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20 Years of Buren
Oct 31 2008

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Neighbours' debut on Belgian television. The show, which is known there as Buren, enjoys a loyal following, particularly, as in the UK, amongst teenagers and students. It debuted on Belgium's most popular channel, één, in 1988 in the 8pm, primetime slot, at a time when the country had little local drama, but was used to Australian soap operas after the huge success of Sons & Daughters. The show enjoyed modest ratings but with competition rising from other networks, it was moved to 7pm in 1989, and almost axed altogether in 1995, until the fans started protesting. It was then moved to a 5.35pm timeslot, where it's remained ever since, and has seen off competition in the ratings from other soaps including Days of our Lives, Home & Away and All Saints. Happy 20th birthday Buren!

Special thanks to Sander.

Comings & Goings
Oct 30 2008

After a brief appearance last month, Peter Flanigan, former face of men’s toiletries brand Gillette, returns to Australian screens next week as Erinsborough High’s principal, Andrew Simpson, the beginning of an extended guest appearance. And Mr Simpson will waste little time getting to know the ladies of Erinsborough, as he heads straight into a love triangle with Elle and Lucas.

Meanwhile, Ian Smith (Harold) recently filmed his final scenes, which will feature in episode 5635, while Caitlin Stasey is set to wrap up filming as Rachel shortly, with her final episode being number 5643. Harold will leave Australian screens at the end of February while Rachel will go in mid-March.

Ian Dickson Cameo
Oct 23 2008

Following on from last year's appearance by Marcia Hines, another Australian Idol judge is set for a Neighbours cameo. Ian 'Dicko' Dickson filmed his appearance this week, playing himself, and offering music career advice to Ty (Dean Geyer) and Rachel (Caitlin Stasey). The cameo will air in Australia in February 2009, and with Caitlin set to make her final appearance around the same time, could a recording career be what takes Rachel out of Erinsborough?

Chris Milligan Joins Cast
Oct 22 2008

20-year-old Chris Milligan has joined the Neighbours cast in the recurring role of Erinsborough High student Kyle Canning. Chris recently moved down from Queensland to study at Melbourne's Film & Television Studio International, and will make his debut on Australian screens early next year.

The Final Episode On G.O.L.D.
Oct 21 2008

UK Gold may have just changed their name to G.O.L.D. but they have continued to screen repeats of Neighbours and shall do so until Thursday 6th November 2008 when they will show episode 5330 - the last one shown on the BBC. The channel dedicated to repeating old material was launched on Sunday 1st November 1992 and has shown repeats of Neighbours every weekday since Monday 2nd November 1992. Back in the early days, each episode of the Aussie soap was shown three times a day and then again as a weekend omnibus. On the 1st December 2003, UK Gold decided to speed up the progression by showing two episodes a day. They have only missed one episode out due to an error, when they showed one episode twice.

We at The Perfect Blend would like to express our appreciation to UK Gold/G.O.L.D. for providing UK viewers with a second chance to see the saga from the beginning through to the BBC finale over the last 16 years.

October Actor Updates
Oct 21 2008

Holly Valance (Felicity Scully) hasn't been slacking recently with Taken getting released in UK cinemas last month and a recent guest appearance on American TV screens in Valentine, a new show on the CW Network. She's also just shot a cameo in a Bollywood production called Kambakkht Ishq, that will also feature Sylvestor Stallone.

Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson) returns to the stage in a London production of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert. Donovan will play Tick, alongside Tony Sheldon and Oliver Thornton in the musical which is based on the 1994 film of the same name; which coincidentally starred former Neighbour Guy Pearce (Mike Young). Set in the Australian outback, the story follows the travels of two drag queens and a transsexual on a bus called "Priscilla". The show made its debut in Sydney in 2006 and has gone on to become the most successful Australian musical in history.

Margot Robbie (Donna Freedman) has laughed off recent rumours that her and Sam Clark (Ringo Brown) are more than just friends. Robbie was quoted as saying "We hang out a lot together and it would probably be easy for people to think that we are together,'' but she's still living the single life having split with her boyfriend last year. However, love may be in the air for ex-Neighbour Natalie Imbruglia (Beth Brennan) who has been spotted with a new mystery man on her arm in some of London's swankiest night spots.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy Hoyland) will be kicking off her new solo career with the release of her first single, Alive, in Australia. The up tempo pop tune co-written by Natalie will hit the shops on November 1st and can be bought on CD or as a digital download. Her debut album will arrive early in 2009. Bassingthwaighte has recently revealed that she signed a contract for her solo career over two years ago, which the other members of Rogue Traders all knew about, so this new phase has been a long time coming.

Dan O’Connor (Ned Parker) has been sacked from itv2’s reality series CelebAir. Leaving the show last Thursday, he was up for elimination with Celebrity Fit Club star Amy Lamé, but lost out, having got to week seven. The final of the series next week sees X Factor star Chico, Amy Lamé, So Solid Crew girl Lisa Maffia, and Page 3 model Michelle Marsh battle it out for the title of CelebAir Star Employee. Tune in on Thursday October 23rd at 8pm to find out the result.

Finally, we'd like to wish congratulations to Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson) and his wife Gail Easdale who have just celebrated the birth of their third child, a daughter named Darci Raine Dennis.

Charlie Hoyland Recast
Oct 08 2008

4-year-old Jacob Brito has taken over the role of Steph Scully's son, Charlie Hoyland from Aaron Aulsebrook-Walker. With the producers wanting more interaction between Steph and her little boy, it was felt that Aaron, who's approaching three years old, was not ready to be given dialogue yet. Jacob will make his first appearance on screen this Friday, October 10th.


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