Main Pages

Actors & Crew
Year by Year
Magic Moments

Message Board

Features > Happy 18th Birthday Neighbours

On March 18th 1985, Australian television introduced viewers to three families living in a suburban cul-de-sac, which would be the setting for a new soap opera, Neighbours. 18 years later, it may be on a different network with different faces, but Ramsay Street remains Australia's most famous address and Neighbours continues to entertain audiences worldwide. So, to celebrate the show's anniversary, here are some facts and figures themed around the number 18!

18 Classic Characters | 18 Random Facts | 18 Classic Quotes | 18 Classic Moments

1. The street in which Neighbours is filmed is not called Ramsay Street, but actually Pin Oak Court. Also, the street is much, much longer than it may seem. It continues on past the crossroads that many residents drive down when they leave the street, and even houses its own church!

2. Neighbours has had many famous people guest star in the show, including Gwen Plumb, Warwick Capper, Molly Meldrum, Russell Crowe, Abigail, Derek Nimmo, musicians Human Nature and the Pet Shop Boys, and recently, children’s entertainers the Wiggles.

3. Jonathon Dutton (Tad) was a huge Neighbours fan before he appeared in the soap, and lists former Neighbours actor and Hollywood star Guy Pearce as one of his inspirations.

4. Julie Mullins, who played the caustic Julie Martin, was put in dark make up to age her 10 years for the role, and is actually a really, really nice lady in real life!

5. Neighbours is renowned for its off-screen romances between cast members. The most famous is the love affair between Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Others include Vikki Blanche and David Clencie, Anne Haddy and James Condon, Elaine Smith and Peter O’Brien, Fiona Corke and Nick Caraffa, Rachel Friend and Craig McLachlan, Gayle Blakeney and Stefan Dennis, Simone Robertson and Benjamin Mitchell, Scott Michaelson and Kimberley Davies, Delta Goodrem and Blair McDonough and many more!

6. Neighbours has the largest amount of actors crossing over from Prisoner. Former Prisoner actors that have appeared on Neighbours include Elspeth Ballantyne, Collette Mann, Caroline Gillmer, Anne Charleston, Lesley Baker, Sally Cooper, Maggie Dence, and Maxine Kliblingaitis. From the current cast, Tom Oliver, Ian Smith, Maggie Millar, Jackie Woodburne, Janet Andrewartha and Shane Connor all appeared in the soap.

7. When Ailsa Piper was given a storyline about how her character Ruth had a cancer scare, Ailsa was going through the same terrible experience herself. Thankfully both Ailsa, and Ruth, were clear.

8. Many characters have been related in the show in real life. Jason and Terence Donovan (Scott Robinson and Doug Willis) are father and son, and Jason’s half-sister is newcomer Stephanie McIntosh. Diana and Finn Greentree (Rose Kirk and Toby Mangel) are mother and son, Simone (Phoebe Gottlieb) and Aimee Robertson (Melissa Drenth) are sisters, as are Gayle and Gillian Blakeney (Caroline and Christina Alessi).

9. Several of the actors have been replaced whilst in the show, either because the original character wanted to leave, or the character and actor didn’t work together. Some examples are Jason Donovan taking over the role of Scott Robinson from Darius Perkins, Julie Mullins playing Vikki Blanche’s Julie Robinson/Martin, Beverly Robinson being played by Lisa Armytage and Shaunna O’Grady, Christopher Milne and Ian Rawlings both having a stab at playing Phil Martin, Peta Brady taking over Amelia Frid’s role of Cody Willis, and Lucy Robinson played by a record three actors – Kylie Flinker, Sasha Close and Melissa Bell. The babies in Ramsay Street are almost always played by two or three children at the beginning, Lolly Carpenter was played by Tessa Taylor and Jiordan Anna Tolli, and Jamie Clarke was played by S J Dey, Ryder Susman and Nicholas Mason.

