Following the cancellation of Neighbours, Channel 5 has confirmed that Home and Away will continue to air.
For more than two decades, the long-running soap set in the fictional Summer Bay has been a constant feature on the broadcaster’s schedule.
Fans were worried, however, that the show would be cancelled by Channel 5, following the announcement that rival Australian serial drama Neighbours will be cancelled in the summer.
However, the channel has now allayed any anxieties by stating that Home and Away will continue to air on a daily basis.
‘Home and Away has had a longstanding and continuous home on Channel 5 since 2000,’ a spokeswoman informed Metro.co.uk.
‘It will continue to air on Channel 5 at 1:15 p.m. on weekdays and on 5STAR at 6 p.m. on weekends, with the first look on 5STAR every weekday at 6:30 p.m.,’ says the press release.
Meanwhile, Neighbours will have its farewell episode on Channel 5 in August, following the broadcaster’s announcement that it would no longer be airing the show.
‘After this summer, Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5,’ a spokeswoman confirmed to Metro.co.uk in a statement.
‘For more than a decade, it’s been a much-loved part of our schedule, and we’d want to thank the cast, Fremantle, and the entire production crew for their wonderful work on this iconic series.’
‘Of course, we’d like to thank the fans for their unwavering support of Neighbours over the years.’
‘We understand that this decision will cause sadness, but our present focus is on boosting our investment in original UK drama, which has a great appeal for our viewers.’
Channel 5 executives reportedly met with Fremantle Australia executives for weeks in an attempt to keep Neighbours on the air, but no agreement was reached.
The programme is regarded to be overly expensive to produce in comparison to the revenue it generates through advertising.
‘Channel 5 pays Fremantle Australia tens of millions of pounds every year, but there’s a gap of roughly £5 million in advertising revenue,’ a source told The Sun.
This implies that unless Network 10 – which broadcasts the show in Australia – can find a new broadcast partner, filming on Neighbours will come to an end.
The good news is that 10 is interested in collaborating with another station to continue producing the show.
Meanwhile, ardent fans have wasted no time in campaigning to save the series from cancellation.
In the wake of the tragic news, the hashtag #SaveNeighbours has been trending on social media, with one viewer even starting a petition on Change.Org to prevent Neighbours from disappearing from our televisions.
Weekdays at 1:15 p.m. on Channel 5 and 6 p.m. on 5STAR, Home and Away airs, with a first-look episode at 6:30 p.m.