For the first time in the show’s 36-year existence, episodes will air in the United Kingdom before in Australia.
From early next year, a spokeswoman for Channel 5 confirmed to Back to the Bay that the UK network will play episodes of Neighbours before Australia.
Earlier this year, Australian broadcaster 10 Peach opted to show only four episodes of Neighbours each week, a decision that was first thought to be made to allow the UK to catch up with Aussie broadcasts.
However, the Australian network has already stated that it would only show four episodes each week in 2022.
Channel 5 will continue to air five episodes per week, making the UK the first place in the world to watch new episodes of Neighbours on Friday, January 7, 2022.
After then, Australia will gradually lag behind the UK broadcasts, with the UK gaining one episode every week.
It’s unclear whether this trend will continue throughout the year, or whether the UK would take more pauses to avoid falling behind Australian broadcasts.
It will be the first time that episodes of the show would air in another country before being broadcast in Australia.
For the first time since the two nations’ episodes were synced up in January 2016, UK broadcasts fell behind Australian broadcasts in 2020.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Channel 5 cut the number of programmes to make room for news specials, and the two nations’ broadcasts differed for the first time in years.
Since July of this year, 10 Peach has only aired four episodes each week, with Friends replacing the Friday episode of the show.
It was widely assumed that the change was made to allow UK broadcasts to catch up and bring the two nations back into sync. However, it looks that Australian fans will stick to four episodes each week, which means that the Australian serial will no longer premiere on Australian screens for the first time.