10. On a similar note, several actors (normally guest characters) have come back to the show to play new characters. Stephanie Daniel (Chloe) played Ruth Wilson in the 1980s, Jonathon Dutton played a boy scout who fell off a cliff whilst on a hike with Harold before he got the role of Tad, Lyn Semler played Phil Martin’s first wife Loretta, then later Doug’s psychotic admirer Jill. Brenda Addie played Beth’s mother Bunny, and later Sheena’s mother Rhonda. Others include: Margot Knight (Jean Richards and Tracy Cox), Christine Keogh (Carmel Devine and Liz Conway), Jenny Seedsman (Kate Gibbons and Dorothy Stevens), Benjamin Mitchell (Brad Willis and Cameron Hudson), Troy Beckwith (Darren Wood and Michael Martin), Don Bridges (Karl Banks and Big Kev Rebecchi) Diana Greentree (Barbara Young and Rose Kirk), Ian Rawlings (Marcus Stone and Philip Martin), Nick Carrafa (Tony Romeo and Peter Hannay), Radha Mitchell (Cassandra Rushmore and Catherine O’Brien), James Condon (Douglas Blake and Reuben White), Richard Moss (Glen Matheson and Garnet White).

11. Vivean Gray, who played the waspish Mrs. Mangel, was forced to leave her role after she received abuse from people who, sadly, were unable to distinguish fact from fiction. She is now a recluse because of them.

12. Unfortunately, some of the Neighbours actors have passed away. The fantastic Myra de Groot, who played Des’ hilarious mother Eileen Clarke, passed away after suffering from cancer. Francis Bell (Max Ramsay) committed suicide in 1994, and Neighbours legend Anne Haddy (Helen Daniels) passed away in 1999. Neighbours guest star Gwen Plumb died last year.

13. Some of the actors who have appeared on the show have also written for the series, including Ian Smith, Shane Porteous, Margot Knight, Marieke Hardy and Alan Hopgood.

14. Hannah Martin was born two years before her parents met. Don’t ask.

15. Jamie Clarke was played by a girl for two years (hence Sarah Jane Dey being credited as S J Dey)

16. The longest serving original cast member was Anne Haddy, who played Helen Daniels from 1985 until 1997.

17. Despite being a main character, Catherine O’Brien never appeared on the opening titles, even though they were updated several times whilst she was on the show.

18. Emma Roche originally played Stephanie Scully. After three weeks of filming, they were not happy with the decision, and re-cast Carla Bonner in her place. Carla had to film all Emma’s scenes again. If you watch the episode when the Scully’s arrive, you can see Emma driving the Scully car behind the removal van. She is wearing sunglasses – when Carla gets out of the car, the sunglasses are gone. Emma Roche appeared in Neighbours later as Carla’s stunt woman for the motorbike crash in 2000.

1. Helen Daniels Anne Haddy 1985-1997: A matriarch in the truest sense of the word, Helen was the essence of Neighbours for the 12 years she featured in the show. From the beginning, she managed to dispel the myth that mothers-in-law were crabby and interfering. Helen took on the responsibility for her grandchildren when her daughter, Anne, died and this theme continued as the years went on. Whenever there was a teenager with nowhere to go, Helen was quick to offer them a home or, at the very least, some good advice. Despite going through her own personal problems, including being kidnapped several times, marrying a bigamist and a series of health concerns, Helen never stopped being there for her friends and neighbours. Sadly, during her last couple of years in the show, Helen's health really began to fail her, reflecting the real-life problems of the wonderful actress Anne Haddy. Much of her final months were spent offscreen in hospital, but Helen returned to Ramsay Street one last time, in a bid to end the feud between the Bishops and Martins. Having reunited them over a video of Scott and Charlene's wedding, Helen quietly passed away on the settee, an event from which Ramsay Street never really recovered.

2. Madge Bishop Anne Charleston (1986-1992, 1996-2001): A year after Neighbours began, Max Ramsay's fiery sister, Madge, returned to Ramsay Street and it was clear that things would never be the same again. Not one to mince her words, Madge's neighbourly feuds became a thing of legend. Her ability to put someone down with a cutting remark and, of course, her gravely tones, quickly made her a classic character and her pairing with quiet, moralistic Harold was an act of genius. Together, the odd couple had many hilarious scenes, with Madge barking at her bumbling husband. The disappearance of Harold left Madge slightly more subdued and led to her moving back up to Queensland. Upon her return in 1996, the classic Madge was still there from time-to-time, but it was obvious that time had softened her. Still, nobody could deny that her death after battling pancreatic cancer was one of the most moving moments in the show's 18 years.

