Can Australians and Neighbours become friends after 30 years

Tomorrow, March 18, marks the 30th Anniversary of Neighbours. This is a remarkable feat for a soap opera that has been so widely derided and avoided in its home country. What’s the secret?

In the spirit of transparency, I’ve been writing Neighbours off and on for 15 years. I started as a storyline, then became a script editor in 2002. I left the show to work in the UK on other soaps in 2004, and returned in 2005 to Erinsborough to once again write and edit scripts.

It wasn’t until I started writing Neighbours and met the fans that I realized how important this half-hour show about a suburban cul-de-sac was to people’s lives. When I told a woman from England that I’d storylined Madge’s death, she broke down in tears and said, “Madge is like my grandmother.”

Where the fans live

The show’s massive UK fanbase, which was established during the time when Neighbours aired on BBC twice daily in the 1980s, 1990s, and has managed to stay strong even after the move to Channel 5, with its smaller audience (still showing twice a week), helps it to survive the ups-and-downs of Australian audiences love/hate relationship. The show has a regular tour of “Ramsay Street”, which is actually Pin Oak Court, in the eastern suburb Vermont South. There is also a loud and crowded fan night every Monday in Melbourne’s St Kilda. Some of the actors take pictures and chat with fans. The accents tend to be English.

Why do we Australians not love our neighbours? It’s possible that it is a victim to the tall poppy syndrome. This compels Australians to turn their backs to our greatest cultural export.

It could be that we do not want to see ourselves reflected on television – perhaps because it is not interesting enough, different enough or realistic enough. For us, Neighbours represents the dull suburbia that we’re trying to escape. But for UK and overseas audiences, it’s the peaceful, privileged lifestyle where you can still pay your mortgage and avoid being drunk while spending half the day at the pub.

Scott and Charlene enjoy a happy day together. AAP Image/Ten

Neighbours is a hit in the UK, but it’s also popular around the world. It’s been sold in 50 countries. The show creates a vision of a happier life, where everyone is happy, good neighbours are good friends, and no one is lonely.

Not too much drama

The stories of neighbors tend to help resolve issues and restore a sense of happiness. This can take years.

Since 1994, Susan and Karl have been popular heritage characters. They’ve raised children, separated, divorced, and remarried multiple times. They are a perfect example of true love, as they have faced challenges together but never apart. It’s a mantra for the writers that the show is full of heart.

I recall working with a storyteller whose vision was that a neighbour’s problem was never so large that it could not be resolved over a cup of tea. We railed at him as a drama writer, but looking back, we think he had a point.

The show’s enduring story feature and most loved quality is that everything tends to work out well. The only exception is the deaths of characters over the years, who are buried in beautiful funerals attended by many people. Good neighbours remain good friends even after death

Real Life Stories

Many people told me they watched Neighbours as children and that now they have their children, they watch the show every day with them. It’s a great way to bring up difficult topics with teenagers and children.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *