Neighbours is coming back this year – and the fans are largely the reason why (Picture: Fremantle)
Neighbours star Alan Fletcher has confirmed that Amazon Freevee swooped in to save the popular soap as a result of the ‘overwhelming’ fan reaction to news of its its axing.
The long-running serial drama was controversially axed by Channel 5 last year, with the broadcaster citing a desire to make ‘original UK drama’ as its reason, claiming there was ‘strong appeal’ for such a thing.
Fans were devastated by the news and wasted little time in pulling out all the stops to rescue their beloved soap, launching campaigns and petitions, and purchasing the show’s signature theme tune, which went straight to the top of the iTunes charts, knocking Ed Sheeran off the top spot!
The outpouring of love and support from viewers who considered Ramsay Street to be their TV home was truly incredible, so much so that it caught the attention of Amazon, who would later swoop in to resuscitate Neighbours, months after it wrapped up with a star-studded final episode.
Not all heroes wear capes.
Alan Fletcher, who plays Dr Karl Kennedy on the Aussie soap, told Metro.co.uk and other journalists during a recent press junket that the fans are solely to blame for Amazon’s decision to offer the residents of Erinsborough a reprieve.
Neighbours ended in a huge way last year after Channel 5 axed it from their schedules – but Amazon has proven to be the good friends fans needed, reviving the show for a new era (Picture: Fremantle)
‘It was actually the fans that got the show back in the first place,’ he said. ‘Amazon has said to us that they saw the outpouring of grief.
‘They saw the petition, they saw how many people were saying: “No, this can’t happen!” That’s fantastic, because it stimulated the recovery.’
What an amazing accomplishment.
How to watch Neighbours on Amazon Freevee
Neighbours has found a new home on Freevee (Picture: Amazon Freevee)
Amazon Freevee is a free ad-supported streaming service which offers a wide range of movies and TV programmes for just about anyone.
It is very easy to use and can be accessed on a web browser via the official Amazon website, or on a mobile device, smart TV or games console via either the Prime Video or Freevee apps – some services carry both, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Android TVs, Apple TVs and Google TVs also have the Freevee app, so if you possess any of these devices you’ll be able to stream Neighbours to your heart’s content.
Simply head to Amazon.co.uk if you’re in the UK or Amazon.com for US users and create your free account.
Once you’re registered, simply type in Neighbours and voila, let the binge-watching commence!
A selection of iconic episodes are currently available to stream, as is the entire 2012 season, with further series’ expected to drop on the platform ahead of the new episodes later this year.
More information here.
Neighbours will return to screens later in the year, with Paul Robinson actor Stefan Dennis having teased an Autumn launch.
Fans have been wondering just what the show will look like now that it’s on a streaming service, and while the cast know little about the ins and outs of how it’ll all work, Alan was adamant that it will very much still be the same show we know and love.
‘We don’t know very much structurally about the show or about the storylines, they’re keeping that very much under wraps,’ said the soap legend.
‘What I do know is that the Neighbours that comes back is the Neighbours that people have affection and love for.
‘That will be honoured, because that’s the most important thing.’
Music to our ears.
Neighbours returns to screens on Amazon Freevee later this year, with hundreds of classic episodes already available to stream.
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The fans were the good friends the show needed, proving instrumental in Freevee’s decision to bring it back.