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Interviews > Lisa Opie

Friday 18th May saw the announcement that, as of Spring 2008, Neighbours would be leaving the BBC and moving to Five. Following the announcement, Five's Managing Director of Content, Lisa Opie kindly answered some questions for us and gave readers the chance to send their own queries for her to answer. Here are her responses...

We can't get Five in St Andrews on normal telly and the signal is very weak on Freeview, thus we are going to struggle to receive Neighbours next year. What are Five going to do to allow this University town, where Neighbours is a religion, and other areas where Five is not available, to view the show? (Catherine, St Andrews)
We are available on both analogue and terrestrial, as well as cable and satellite. Often, people aren't aware of the fact that they are in range of our signals, and assume that they can't get Five when in actual fact they can. Also, in a Hall of Residence, it is likely that you use a communal aerial and what you can receive will be dependent on how the aerial has been set up. For more detailed information on receiving our channels, you should call Customer Services on 08457 050505 or visit: www.five.tv/aboutfive/gettingfive

When Neighbours moves to Five, is there any possibility of older episodes being shown, or of Five acquiring the rights to them? (Martin, Bristol)
There is a possibility we will have a chance to acquire older episodes in future.

Does Five have any plans to produce any fanzine series, such as the BBC's Neighbours Revealed programmes that aired a few years back? (Karl, Manchester)
We are very excited about acquiring Neighbours, and in the months ahead will be looking at a variety of ways of creating additional interest and excitement around the series. Supporting programming would definitely be one option.

Is there a chance you could buy the BBC end credits house sweep? (ie closing credits shot that pans around Ramsay Street.) (David, Llangollen)
We have not considered this - thanks for the suggestion...we'll look into it!

I'm living in Belgium and I've been watching Neighbours daily on the BBC. Is Five available abroad for us fans in a foreign country? (Bert, Belgium)
We only buy the rights to transmit our programmes in the UK and have our satellite signals encrypted to prevent people outside the UK viewing them. This means that we are, unfortunately, unable to assist non-UK viewers in trying to receive Five. To do so could be interpreted as being in contravention of our copyright agreements.

Would Five be allowed, or able, to catch up with the Australian pace of episodes? (Beth, Dundee)
I'm afraid we cannot comment at this early stage about how we will schedule episodes once the rights are transferred to us.

Do you plan to make Neighbours related idents as you've done in the past with Home and Away? (Louise, Norwich)
Yes - there will be a major on- and off-air marketing campaign, including idents!

What do you think about the current state of Neighbours and its 'Back to Basics' revamp? (Tim, Malvern)
Neighbours looks to be as popular as ever. Any series evolves as it goes along and this should be welcomed.

At 300m, what made Neighbours such an enticing acquisition for Five? (Callum, Leicester)
Neighbours is a strong established property, with a large and loyal following. We are confident that it will continue as such on Five and Five Life.

Do you have any plans to make a dedicated website for Neighbours? (K, Yorkshire)
Yes we will and we will be announcing more details closer to transmission date.

Does Five plan to include Neighbours on its 'Five Download' service?
We are always seeking ways of exploiting our content across a variety of platforms. Watch this space!

Added on 16th June 2007