Eastenders recently celebrated its 30th birthday. This Wednesday evening from 10pm on Channel 5, another soap opera, Neighbours, will be celebrating its 30 years on television.
The first episode of Neighbours was screened on the 18th of March 1985 on Channel 7 in Australia. Unfortunately it was not that popular and moved to channel 10 on the 20th of January 1986. It remained there until it was moved to channel 11 in 2011.
However Neighbours did not appear on British screens until the 27th of October 1986 when it became part of the daytime schedule, screening in morning and afternoon slots. It really became popular though when one of the showings moved from the morning to 5.35pm each weekday afternoons in January 1988.
With its sunny locations, likeable characters, humour and enjoyable plots, it soon had a large following as it proved to be a rather different kind of soap opera compared to the home grown ones.
Neighbours occupied that slot until 2008 when Channel 5 bought it after the BBC had decided that it had become too expensive for them to acquire. Since then it has occupied a similar slot alongside the other famous Australia soap opera, Home and Away.
Neighbours started off with the stories of three families – the Ramsays, Robinsons and Clarkes who all lived on Ramsay Street in Erinsborough. Over the years there have been more than 7080 episodes screened and the show has featured a number of actors who have gone on to become famous. The special documentary will feature stars of Neighbours past and present and will be followed by two special episodes - Scott and Charlene’s Wedding Day and the very first episode.