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Reference > On This Day... Sep-Dec 2008

The 2003 Season Finale
December 19th

On this day... in 2003, Neighbours came to the end of another year, which had seen a resurgance in popularity for the show. The season ended with two main storylines - Lou and Trixie's wedding and Harold suffering a stroke. The lavish wedding, held in a theatre, provided some much-needed comedy in the episode, as Valda stood up to protest Lou's new union, only to be promptly ignored. As the wedding reception continued, Connor found himself sharing an illicit kiss with Rocco Cammeniti's daughter Carmella, while young Serena Bishop snuck away for a secret meeting with creepy photographer Chris Cousens. But it was Harold who got the big cliffhanger, as he left the pub to get some fresh air, suffered a stroke and collapsed in the car park.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of the 2003 finale, click here.

The 1993 Season Finale
December 17th

On this day... in 1993, Neighbours concluded its ninth year on air with a plane crash. Though they'd been enemies for much of 1993, Gaby Willis and Annalise Hartman went out on a joy flight together, as Gaby had recently got her pilot's licence, but it ended in disaster as the plane's engines failed and they crashed into dense bushland. Other happenings at the end of 1993 included Michael Martin being caught about to do a runner from home as he struggled to settle in with his family, while newcomers Brett and Danni Stark vowed that they would split up their mum Cheryl and her boyfriend Lou Carpenter.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of the 1993 finale, click here.

The 1988 Season Finale
December 12th

On this day... in 1988, Neighbours reached the end of its fourth season and, as was customary in those days, things went out on a happy note, rather than with a life or death cliffhanger. Everyone gathered at 26 Ramsay Street, where an early Christmas party had been arranged, to show young Todd and Katie Landers, who'd arrived earlier that year and were about to head home to Adelaide for the festive season, what a Ramsay Street Christmas was like. The happy event was topped off as Jane Harris announced her engagement to American businessman Mark Granger, while troublemaker Sharon Davies made peace with everyone by arriving with presents for everyone, in a sleigh pulled by Bouncer.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of the 1988 finale, click here.

Cody Willis Returns
December 1st

On this day... in 1993, Cody Willis made her return to Ramsay Street. She'd left, two years earlier, for a scholarship in the USA, played by Amelia Frid, but upon her return, Peta Brady had taken over the role. As ever with the Willis family, Cody came back just as one of her siblings - Brad - was set to leave Erinsborough, and she returned to Ramsay Street subdued, and harboring a secret - though it would be several months until it was revealed. The arrival of Drew Grover in June 1994 revealed the reason why Cody had been so upset when she first came back - she'd married him, and their marriage had ended suddenly due to his cheating. The whole thing had been more of a business arrangement for both of them, and now he needed a divorce in order to pursue a career in politics back in America. Cody went on to have another serious relationship, with Rick Alessi, before he left for Darwin, and in early 1996, her life was cut tragically short when she was short in a drugs raid gone wrong.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Cody's return, click here.

The 1998 Season Finale
November 27th

On this day... in 1998, Neighbours came to the end of another season, in dramatic style, as Joel Samuels was left fighting for his life. In a less interesting plot, Joel's good friend Drew found himself receiving romantic advances from Joel's ex-girlfriend Sally. As he contemplated giving in to temptation, Joel was trapped underwater by the ute, which had slipped down the riverbank as he tried to push it out of the mud. Karl was battling to save Joel's life but a torrential storm and the rising water levels were working against him, and it looked as though Joel was about to drown...

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of the 1998 finale, click here.

Henry Gets Naked
November 14th

On this day... in 1988, Henry Ramsay made his infamous naked streak across the back garden of 30 Ramsay Street. When he and girlfriend Bronwyn Davies were interrupted by the sudden homecoming of her fussy Aunt Edie, who strongly disapproved of the relationship, Bronwyn quickly pushed Henry out of the back door, wearing only a towel. Unfortunately, that towel then got trapped in the door and, as he heard Aunt Edie say she was going to check on her plants in the back garden, he had to make a run for it, hiding behind the plants in the greenhouse, and pretending he was watering them as Bronwyn and Edie came over. With Edie safely inside the house, Henry then used some of the leaves from the plants to cover himself as he made his way back home to number 24.

To find out about some other naked Neighbours moments, click here.

Toby Mangel Arrives
November 10th

On this day... in 1988, young Toby Mangel arrived in Ramsay Street. His dad, Joe, had been in Ramsay Street for a while, but it wasn't until Toby arrived that he really started to soften into the lovable larrakin he became. Dumped on Joe by him mum, Noelene while she got married, Toby struggled to settle in at first, but eventually father and son were inseparable, and when Joe realised that Noelene's new husband, Ted, was being cruel and violent to Toby, he put an end to it and announced that Toby would be staying with him. The young boy then went on to survive a recast (with Ben Geurens replacing Finn Greentree-Keane in the role) and the departure of his on-screen family, by moving in with school principal Dorothy Burke. He also found a companion to replace his dad in the form of Labrador Bouncer. Toby made his final appearance in early 1993 as he, Dorothy and Bouncer set off for a new life in the country, and it was reported more recently that he'd acquired his own farm out in Western Australia.

Click here to read a full summary of Toby's debut.

The Final Channel Seven Episode
November 8th

On this day... in 1985, Neighbours made its final appearance on Channel Seven, axed after 170 episodes. Though the show had been received well and was popular, particularly amongst teenagers, it was decided that the ratings weren't good enough to continue filming for a second season and production halted. But Seven's rival, Network Ten saw an opportunity and, whilst the final episodes were being played out on the show's old channel, they took over making the series, the first time a show had jumped channels like this in Australia, making it big news. With a few cast changes, a slightly lighter tone and a marketing campaign to bring in viewers in Sydney (the rival city to Melbourne, where Neighbours was set), the show's popularity increased - and the rest is history.

