucy, Therese & Chloe
Lucy Robinson (Melissa Bell) was also seen on screen, as was Rebekah Elmaloglou as Therese Willis, who starred in Home and Away as Sophie Simpson many moons ago. Apart from those, in that penultimate episode I only saw one other face I really know – the delightfully pretty Chloe Brennan, played by April Rose Pengilly, daughter of Kirk from INXS (the best band ever).
Neighbours & 80s & 90s music
The music connection is what inspired me to write this piece for an 80s and 90s music blog. Former Neighbours actors had an incredible influence on the music scene of the 80s and 90s – as well as being some of today’s film stars.
Scott, Charlene, Mike & Jane
Today, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan return for the Neighbours final episode. Neighbours spoilers that have popped up on my Facebook feed have given me more than a hint as to what’s to come, but I’m not sure where Margot Robbie comes into play. And what about Guy Pearce, aka Mike? Will he finally get it together with Jane (Annie Jones)? Recreating the awesome foursome of my formative years?
The early years of Neighbours
The first time I heard of Neighbours was during a dull school assembly. A couple of guys next to me were talking about watching it when they were off school due to sickness. This was because it was only shown during the early afternoons in those days. I remember clearly them chatting about their crushes on Charlene (Kylie Minogue).
By the time I was 12 or 13, I was hooked. The show was by then shown at 5.35pm as well as during the afternoon, and was a highlight of many a schoolkid’s day. For me, it marked the period between doing homework and having dinner.
Neighbours stars on the music scene
Sometime after Scott and Charlene’s got married to the strains of Suddenly by Angry Anderson in 1987, Neighbours stars started to storm the British charts. There was Kylie’s I Should Be So Lucky (1987), Jason’s Too Many Broken Hearts (1989), then their duet Especially For You, which reached number one in the UK in January 1989.
Other actors from the show who made it into the charts during the 80s and 90s. included Stefan Dennis with Don’t It Make You Feel Good (1989), Craig McLachlan’s Mona (1990) and Natalie Imbruglia with Torn (1997).
After the millenium, Neighbours actors continued to record music. There was Holly Valance with Kiss Kiss and Delta Goodrem with Born To Try, both released in 2002. Even Gayle and Gillian Blakeney had a go during the early 90s – they’d played identical twins on the Australian soap. The former was even married to Paul Robinson at one point. Natalie Bassingthwaite’s band Rogue Traders also had a hit with Voodoo Child.
Visiting Ramsay Street
I visited Ramsay Street myself in late 1996, catching buses from where I was staying in St Kilda to reach Pin Oak Court in Vermont South, Melbourne. The real life Ramsay Street. Alas they weren’t filming when I visited. Mister, though, got his picture taken with local legend Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) when he went at a different time. He’s pretty proud of that!
Neighbours has changed lives
If I hadn’t been a Neighbours fan, I’m not sure that I would have spent a year in Australia between 1996 and 1997. Nor returned twice (so far) since. Mister and I met Down Under, and I wouldn’t have landed a job in travel after coming back to the UK if I didn’t have that personal experience of backpacking.
So in a way, Neighbours really has changed my life. Its stars also largely dominated the pop scene during the 80s and 90s. Not to mention the impressive list of big name actors who started out in Ramsay Street – Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth and Russell Crowe are the biggest names on that fairly long list.
The end of Neighbours
How will it end? With more than a hint of a Mike and Jane reunion, and Ramsay Street being populated once more by Ramsay: Shane and Charlene both hail from the original Neighbours family. That’s how it looks from here, anyway.
Bouncer was of course alluded to during the Neighbours season finale, when Shane Ramsay said he’d named his car after a pal’s pet dog. Will it all turn out be one of his infamous dreams? Shall we really see Madge as a ghost, as has been rumoured?
The end of an era
For me, as I write, there’s just 12 hours until the last episode ends and all the loose ends will be tied up. Forever. Farewell, Ramsay Street. It’s the end of an era.
It’s worse for Jason Donovan, though. His father, sister and daughter have all appeared on Ramsay Street at some point. Where on earth will the next generation of Australian pop and movie stars come from?
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