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Scandinavian Deal
Nov 30 2007

Neighbours will be returning to television screens across Scandinavia thanks to a new deal with FremantleMedia.

Viewers in Sweden will be able to watch on TV4, viewers in Norway on NRK3 and viewers in Finland on MTV3, with Fremantle's VP of sale, Justin Hatfield, commenting: "Neighbours' fresh, up-to-date look has proved very attractive to new broadcasters especially now that there is an obvious starting point for viewers to join the show."

Cast Appearances
Nov 29 2007

A couple of former Neighbours will be on UK screens this Sunday evening. Blair McDonough (Stuart Parker) will be appearing in 60s drama Heartbeat as Aussie sheep shearer Mick. You can catch him at 8pm on Sunday, on itv1.

Meanwhile, Kylie Minogue (Charlene Robinson) will be performing her single, 2 Hearts on Sunday night's Strictly Come Dancing results show, which you can see on BBC One at 6.50pm.

Jason Donovan Update
Nov 24 2007

Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson) has recently been in Australia promoting his most recent role as the voice of a game show host for PlayStation 2’s new quiz game Buzz. Donovan, who was involved in the creation of the game, claims one of the characters is based on his ex colleague and girlfriend Kylie Minogue (Charlene Robinson). He added that he now feels comfortable with his often mentioned association with Minogue. "I could think of worse people to be associated with,", "There's always a level of frustration when you're trying to move forward in your own ways." "But she's such an incredibly successful, iconic figure that you wouldn't be able to escape it, so why try? Embrace it.". Having recently appeared in Minogue’s TV special The Kylie Show and talked about his relationship with Kylie in his biography Between The Lines, Donovan seems to appreciate that time in his life more than ever. But he’s still adamant on making a special appearance in Neighbours; "I can guarantee you that will not happen.".

Jason can also be on your small screens from this week as his new DVD All The Hits And More goes on sale. The film captures Donovan on stage at the Hammersmith Apollo in London during his recent greatest hits comeback tour.

Alan Fletcher Interview
Nov 24 2007

LastBroadcast are going to be interviewing Neighbours' Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) soon, and they want your questions!

They'll be interviewing him on Saturday December 1st and want to ask as many of your questions as possible, so to submit your questions, click here.

Richard Arnold Down Under
Nov 20 2007

GMTV's telly pundit, Richard Arnold has just returned from an all-expenses paid trip to Australia, courtesy of Five. Richard spent almost a week down under in order to film a behind-the-scenes special, presumably as part of the channel's publicity campaign for the show's upcoming UK move in early 2008. Richard spent time interviewing the cast and touring the sets, Lassiter's backlot and heading on the Neighbours tour bus to Pin Oak Court.

Simone Buchanan Joins Cast
Nov 19 2007

Popular Australian actress Simone Buchanan is the latest name to join the Neighbours cast, having started filming this week for a five-month guest role. Simone first rose to fame in Australia as part of the cast of sitcom Hey Dad! and has since appeared in numerous television series. Her connection to Neighbours, meanwhile, dates back to 1990, when her younger sister, Beth, played Gemma Ramsay.

Izzy She Coming Back?
Nov 19 2007

A small snippet in this week's Inside Soap has given hope to the many fans missing the presence on Izzy Hoyland in Ramsay Street. With Natalie Bassingthwaighte in Australia at the moment, about to take on presenting duties for the country's version of the American series So You Think You Can Dance?, the article reports that there are also rumours of her making a brief return to Neighbours.

BBC Schedule Change
Nov 19 2007

Next Monday sees a change to the BBC broadcasts of Neighbours, as it swaps places with Doctors from Monday 26th November, and will be broadcast at 2.10pm. It is currently unknown whether this change is a permanent move, or simply a temporary measure to test a possible new timeslot for Doctors, when Neighbours moves to Five in the Spring.

