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Interviews > Lisa Opie

Monday 11th February sees Neighbours makes it debut on Five and after previously chatting to us back in May 2007, the channel's Managing Director of Content, Lisa Opie, has kindly taken some time to answer some more of our questions about what the move will mean, and what the future will hold for our favourite soap...

Since mid-January, Neighbours Trailers have been appearing on Five, promoting the move. How were they planned and produced?
We sent a team (including journalists, press officers, photographers and marketing people) out to the Neighbours set in Oz - to film bits for promos, take press pictures, and conduct interviews. This also allowed Five to build strong relationships with the lovely cast, crew and production team.

Do Five have plans for further promotions of this kind, once the show has started on the channel?
We will continue to promote the show long-term, as we're so proud to have it.

Can you confirm the timeslots for the show, and how these were decided upon?
On Five, the 2 weekday showings will be at the same time as on BBC One - 13:45 and 17:30. We didn't want to disrupt fans' viewing habits.

We will also have a Neighbours omnibus on Five at 11:30 on Saturday - an exciting prospect for those who are unable to catch the show during the week.

Will the show be broadcast on Five Life?
Yes. We have a daily evening repeat at 19:00 on Five Life AND the weekly omnibus repeated on Life at 11:45 on Sunday.

Why did Neighbours move to Five a little sooner than we were originally led to believe?
When we found out that the BBC were showing their last episode on Friday 8th February, we decided to follow straight on with our first episode on Monday 11th, in order not to interrupt the flow of the storylines for viewers.

Do you have any plans to show older episodes of Neighbours?
The deal gives us the rights to current and future episodes only.

The Monday-Thursday Australian version of the closing credits has recently been cut to 20 seconds with the vocals dropped, for this to occur in the UK too could be extremely disappointing as UK fans, who had hoped the move to Five meant that we'd finally get to hear the full closing theme again. Is there any chance that you'll be able to broadcast a full length version?
We will show the full programmes exactly as they are delivered to us. The closing credits are approx 20 seconds long in the versions we have been sent.

Will you be launching a Neighbours website?
Yes. Watch this space, as it's in development at the moment.

Will Neighbours be included on the Five Download service?
Not just yet - but it is something that we are working on right now. We hope that we will be able to add Neighbours to the Five Download service in the near future.

There will be a weekly omnibus edition as well as daily repeats on Five Life - in addition to the 2 daily showings of each episode that viewers are accustomed to, on our main channel - so there will be ample opportunity to stay up to date with Ramsay Street.

How confident are you that Neighbours will succeed on Five?
We have every confidence in it as a brilliant investment and a great boost to Five.

Added on 9th February 2008