3. Mrs. Mangel Vivean Gray (1986-1988): Every soap needs a busybody and Neighbours featured the Queen of them all, Nell Mangel, or 'Mrs' to her friends and enemies' and relatives. Mrs. Mangel found no greater pleasure in life than 'innocently' passing the latest gossip around town and revelling in the fallout it caused. Of course, like any classic character, Nell had more than one side to her, she just kept it to herself. A hint of emotion was shown when Nell fell from a ladder and suffered from amnesia, but she was soon back to her old self. The performance of Vivean Gray was so convincing that she suffered from a great deal of harassment from members of the public, eventually leading to her resigning. While many have tried, none have managed to offend so many in such a short space of time as Mrs. Mangel.

4. Harold Bishop Ian Smith (1987-1991, 1996-): A man of integrity and deep religious beliefs, many viewers saw Harold as a better match for Nell Mangel than his true love, Madge Ramsay. Harold's bumbling and mismatch with Madge quickly turned him into a favourite and his comical personality traits included an allergy to animal hair, causing him to sneeze whenever he came across Bouncer. Viewers were shocked when, in 1991, Harold disappeared while standing on a rock by the sea, leaving behind only his glasses. In an enormous act of contrivance, Harold returned five years later, having been suffering from amnesia and living in Tasmania. He was soon reunited with Madge and, like her, his experiences had softened him slightly. However, classic Harold remained evident as he brought along his tuba and managed to annoy all the neighbours. A sadder Harold now resides in Ramsay Street, following the tragic death of Madge, but his friendship and rivalry with Lou continues to present some classic moments.

5. Charlene Robinson Kylie Minogue (1986-1988): Being played by Kylie Minogue would be enough to put any soap character at number one, but we didn't know back then what we know now. Charlene was her mother's daughter, punching future husband Scott during her first few moments in Ramsay Street. Charlene's lack of respect for authority and ability to go against the grain, becoming a mechanic and marrying despite her mother's wishes, made her someone teenaged viewers could only dream of being. Charlene tackled things head on and seemed to have a confrontation with one of her neighbours on a weekly basis. Her wedding to Scott provided a peak moment for Neighbours in popularity and, of course, we all know that when she grew up, she became the world's number one pop princess.

6. Lou Carpenter Tom Oliver (1988, 1992-): Lou is the complete opposite of his love rival, Harold. This led to some classic scenes as the two battled for the affections of Madge Ramsay and ended up with water tipped over their heads. Lou returned as a regular character four years after losing Madge's hand and his get-rich-quick schemes quickly defined the character. Lou was painted as a dodgy character and his profession as a second-hand car salesman confounded this. His pairing with the similarly business-minded Cheryl Stark meant that he couldn't sail quite so close to the wind, what with having a baby, but Lou's cheekiness never disappeared, even after the death of Cheryl. Like so many characters, Lou has been watered down with age and some unhappy experiences, but, particularly in his scenes with sparring partner Harold, Lou is still a bit of a dodgy geezer.

7. Julie Martin Vikki Blanche and Julie Mullins (1985, 1992-1994): Julie was an original neighbour, quickly establishing herself as a bit of an interfering busybody, a younger version of Mrs. Mangel. Originally portrayed by Vikki Blanche, Julie moved away within the first year of the show, but returned in 1992, played by a new actress, Julie Mullins. Julie still had her interfering streak, but it had become exaggerated. Julie was suddenly the biggest bitch the show had ever seen. She had a need to be in control of everybody's lives, causing many feuds with family and neighbours. As time went on, Julie's need to be in control took over and her marriage to Philip broke down. In a similar way to Vivean Gray, Julie Mullins was so convincing as nasty Julie, she suffered abuse in the street and quit her role. Julie's death at a murder mystery party is widely considered to be among the best exits the show has seen.

8. Paul Robinson Stefan Dennis (1985-1992): Another original character, Paul began as an air steward, but it was only when his aunt, Rosemary, offered him a job at the Daniels Corporation that he began to change into a classic character. As a businessman, Paul became power-hungry and ruthless, turning on his family and neighbours whenever he needed to. He was even behind a plan to bulldoze Ramsay Street, which fortunately didn't work out, but still confirmed him as someone for the neighbours not to trust. His marriage to Gail was ruined because he couldn't leave his work at the office and he even had an affair with his second wife's sister. With children scattered across the continent and the ex-wives and girlfriends piling up, Paul was truly the original bad boy on Ramsay Street. How else could he finally leave but fleeing to South America to escape charges of fraud?