Waiting Room Release
Nov 19 2007

Their latest UK tour kicks off next week and to coincide with it, Waiting Room are releasing a new single. So Wrong will be available on iTunes from Monday 26th November. Also coming soon is a new live CD, recorded at the regular Neighbours Nights in St Kilda's Elephant & Wheelbarrow pub, the CD includes Best of You, I Predict a Riot, Chelsea Dagger, Somebody Told Me, Tainted Love and many more, and will be released on iTunes on December 17th, or can be bought from the UK gigs.

Erin McNaught Joins Cast
Nov 11 2007

Model Erin McNaught has been announced as the newest addition to the Neighbours cast. 25-year-old Erin is a former Miss Australia, also representing the country at Miss Universe. She has also been working as a television presenter, on Network Ten's Cyber Shack. Fiona Byrne's column in the Sunday Herald Sun reports that she has signed a three-month contract, with the possibility of becoming a full-time cast member. No details about her character are currently known, though it is reported that she will begin filming on December 17th.

Dan Bennett Departs
Nov 09 2007

After just over 12 months in the role, Dan Bennett will next week leave his position as Network Ten Drama Executive. Bennett was widely believed by Network Ten and Neighbours insiders to have been headhunted from Home and Away in 2006 with a Network Ten management brief to turn Ramsay Street into a clone of the higher rating (in Australia) Summer Bay. This was a move that many insiders feared would alienate viewers already jaded by Network moves to achieve similar changes in previous years, and it is understood that much of Neighbours' reduced comedy and increased sensationalist storylines in the last two seasons were a result of this continued push from Network Ten.

Ian Smith Retires UPDATED
Nov. 07 2007

It has been announced that Ian Smith will retire from his role as Harold Bishop later this month. Ian has played the role since 1987, with a five year break, but has now decided to leave and enjoy some time to himself, though he will return for several guest appearances in 2008. He will film his final scenes in the next few weeks and will leave both UK and Australian screens in the first half of next year.

Everyone at Neighbours: The Perfect Blend would like to thank Ian for the many years of entertainment he's provided as Harold, and wish him every happiness in his retirement.

UPDATE: Luke Devenish has provided us with the following statement on Harold's imminent departure:
"Don't panic! Harold is not leaving permanently! The circumstances of his departure are such that Harold will be making regular and triumphant returns to Ramsay Street throughout the year, and in the years following too. The wonderful and much loved Smithy certainly did not want to leave the show - nor did we want him to leave (we'd have to be crazy!) - but he was keen for some time out and a healthy dose or R & R, plus a reduced workload upon his return. Perfectly reasonable really. While Smithy can certainly run rings around many of us at Neighbours, he's still not quite the spring chicken that he used to be. So send him your congratulations and best wishes - I'm sure they'll be appreciated. Harold will be on Australian screens until April next year."

Dean Geyer Joins Cast UPDATED
Nov 07 2007

TV Week reports that, after months of rumours, former Australian Idol contestant Dean Geyer will be joining the Neighbours cast. Geyer has reportedly been taking acting classes for several months, and will join the regular cast as a singer named Ty, who befriends the younger characters in the cast, quickly becoming entwined in the goings on in Ramsay Street. The length of his contract is currently unknown, but it's thought that he'll commence filming within the next couple of months.

UPDATE: More details have emerged in the last few days about Dean's new role. He will start filming the part of Ty Harper this week, and the character is reportedly a university drop-out with musical aspirations. The character will be phased in slowly, to allow for Dean's imminent touring commitments. And it seems that Ty won't be the only new face arriving in Ramsay Street next year, as, according to Fiona Byrne's Sunday Herald Sun column, a casting call recently went out for a new female character, described as "smart, sexy, beautiful, shrewd and a bombshell".

Alan Fletcher Interview
Nov 04 2007

Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) is about to return to the UK for another Waiting Room tour and will be interviewed next Sunday (November 11th) on Edinburgh's Talk 107 radio station. You'll be able to listen to the interview on their website and if anyone has any questions they'd like to be put to Alan, you can send them to paul.gray@talk107.co.uk


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