Click here to read a full summary of the final Channel Seven episode.

Nina's Sudden Departure
November 3rd

On this day... in 2003, Delta Goodrem made her final appearance as part of the regular cast, as Nina suddenly vanished, only hours after becoming an official Ramsay Street resident. In real life, Delta had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and left to begin her treatment immediately, while Nina had just moved into 22 Ramsay Street with her mum, Trixie, when she found out that her parents had never been legally married. The revelation sent her running from Ramsay Street to see her dad in India and, the following year, with Delta recovered from her illness, Nina returned for a week, now a Bollywood actress and heading for the bright lights of Hollywood. She tried to tempt ex-boyfriend Jack Scully to join her, but he'd been battling a drug addiction and wasn't quite ready to make the move, but a couple of months later, Jack flew out to LA and viewers were treated to seeing them reunited at a Hollywood hotel in a special scene that Delta had recorded during her return earlier that year.

Click here to read Nina's full character biography.

Mrs Mangel Departs
October 25th

On this day... in 1988, Ramsay Street's supreme busybody Mrs Mangel bid farewell after two years poking her nose into everyone else's business. Though she had a tendency to push away anyone close to her with her interference, Nell finally managed to find happiness with dentist John Worthington. With her son, Joe, and granddaughter, Jane, by her side, she walked down the aisle and became Mrs Worthington, before departing for a new life in England. She even managed, after two years of feuding, to share a reluctant hug with Madge Bishop and admit that she would miss their little arguments.

Click here to read our newly-added biography of Vivean Gray, and here to read our Love Thy Neighbour tribute to Mrs Mangel.

Helen Dies
October 17th

On this day... in 1997, beloved Neighbours gran Helen Daniels breathed her last. After spending much of the preceding year in hospital, Helen was alarmed to learn that the old Ramsay/Robinson feud had been reignited, and was determined to return home and patch things up between the warring clans. Having played them the video of Scott and Charlene's wedding - the event that had brought the two families together over a decade earlier - Helen sat back and dozed off on the sofa, before the family discovered that she had died in her sleep. Actress Anne Haddy passed away less than two years later, on 6th June 1999.

Click here to read our illustrated summary of Helen's last moments.

The Bishops Arrive
October 9th

On this day... in 2003, Harold found himself with a full house when his son, David, and David's wife, Liljana and daughter, Serena, arrived from Perth. Originally planning to stay for a few weeks whilst their posh new house was finished, the family was soon in trouble when David's business partner did a runner, leaving them with nothing and forced to stay on in Ramsay Street. Before long, coffee ground-reading Liljana had befriended Susan and Lyn, and Serena had some romantic interest from Stingray and the Bishops were fitting in nicely. But after only two years, it was decided that the family hadn't fit in quite as nicely as had been hoped and all three were written out, killed in a plane crash. But with only David's body found, there's still a chance that Lil or SerenaBean could follow in the great Bishop family tradition and turn up one day with amnesia...

Click here to read our illustrated summary of the Bishops' arrival.

Sarah Arrives
September 24th

On this day... in 1996, glamorous ex-model Sarah Beaumont turned up in Erinsborough and secrets surrounded her from the very beginning. Before long, it was revealed that she was the half-sister of Coffee Shop assistant Catherine O'Brien, and had turned up after walking out on her rich, English fiance Lord Steven Harrow. After moving on from her past and settling in Erinsborough as Dr Karl's secretary, Sarah found romance with police officer Matt Compton, but it wasn't to last, and 1997 ended in spectacular style when Sarah and married Karl shared a kiss. Their attraction dominated the first half of 1998, and Sarah went on to find herself the victim of a stalker and dealing with issues with her mum, Bess, before finding love with Dr Peter Hannay. In mid-1999, after two and a half years in Ramsay Street, Sarah married Peter and they moved to Amsterdam, though the marriage ended within a couple of years, following the birth of their daughter, Antigone, and Sarah ended up living in the UK.

Click here to read our illustrated summary of Sarah's first episode.

Izzy Arrives
September 1st

On this day... in 2003, blonde bombshell Izzy Hoyland hit Ramsay Street, and nobody was quite ready for the chaos she was about to unleash. Within days of arriving, she'd manipulated Harold into letting her buy into the Coffee Shop and before long, she was getting close to Dr Karl Kennedy who, less than a year after Izzy's arrival, found himself divorcing Susan and shacking up with Ms Hoyland. The relationship was a complex one, to say the least, with the shadow of Susan constantly looming over them, and a desperate Izzy lying that Karl was the father of the baby she was expecting. By mid-2005, Izzy's lies had been exposed and Karl had sent her packing, but she found a new playmate in the form of Paul Robinson, the only man in Australia who matched her deviousness. The pair had an interesting relationship, constantly plotting against various common enemies, but it was never going to last and before long, Izzy was finding comfort back with Karl - who had just reunited with Susan. The situation was entirely innocent - at least from Karl's perspective - as he was delirious after taking too much sleep medication. As a result of their one-night-stand, Izzy found herself pregnant and, believing it was a miracle sent to make her change her ways, and not wanting to destroy Karl's life all over again, she packed up and left. But this was not the last we saw of Isabelle - six months later, living in London, she was shocked to see Karl and Susan, enjoying a holiday. And of course, being Izzy, there was one last spectacular stunt to come - as she gave birth on a boat on the River Thames, where moments earlier, Karl and Susan had remarried.

Click here to read our illustrated summary of Izzy's debut.

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