9. Karl Kennedy Alan Fletcher (1994-): A doctor and father of three, Karl is a pillar of the Erinsborough community. His idiosyncrasies include an inability to admit that he's wrong and a definite over-protectiveness towards his children, but Karl is at his best when paired up with Susan, his long-suffering wife. As a pair, their bickering and talking over each other provides some truly entertaining moments. Their sex life is also a constant talking point, especially in recent months but it almost all came crashing down when he had a brief dalliance with his secretary Sarah. Luckily for viewers, the Kennedy marriage survived and Karl's comedy storylines, including setting up a video camera to see who was putting their rubbish in his wheelie bin, continued.

10. Susan Kennedy Jackie Woodburne (1994-): The teacher wife of Karl, Susan always has a witty comeback whenever her husband gets out of line. She and Karl bring out the best in each other. Her partnership with Karl has been tested a few times, not least when she slipped on some milk and suffered from retrograde amnesia last year. Having pulled through the experience, with her marriage and its classic comic touches still intact, Susan is now firmly established as a classic neighbour.

11. Cheryl Stark Caroline Gillmer (1993-1996): One of Neighbours' classic strong ladies, Cheryl stopped at nothing to win the heart of Lou Carpenter upon first meeting him. Having won the lotto, Cheryl bought up every car in Lou's car-lot, then the house next-door to his in Ramsay Street, quickly proving that she would stop at nothing. Like Lou's previous love, Madge, Cheryl was smart and witty, making her feelings clear with one simple glance. Cheryl's children caused her no end of problems, what with being sent to prison, having abusive boyfriends and getting arrested for drug trafficking in South America. The latter incident proved a turning point in Cheryl's life when she was held hostage and returned to Australia a changed woman. Cheryl's death came at a time when she was just starting to sort her life out and was returning to being the brash, buxom barmaid we all knew and loved.

12. Dorothy Burke Maggie Dence (1990-1993): As principal of Erinsborough High, Dorothy was prim and proper to the untrained eye, but her wide-brimmed hat and icy glare hid a wicked sense of humour and many tales from her travels across the globe. With problems ranging from breast cancer to an ex-con for an ex-husband, the viewers really took Dorothy to their hearts. Dorothy's feuds with Madge Bishop and Joe Mangel were the beginnings of close friendships with both people, as Dorothy proved that you can't judge a book by its cover. As Dorothy finally found love and left Erinsborough for the country, Ramsay Street lost one of its most eccentric residents.

13. Eileen Clarke Myra De Groot (1985-1988): The interfering mother of Des Clarke, Eileen provided a lot of the comic relief during the show's early years. Whenever Des had a problem, it quickly followed that Eileen would be on his doorstep, with a shrill "Desmond" announcing her arrival. The talents of Myra De Groot were quickly proven when Eileen stopped being a comedy character and suffered from a breakdown and an addiction to tranquillisers. The tragic death of Myra De Groot meant that Eileen disappeared suddenly from our screens, but the comedy that she brought remains some of the greatest that the show has seen.

14. Angie Rebecchi Lesley Baker (1995-1996, 2002): As head of the unorthodox Rebecchi clan, Angie had a lot on her plate. Dealing with a crazy family like hers would send most women round the bend, but Angie coped admirably, sticking by her kids whenever they needed her and attempting to hide her shame when another of her sons had a run-in with the police. Angie's unusual dress sense and attempts to jazz up the coffee shop meant that she made her mark on Erinsborough in a reasonably short space of time. Comedy was what Angie did best - at one point she even began idolising Cheryl Stark and stole her clothes from the washing line in an attempt to dress more like her. Upon her return to Ramsay Street in 2002, it was clear that nothing had changed with Angie. Still put-upon, Angie remained as strong as ever and a new generation of Ramsay Street residents were forced to put up with cries of "Jarrrrrod!"

15. Daphne Clarke Elaine Smith (1985-1988): Another of Neighbours' original characters, Daphne quickly broke the mould. While working as a stripper, it was obvious that there was a lot more to Daphne as she put neighbour Max Ramsay in his place and moved in with Des Clarke. As time went on, Daphne inherited a coffee shop and became a confidante to the troubled youths of Ramsay Street. After many trials and tribulations including being kidnapped on her wedding day by a man dressed as a gorilla and giving birth without taking her tights off, Daphne proved her popularity by becoming the first character to die.

