Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas will make his Neighbours debut in a dramatic late night episode next month.
Thomas’s first appearance as English tourist Rafael Humphreys in the Australian soap will be in an action-packed hour-long episode on February 12, which will air on Channel 5 at 10pm.
Rafael, described as a loner with dark secrets, comes to Ramsay Street to confront a difficult chapter from his past.
Although he has a score to settle in Erinsborough, soon after his arrival his revenge plot begins to falter as he falls for a resident.
Thomas, who rose to fame on ITV serial drama Corrie as Jason Grimshaw, will make his Neighbours debut in the special episode alongside the return of Natalie Bassingthwaighte, who is reprising her role as home-wrecker Izzy Hoyland.
The Australian actress previously appeared in the soap from 2003 until her departure in 2006, during which time she made her mark as troublemaker Izzy.
The action-packed special episode, called Hit And Run, will see Izzy reunite with her nemesis Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) as she sets her sights on her former flame, Susan’s husband Dr Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher).
Bassingthwaighte said: “Viewers can be assured Izzy is back with a vengeance creating chaos.
“If you loved to hate her before, you will love to hate her even more!”
Jason Herbison, Neighbours’s executive producer, said: “As well as Izzy Hoyland’s explosive return, the special launches a gamut of exciting new stories involving all our current cast, some looking very different.
“Plus, a number of past characters will be dropping in and of course, we’re delighted to have Ryan Thomas as part of the drama.
“Hit And Run kicks off a week of surprises, intrigue, desperation and of course romance, and there is more to come in the coming months.”
Channel 5’s commissioning editor of factual entertainment, Greg Barnett, described the one-off special as “nail-biting” and hinted that one character will see their life “hanging by a thread”.
Neighbours airs Monday to Friday on Channel 5 at 1:45pm and 5:30pm.