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ICONIC Australian soap opera ‘Neighbours’ is facing the chop after 36 years on UK screens – but its army of fans, including White Horse News reporter Ben Fenlon, aren’t ready to let the soap go without a fight !
Broadcaster Channel Five announced this month that it would withdraw funding from the show, leaving its future in doubt. Without another UK broadcaster to take its place, the show will stop filming in June this year and its final episodes will air in August.
When the news broke, his fans launched a “Save Neighbours” campaign, asking Channel Five to change their minds or another channel to step in and save the day. And to support the campaign, journalist Ben has appeared on numerous radio shows on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Wiltshire and BBC Somerset.
He even appeared on Channel Five’s primetime news and graced the pages of the national tabloid The Sun.
Ben and the Army “Save Neighbors” also managed to propel the Neighbors theme song to the top of the charts, reaching number one on the iTunes singles chart. And an online petition against Channel Five’s decision topped 50,000 signatures within days. aka Paul Robinson, in a one-on-one quiz on BBC Radio 2 last year.
“Neighbors mean so much to so many people – and that was clearly demonstrated by the outpouring of support and love for the show. For me, I’ve watched the show since I was about seven years old, and I can relate it to so many important moments in my life – it was an episode of Neighbors that helped me come out to my mother as gay; and an episode featuring the death of Toadie’s wife, Sonya, provided a cathartic release shortly after my mother passed away in 2018.
“And the show still has so much more to offer – it’s so much more than just Scott and Charlene, and Bouncer the dog’s dream!” It’s better than ever right now, it’s on a creative high with a great mix of characters, and it’s one of Channel Five’s most-watched shows – it seems unfair and cruel to cut it to its peak!” To support the ‘Save Neighbors’ campaign, sign the petition here: www.change.org/p/channel-5-channel-5-don-t-axe-neighbors