16. Libby Kennedy Kym Valentine (1994-): Libby has survived in Erinsborough longer than any other young character before her and over her eight years, she has really found a place in the viewers' hearts. Upon her arrival , Libby was already showing signs of becoming a forthright young lady and so there was only one Neighbours career that seemed fit - journalism. Like Neighbours' previous journalist - Scott Robinson - Libby married a mechanic, Drew, and their relationship had more twists and turns than your average roller-coaster. Having survived many near-death experiences herself, including a motorbike crash and a terrible labour, Neighbours' very own Queen of Tragedy got knocked down once again with the death of her husband. Luckily for the viewers, this brought about a return to the Libby of old, with her fiercely independent streak becoming evident once again. As long as she has a cause to fight for, Libby will always entertain.

17. Jim Robinson Alan Dale (1985-1993): Long before Karl Kennedy, Neighbours had another over-protective father, Jim Robinson. Jim had four children when the show began, although, as time went on another one came crawling out of the woodwork, then one of the original four turned out not to be his... Confused? So was Jim. Along with his mother-in-law, Helen, Jim took in many waifs and strays over the years, proving to be a great father figure to them all. Jim also had a tendency to get involved with the wrong women - some were too young, some were obsessed with having babies and some just decided to leave him for dead and steal all his money. And who could forget the sight of Jim Robinson gasping for breath while lying on the floor amidst a dozen oranges?

18. Toadfish Rebecchi Ryan Moloney (1995-): Like Libby Kennedy, Toadie's popularity has been helped by the length of time he has spent on Ramsay Street. After his humble beginnings as a member of the 'Erinsborough Hillbillies', Toadie shocked everyone by passing his exams and going on to study to become a lawyer. Having survived the departure of the rest of his clan, Toadie really came into his own, becoming a comedy sidekick to the likes of Billy, Lance and Joel. Romance proved to be less forthcoming, but, as always, the underdog won through when Toadie managed to win the heart of his beautiful housemate, Dee Bliss. All this good luck is unusual for Toadie, and part of the fun is watching and waiting for it all to fall apart around him.

1. Scott and Charlene's Wedding Episode 523: The most famous episode of Neighbours, and the episode with one of the highest ratings in the history of the show. Do we really need to explain the defining Neighbours episode?

2. Helen's Death Episode 2965: Helen was the longest serving cast member, doing an incredible 12 year run on the show, since the very first episode. Her death signalled the end of an era for Neighbours, as the last surviving original cast member had come to an end. After settling a family feud between Hannah and Madge over whether the street should be named Ramsay Street or Robinson Street, she died in her sleep whilst the family watched Scott and Charlene's wedding on video. She was the face of Neighbours, and is fondly remembered by all who worked with her, and all who appreciated her work on the show.

1."This is the most incestuous street!" Darcy's girlfriend, Alice, soon got the measure of the neighbours...

2. "This has got to be one of the weirdest neighbourhoods I've ever been in!" Rosie, after a strange meeting with Ruby

3. Madge is preparing to leave hospital after suffering a cerebral aneurysm... Harold: "Don't we need clearance or something?"
Madge: "Harold, I'm not an aircraft."

4. Cody returns to Ramsay Street after running away with Todd... Pam: "Oh Cody, thank god you're back! You look terrible!" Cody: "Yeah well I've been sleeping in a stable..what's your excuse?"

5. "You're ruining my life, you vixen!" Mrs. Mangel, after new lodger Sharon spills some nail polish on a doily

6. "Toadie, I might be your mother, but I'm a woman and have my needs!" Angie Rebecchi, after a 'pleasant' afternoon with husband, Kev

7. "I demand a recount!" Julie discovers she only got two votes in the council election

8. Gail is attempting to make a publicity video for Lassiter's, but Eileen smells fame... Gail: "Mrs Clarke, you've accidentally wandered into shot again..."
Eileen: "No, no, I'm adding authenticity - I'm making the place look busy!"

9. It's Stonie's 18th birthday at the Coffee Shop... Big Kev: "Hooray for Stonefish, Hooray at last, Hooray for Stonefish, he's a horse's a..." Angie: "Kevin!"

