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Caitlin Stasey To Leave
Sep 19 2008

Today's Herald Sun reports that Caitlin Stasey (Rachel Kinski) has announced plans to leave Neighbours after three and a half years. 18-year-old Caitlin first joined as Rachel in 2005, but has now decided to cut her contract short and concentrate on her schooling, returning to complete year 12. Caitlin will film her final scenes as Rachel next month, though the door is being left open for a possible return, and will leave Australian screens early in 2009.

New Faces In Erinsborough
Sep 19 2008

Brisbane's MXX newspaper has revealed that Brodie Young, a contestant in the 2002 series of Big Brother and now an actor, will be appearing in Neighbours next month. Brodie will be playing a gay plumber named Shane Dooley in two episodes.

And we can exclusively reveal that, despite rumours that he would be playing a returning Andrew Robinson, Mauricio Merino, recently cast thanks to the Dolly magazine competition, will be playing Simon Freedman, the younger brother of Donna. Simon will appear in Erinsborough in December 2008 and find himself living, along with his sister, under Paul and Elle's roof.

Also joining after being chosen in the Dolly magazine competition is Chelsea Jones, who will play another Freedman sibling, youngest daughter Teagan.

Pippa Black To Stay
Sep 16 2008

She announced at the Logies, back in May, that she intended to leave Neighbours at the end of 2008, but it seems that Pippa Black (Elle) has had a change of heart and will be staying on. TV Week has announced that she has just signed a new 12-month contract, meaning she'll be on Australian screens until at least November 2009.

Actor Updates
Sep 14 2008

Blair McDonough (Stuart Parker) is keeping busy as he does another turn in British 1960s police drama Heartbeat. McDonough will guest as Mick MacDonald in several episodes which will be located in the UK and Australia. Blair is also tipped to be starring in Aussie naval drama Sea Patrol. Channel 9 which makes the show are saying he will be featuring soon although McDonough says contracts have yet to be signed.

Dichen Lachman's (Katya Kinski) new show Dollhouse has stalled as it's creator Joss Whedon has requested time to retool scripts, meaning the series has been suspended for two weeks. The unusual move was approved by the Fox network which broadcast the show, as Whedon is also directing as well as writing episodes.

Margot Robbie (Donna Freedman) and Sam Clark (Ringo Brown) were spotted together at the launch of Channel 10's new drama Rush and have set tongues wagging as it's rumoured they could be in the early stages of a real life romance.

We're pleased to say Kym Valentine (Libby Kennedy) has made a full recovery from pneumonia and a collapsed lung and is stepping back into her role as Libby, relieving Michala Banas from her stand-in duties. During the month long break Valentine was asked to do two Zoo Weekly mens magazine covers, but politely declined.

UK Screening Updates
Sep 14 2008

On Thursday 18th September Neighbours will air at the slightly earlier time of 5.25pm. This is due to Five's coverage of UEFA Cup Football. Also, Friday's repeat on Fiver will air at 7.30pm rather than 7pm.

UKTV Gold will continue to air Neighbours after it's renamed as Gold ("Go On Laugh Daily") on October 6th. The station will be removing all non comedy shows from it's schedules but has decided to retain Neighbours until it finishes it's run of BBC episodes (up to episode 5330).

Official UK Neighbours Site Revamped
Sep 14 2008

Earlier this week the official UK website for Neighbours got a makeover which brings it up to standard with Australia's site. You can now view episodes online and behind the scenes videos plus there are new wallpapers, character biographies and regular competitions.

Tottie Goldsmith Joins Cast
Sep 07 2008

The Sunday Herald Sun reports that Tottie Goldsmith will shortly join the Neighbours cast on an initial six-week contract. Tottie will begin filming for the role of "yummy mummy" Cassandra Freedman, mother to recent arrival Donna, at the end of the month. Tottie, well-known for her roles in series including Fire and Stingers, various presenting jobs and singing career as part of girl group The Chantoozies is said to love that fact that she's "getting a meaty role instead of being cast as a plain old boring mum" and has admitted that she's found it hard to get good roles now she's in her forties.

Online Survey
Sep 07 2008

The official Australian Neighbours website, http://neighbours.com.au/, is running another online survey to get your views on what you love and hate about Neighbours and make a difference to the future of the show. UK viewers can take part but remember some of the questions will feature spoilers.

Actor Updates
Sep 07 2008

Former Neighbour Mark Little (Joe Mangel) will be following Richard Grieve (Sam Kratz) and Anne Charleston (Madge Bishop) to the Yorkshire dales to take a role in the UK soap Emmerdale. Little will appear in a one hour episode which will screen in late October. He'll play Jonty, a suave Australian who woos Louise Appleton (played by former Home & Away star Emily Symons).

Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson) is set to release his first album of new material for 15 years. The record, which will be called Let It Be Me, is inspired by the music of the late 1950s and early 1960s and will include a reworking of his early 90s cover, Sealed With A Kiss.

Blonde beauty Imogen Bailey (Nicola West) has revealed that she suffered from anorexia during the early days of her modelling career. In Who magazine she described how she dropped down to 40kg but through the help of friends and family, she got therapy and made a full recovery.

Carla Bonner (Stephanie Scully) was recently involved in a confrontation at Melbourne Airport over the size of her hand luggage. Witnesses seem split over whether Carla or her partner Jason Shepherd used foul language when discussing the matter with an airport worker. Carla has since lodged a complaint with Jetstar Airways and has described the staff member as "incredibly rude" but pointed out that all the other Jetstar employees were "terrific and very supportive".

New Arrivals UPDATED
Sep 04 2008

TV Week reports that Peter Flanigan, who has appeared in US soap As The World Turns and previously had a Neighbours guest role in 2004 as Dr Philip Smith, has won a new extended guest role in Erinsborough and will appear on screen later in 2008. UPDATE: Peter made his on-screen debut on Friday 5th September, playing school principal Andrew Simpson.

Meanwhile, the name of one of the actors cast by the recent Dolly magazine search for Neighbours' next big stars, has been announced. Mauricio Merino Jr, who comes from the Melbourne suburb of Sydenham, will shortly begin filming for the six-week guest role - which could see his contract extended for up to three years. More details of Mauricio's role, as well as information on the young female chosen by the competition, are expected to be announced soon.


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