Australian soap Neighbours will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a week of special episodes featuring the return of former cast members, five weddings and the deaths of three characters.
There will be five special standalone episodes at 10pm, in addition to the regular 1.45pm and 5.30pm instalments.
The anniversary week kicks off with Chloe’s (April Rose Pengilly) idea to stage a wedding expo to save Erinsborough’s Lassiters Hotel, with input from Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou).
This will result in five weddings, one per episode, reuniting couples from different decades of Neighbours who did not make it down the aisle in their original stint on the series.
The late-night episodes will centre around Elly (Jodi Anasta) being spirited off to Pierce’s (Tim Robards) remote island glamping resort to celebrate her 35th birthday with a group of her Ramsay Street friends, including Toadie (Ryan Moloney).
However Finn Kelly (Rob Mills) has hatched a deadly plan, meaning three characters will not survive the trip.
Jason Herbison, executive producer of Neighbours, said: “We have a reputation for going big with our milestones – and this is our biggest yet.
“We’re excited to deliver our viewers a double dose of Neighbours which will lead to three deaths and five weddings.
“There’s warmth and nostalgia as well as high drama and – for the first time ever – we’ll have a week-long narrative taking place separate to the happenings in Erinsborough.
“Neighbours is 35 years young and we are celebrating with a bang!”
Stefan Dennis, who has played Paul Robinson since the first episode of the soap in 1985, said: “Who would have thought, hey? I remember nearly 35 years ago I said it would last about six months; well, who is eating their words now!
“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of Neighbours reaching this milestone, it’s a fabulous celebration for everyone involved, cast and crew, to mark this moment with an awesome week of episodes planned for our viewers, a touch of nostalgia mixed in with some edge-of-your-seat drama – something for everyone.”
– The anniversary episodes of Neighbours will begin on Channel 5 on March 16.