10. "Madge is my family, she's my very best friend..." Harold, during Madge's final days

11. "Jarrod! Well, I've seen it all now. Unfortunately so has everyone else!" Angie returns home to the sight of Toadie streaking down Ramsay Street for a bet

12. "Lancaphone!" Lance, pretty much every time the phone rang at Number 30

13. Karl gives up alcohol...
Libby: "Well, how long has it been?" Susan: "Oh, um, 50 minutes." Karl: "52 minutes!"

14. "I love you too, Clarkey." Daphne's final words

15. "I've been cheated out of my Mum twice. How's that for luck?" Tad, after first hearing he's adopted, then the death of his natural mother

16. "You're stupid, vacuous, inane... you're a waste of space!" Cody makes her feeling towards housemate Joanna perfectly clear

17. At the Coffee Shop, Dorothy has found a new sparring partner... Brenda: "I thought you'd never darken my doorstep again" Dorothy: "You flatter yourself if you think I'd trawl all the way to Elliot Park just to avoid you"

18. "I'll just go out to buy some orange juice..." [looks up to see full jug of orange juice on the bench] "Aah... milk! We need milk!" Cody Willis, in another attempt to be subtle

3. Neighbours Debuts on Network Ten Episode 171: Nobody could have foreseen just how big the show was about to become when it debuted on its new home, Network Ten. Having been axed on Channel Seven, the new channel was forced to make some changes to the cast, sets and previous storylines. Fortunately, it all paid off, as the show introduced lots of new characters - Mike, Madge and Clive - in that one episode, who all went on to become hugely popular.

4. Jim's Death Episode 1904: Seeing stalwart Jim keel over in the kitchen, bringing with him several dining room chairs, the tablecloth and a bowl of oranges is one of the greatest moments in the history of Neighbours. For this one episode, Neighbours seemed to have changed into Dallas, with Julie and Fiona screaming at each other over his corpse, Helen collapsing at the end, and basically everything having a very over-the-top dramatic feel to it, completely unlike other Neighbours episodes. Jim spent a long time on the show, and is a face many people associate with Neighbours.

5. Daphne's Death Episode 690: The first death of a major character. Daphne was a hugely popular character, so her death came as a huge shock to the viewing public. After being in a coma for a few months after a car crash, Daphne passed away after briefly waking to utter the immortal lines 'I love you too, Clarkey' to her husband, Des. Daphne was a fantastic character and formed a perfect partnership with local loser Des Clarke, who never appeared the same since her death.

6. 1997 Season Finale Episode 2995: Considered by many to be the ultimate Neighbours episode, this installment managed to build up the tension throughout and keep it building to a point beyond expectations during a thrilling final few minutes. Storylines that had been building for months all reached their crescendos at one point - Karl kissed Sarah, Caitlin kissed Billy, Phil proposed to Ruth and Ben's car spectacularly crashed and burst into flames, all within the space of a few minutes. The scenes were fantastically edited together, providing a real sense of urgency and leaving fans on tenterhooks - particularly those in Australia, who once again had six weeks to wait.

7. Madge's Death Episode 3740: Madge was another long-term cast member, spending over ten years in the show. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Madge died in her bedroom in husband Harold's arms. Madge was a popular character with the viewers, and the writer, John Hanlon, won an award for the episode. Madge's absense is still felt even two years on (something many characters who have died fail to do) and she, like Helen, is fondly regarded by the fans of the show.

8. Neighbours Begins Episode 1: In its original incarnation on Channel 7, Neighbours brought to life many characters, such as Helen, Jim and Daphne, who would go on to become legends as the years went by. Although there were still a few creases to be ironed out, the show already had the comedy and drama perfectly balanced, with scenes ranging from Max confronting Daphne the stripper to Des being dumped by his fianceé on his wedding day. But forget all the details; this was the first episode in over 4000 of the show that only a couple of years later, would be taking the world by storm.

9. Libby Gives Birth Episode 3920: This episode was screened just as Neighbours was preparing for its annual Christmas break, and it certainly had a nativity feel to it. During the Oakey rodeo, Libby suddenly went into labour, got herself locked in a barn and general mayhem ensued. Due to her internal injuries from the motorbike crash, Libby risked death if she gave birth naturally, so had to be airlifted to Erinsborough hospital. Just as everything seemed to go well, Neighbours provided their usual cliffhanger twist when Libby suddenly flatlined and viewers had to wait six weeks to see whether she would survive.

10. Julie's Fall From the Tower Episode 2240: The setting was a murder mystery party, attended by all the neighbours, but nobody was expecting an actual murder to take place. Okay, so it turned out she fell, but the episode which ended in Julie's body being found lying at the bottom of the tower was one of the greatest pieces of drama Neighbours ever produced. Having spent the entire episode making Julie look more and more unhinged and seeing her fall out with various friends and family members, nobody was surprised to find Julie unconscious, and over the following months suspicious fingers were pointed at her husband Philip. However, this one episode provided the perfect shocking end for Neighbours' greatest bitch, Julie Martin.

