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The long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours is set to be cancelled in the UK after 36 years on air.
As with British-made soaps such as Coronation Street and EastEnders, fans of Neighbours regularly tuned in to Channel 5 throughout the week to find out all the latest gossip and drama, as well as to witness a number of now-famous faces kick off their careers.
The series has helped launch stars including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie into the spotlight, but British fans are set to lose their fix of the show in August as Channel 5 announced it is being axed.
In an official statement cited by The Independent, Channel 5 explained: 'Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer'.
It continued: 'It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series. We’d also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years.'
The broadcaster went on to acknowledge 'there will be disappointment about this decision', but said its current focus is on 'increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers'.
Neighbours may continue to air in the UK if another channel picks up the series, though it has been noted that Channel 5 has a big hand in funding the series, meaning Neighbours may suffer when it loses the support in August.
It is thought the soap opera has become too expensive to film in comparison to the amount of money it earns through advertising, though Network 10, which airs Neighbours in Australia, is committed to finding another UK broadcaster to take on the series.
Network 10 is set to pause filming while it tries to find a new UK home for the show, with a spokesperson explaining it is their intention to 'continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward'.
They added: 'Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide further updates as they become available.'
Neighbours originally aired on BBC One when it arrived in 1986 before moving to Channel 5 in 2008. News of its cancellation has prompted many fans to urge other UK broadcasters, such as ITV, to take over as its host.
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