‘Neighbours pulled me through the bleakest points in my life’: readers say farewell to the Australian soap

This week, Neighbours comes to an end after 37 years of flamboyant, soapy excitement. Before the long-running soap’s final episode, we asked fans to tell us their favourite memories of the show, as well as what it meant to them.

‘The actors and writers should be given every award going’

Jo (right) with Alan Fletcher, who played the longstanding Neighbours character Karl Kennedy, in 2002
Jo (right) with Alan Fletcher, who played the longstanding character Karl Kennedy, in 2002.

Neighbours was groundbreaking in the ways it delivered inclusivity and representation, how it tackled very difficult subject matters and gave up-and-coming talent a way into the industry. My favourite storyline was Sonia’s death. Even typing this now brings a lump to my throat. The acting by Eve Morey (Sonia) and Ryan Moloney (Toadie) was outstanding; the way they exuded every emotion of those who go through a terminal illness was gut-wrenchingly beautiful. The actors and writers of those episodes should be given every award going. Jo, 43, marketing manager, London

‘I’ve watched it for as long as I can remember’

Guy with Margot Robbie when she starred in Neighbours
Guy (left) with Margot Robbie when she starred in Neighbours.

Neighbours is my 22 minutes a day of escapism. I’ve watched it for as long as I can remember; it has been with me through school and university to now being a “proper” grownup. There is a real community online around the show, which has only grown in the past few years. Neighbours can handle serious and silly storylines in equal measure and will leave a void when it has gone. As a standout moment from the show, the two-hander between Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy) and Finn Kelly (Rob Mills) was a masterstroke: claustrophobic, tense and so well acted, straight off the back of a week of special episodes to celebrate the show’s 35th year. Guy, 42, charity worker, Peterborough

‘It has been a constant and a comfort’

Tim’s picture of Ramsay Street, where Neighbours is set
Tim’s picture of Ramsay Street, where Neighbours is set.

Neighbours has been a constant and a comfort throughout my life. No matter how dark real life became, there was always a safe space to escape to; a reminder of the good in people, of the values of friendship, hope, possibility and positivity. I lost my parents in 2005 and 2018 and in both cases it was the programme that pulled me through the bleakest points in my life. It will be sorely missed, but the memories will be cherished for a long time to come. Tim, 47, musician, Bristol

‘It’s always been there. It’s always made me happy.’

Emily with Carla Bonner, who played Steph in Neighbours
Emily (right) with Carla Bonner, who played Steph.

Neighbours means a lot to me. I would watch it twice a day for years as a kid and at uni I would revise around it. As an adult, it was the show my husband and I would always watch together. When we went to Australia in 2002, we took a big detour to Melbourne to visit Ramsay Street and go to the Neighbours Night – where we met Karl, Steph and Darcy. The moment that most sticks in my head from the show is when Drew died – it was devastating. It has always been there. It has always made me happy. I’m going to miss it. Emily, 39, Newport

‘Neighbours is like a good friend to me’

Calvin wearing his Everyone Is Welcome on Ramsay St T-shirt
Calvin wearing his Everyone Is Welcome on Ramsay St T-shirt.

I have autism and Neighbours is like a good friend to me. I won a competition in 2012 and still have the props that I won, as well as a signed script. I also have a lot of memorabilia such as VHS tapes, DVDS, CDs and stamp collections. My earliest memory of Neighbours is the coffee shop being blown up and Harold helping to save Des Clarke. I also really enjoyed the Susan/Karl/Izzy storyline, as well as when Susan found out she had multiple sclerosis. There are so many noteworthy storylines. The show will be really missed. Calvin, 39, Nottinghamshire

‘I enjoy escaping to sunshine and attractive people’

I watched Neighbours in the beginning and over the years I’ve dipped in and out, but have been consistently watching for the past five or six years. I love the longstanding characters such as Karl and Susan, Toadie and Paul. I enjoy my half-hour escape to sunshine and attractive people. Yes, storylines can be predictable and ridiculous, but there’s humour as well – and things are resolved fairly quickly. I will really miss Neighbours. It’s a bit of light relief from the grimness of the real world. Jo Lea, 66, retired occupational therapist, Jersey

The Guardian