11. Susan Slaps Karl Episode 3110: After spending almost a year hiding his feelings about Sarah, Karl was shocked when it was all revealed suddenly and dramatically. Typically in Ramsay Street, it only took a slip by Sarah's confidante, Toadie for word to get from Billy to Susan and she waited until after Philip and Ruth's wedding to confront her husband. This confrontation led to one of Neighbours' most memorable moments - the slap. Susan's anger and disgust at the situation all came out in that one moment and she delivered an amazing smack to his face. The scene was so realistic that you could actually feel the pain as flesh hit flesh.

12. Helen's Birthday Episode 2000: Nowadays, when Neighbours hits the thousand mark, we get a small party with a box of biscuits or maybe a church burning down if we're lucky. However, for this milestone, we got the birthday of the longest-running character, the returns of two originals, plus the culminations of many exciting and ongoing storylines. During Helen's party at the pub, reopening after blowing up a few months earlier, her grandchildren Paul and Lucy came back, Phil and Julie called off their divorce, paralysed Stephen took his first steps and Cheryl proposed to Lou. Like the 1997 finale, there was tension throughout, but this episode also came across as a true celebration of Neighbours past, present and future.

13. The Scully Family Arrive Episode 3418: At the end of the previous episode, Joe Scully told his neighbours 'Hi, we're the Scullys' and from that one comment, we knew something special was about to unfold. The family were unlike any Neighbours had seen before, with a mother, Lyn, who managed to insult the entire street within a few hours and three gorgeous daughters, who quickly set their sights on the men of the neighbourhood. While many viewers were sad to say farewell to the Martins, they had little chance to mourn, as the Scullys exploded onto the screen, larger than life and twice as ugly!

14. Harold Returns From the Dead Episode 2733: In a year that had seen many changes to the show, along with poor ratings, Neighbours needed a shot in the arm. So when Marlene met a man named Ted at the Salvation Army store, viewers quickly recognised him as the one and only Harold Bishop. It was revealed that Harold had been suffering from amnesia since falling off that rock, and had instinctively returned to Erinsborough when a transfer opportunity arose. With the return of Harold's wife, Madge, a classic couple was revived and Neighbours was saved from oblivion.

15. Joe and Melanie's Wedding Episode 1537: Nobody quite believed that Joe and Melanie were a perfect match in the love stakes, but as time went on, nobody could deny that fate seemed to be drawing them together. Their wedding brought about the end of their unusual courtship and also the end of two classic characters as they left the show for their honeymoon.

16. The Waterhole Explodes Episode 1949: When Annalise muttered those immortal words 'Can anyone else smell gas?', we all knew what was about to happen. The Waterhole blew up, with many of the locals trapped inside. This episode was fantastically produced, as word spread through Erinsborough and people became concerned for loved ones. The explosion brought about many new storylines, not least the paralysis of Stephen Gottlieb, which continued right up until episode 2000.

17. The Millennium Party Episode 3445: Another of Neighbours' classic season finale episodes, this one brought all the residents together for a street party to celebrate the beginning of the year 2000. With the recent arrival of the Scully family, it was a perfect opportunity to integrate them into the street and by burning down their house, they did just that. Many of the Ramsay Street relationships were also on the line, as Bill and Anne finally reunited, Susan and Karl moved on from Sarah, Amy was revealed to be cheating on Lance and Drew proposed to Libby. It was also one of those rare occasions when most of the cast are brought together for a celebration and the first time that the new year had been celebrated in the show, even if they did forget to celebrate Christmas a week earlier.

18. Susan Slips on Some Milk Episode 4029: Karl's slap and Susan's slip are probably two of the defining moments for the Kennedy family. After finally mending the damaged caused by Karl's affair, things were looking up for the Kennedys. They had survived a few years without a major drama of their own, but that was all turned on its head when Susan had a minor accident that led to another breakdown in the marriage. Susan's amnesia and subsequent recovery was a story that lasted many months, but the Kennedys seem to have come through it all the stronger.

Illustrated summaries of a number of these episodes can be found in the site's Magic Moments section

Compiled by Steve with Billy, Moe, Rhys and Stuart