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Natalie Blair Departure Confirmed
June 29 2008

The Sunday Herald Sun has confirmed that Natalie Blair will film her final scenes as Carmella Cammeniti in September, meaning that the character will depart from Australian screens in early 2009. Natalie has played Carmella since 2003, originally only a recurring member of the cast, she returned in a regular capacity in early 2006 after winning the Logie for Most Popular New Female Talent the previous year. It is reported that she made the decision to leave whilst appearing in panto in the UK earlier this year, but was hesitant to give up the role that has made her one of Australia's most popular actresses. Once she finishes filming, Natalie will join boyfriend David Hoflin (who finished filming as Oliver Barnes a couple of months ago) in Europe.

Neighbours Wants You
June 27 2008

In an unusual search for new talent, the official Neighbours website, is asking for UK fans to take part in a writing trial to become involved in the creative development of Neighbours. The process will allow wannabe writers to view exclusive unseen episodes, suggest storylines, create dialogue and provide feedback on scripting. A variety of prizes are up for grabs including flights to Australia, Neighbours goodies and cash.

For further details click here.

Way To Go!
June 27 2008

Earlier this week, the departure of Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy Hoyland) was announced from the band Rogue Traders. Bassingthwaighte joined the group as lead singer in 2005 and enjoyed success with hits such as Voodoo Child and Watching You. Having recently completed a tour of Australia, band member James Ash made an official announcement on the band's forum which stated that due to Natalie's decision to launch a solo career and work on movies in L.A., she would no longer be able to be a part of Rogue Traders. He was keen to make clear that the split was entirely amicable and that the band would continue in another guise.

Steph Swaps Singing For La-La Land
June 27 2008

After a not so successful stab at the pop world, Stephanie McIntosh (Sky Mangel) looks to be on the up with a return to acting amidst the glitz of Hollywood. McIntosh is clearly focused as she missed her brother Jason Donovan's 40th birthday party and wedding to attend auditions in the US. It's paid off as, despite not having a manager, she's received a callback for the lead role in a new series called Harper's Island and is in the running for a part in the new Beverly Hills 90210 series.

Benjamin Mitchell Rejoins Cast
June 24 2008

TV Week reports that Benjamin Mitchell, who appeared as a Neighbours regular in 1992 and 1993, is set to return to the cast. Having previously appeared as Cameron Hudson, lawyer and cousin to the Willis family, Benjamin will now play the role of Sergeant Matt Freedman, father of new teenager Donna. Though Donna is set to stay on as a regular, Matt is just a guest character for the time being, though he will find time to pursue a relationship with Rebecca Napier, newly-single following her split from Paul in the wake of his affair with Kirsten.

AWGIEs Nomination
June 20 2008

Episodes 5430 and 5431 of Neighbours, written by Anthony Morris and Scott Taylor respectively and due to air in the UK on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd July , have been nominated in the Television Serial category of the 2008 AWGIES, awards which are judged by the Australian Writers' Guild and are awarded for the original script, rather than what we see on screen as a finished product.

Neighbours previously won this award for episode 4293 (Dee's Death) in 2004 and episode 3740 (Madge's Death) in 2001, both written by John Hanlon.

This year's results will be announced on Friday 15th August.

Dolly Talent Search
June 10 2008

Following the success of the 2006 talent search, which brought us Adelaide Kane (Lolly) and Sam Clark (Ringo), Dolly magazine is launching another hunt for Neighbours' next big stars. They are looking for a male and a female, aged between 12 and 17, and the prize will be a six-week contract, with the possibility of extending it up to three years. More information can be found in the July issue of Dolly, on sale in Australia this week.

Here Comes The Birthday Boy
June 02 2008

Ex-Neighbours star Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson) stunned friends and family last week when he invited them all to an early 40th birthday celebration on the island paradise of Bali, only to announce that he was actually getting married to his long term girlfriend Angela Malloch. The couple have been dating since 1998 when they met while working on the British production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Although they did split shortly after, they reunited when Angela realised she had fallen pregnant with their first child. They now have two children; daughter Jemma, and son Zac and have developed a strong relationship as a result.

After guests arrived from all over the world, they were assembled and told by Donovan that the birthday party was also going to be a wedding celebration. Jason's father Terence Donovan (who starred in Neighbours as Doug Willis) was in attendance, but half-sister Stephanie McIntosh (Sky Mangel) was unable to make the special occasion as she was attending auditions in Los Angeles. Jason celebrated his big birthday on the 1st of June.


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