Where is the original cast of Neighbors now as the soap classic faces the ax after 37 years

The iconic show that launched the careers of global stars like Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan is facing firing.

The Australian soap, which first aired in the UK on BBC One in 1986, will reportedly be pulled from our screens in August this year.

Bosses of the long-running show are said to be in decisive talks with Channel 5 about the show’s future in the UK after “budget problems”.

Neighbors was on track to celebrate its 37th year in a row this year, but now its future doesn’t look so bright.

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If the show does go off the air this year, there’s hope that the bosses could end the soap opera’s season by bringing back some of the most iconic actors, like Kylie Minogue.

The show ran in the UK on BBC One for over 21 years, from October 1986 to February 2008, before moving to Channel 5, reports Birmingham Live.

Here we take a look at the original cast, who were regulars on Ramsay Street when the show first aired in Australia in 1985, and find out what’s happened to them since then.

Des Clarke, played by Paul Keane

Neighbors by Des_Clarke
Paul Keane as Des Clarke in the first few episodes of Neighbors

The first episode begins with Des at his bachelor party as he prepares to marry Lorraine Kingham, but ends up falling for the stripper hired for the cabaret.

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He was involved in a battle for the affections of his future wife Daphne, and they married in 1986. He left the soap opera in 1990, but returned to the role 20 years later for the show’s 35th anniversary.

After struggling to cope with fame, Keane battled a drug addiction that he struggled with for ten years.

In 2021, Paul’s character Des returned to Neighbors for a brief stint to assist Sheila Canning from the soap opera.

Keane revealed to Inside Soap that while he hopes to always be involved with the soap opera, he would not be returning to Neighbors full-time due to “other commitments in his life.”

Jim Robinson, played by Alan Dale

Jim Robinson, played by actor Alan Dale

He played the character for over 860 episodes from the first show until his on-screen death of a heart attack in 1993.

However, he has remained a successful actor in both Australia and the United States over the years.

He is famous for starring in hit series like 24 and Lost, most recently playing Joseph Anders on the CW drama Dynasty from 2017 to 2021.

Paul Robinson, played by Stefan Dennis

Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) is the oldest character in the soap opera.

Stefan Dennis is the only original cast member still on the show.

He took a break from the show in the 1990s to follow his co-stars into the UK Top 20 with a hit song, Don’t It Make You Feel Good, which reached number 16 on the charts.

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He then returned to Ramsay Street in 2004 to play Paul Robinson, where he has appeared in a number of soap opera’s most successful stories.

Dennis has also appeared in such hits as The Bill, Casualty and Dream Team.

Helen Daniels, played by Anne Haddy

The matriarch of the series, Helen Daniels, appeared in 1,162 episodes over 12 years and, at the time, was one of the longest-serving actresses.

He died at his home in Melbourne of kidney disease on June 6, 1999, aged 68.

In the UK, the episode broadcast on BBC One the following day ended with a dedication to his memory, accompanied by an announcement of his death.

Elaine Smith, played by Daphne Lawrence

The Scottish-born actress became the on-screen wife of the character Des Clarke after joining the soap from the very first episode.

He remained in office for just three years before returning to university to pursue a teaching degree. In 2017 she started working as a drama and primary school teacher in Sydney.

Shane Ramsay, played by Peter O’Brien

Peter O’Brien as Shane Ramsay in an early episode of Neighbors

The eldest son of Max Ramsay, and was initially Des Clarke’s love rival when he began dating Daphne Lawrence.

After a colorful time in Erinsborough, the character left Ramsay Street in 1987 to travel around Australia.

Since leaving Neighbours, she has appeared in a number of big roles, including roles in Queer as Folk and Gossip Girl.

Max Ramsay, played by Francis Bell

He made his first on-screen appearance in the show’s pilot episode.

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Max was the patriarch of the Ramsay family and Ramsay Street is named after his grandfather.

He lived at number 24 with his wife, Maria (Dasha Bláhová), and their children, Shane (Peter O’Brien) and Danny (David Clencie). He departed in May 1986 when his contract was not renewed after 190 episodes.

After leaving the show, he suffered from depression and died in 1994.

Julie Robinson, played by Julie Mullins

Actress Julie Mullins now works on stage and as a writer.

Julie, one of the original members of the Robinson family, met a tragic end in 1994 when, during a murder mystery weekend attended by many Erinsborough residents, her body was found at the bottom of a staircase.

Julie was the second actress to play the character, who became Julie Martin after marrying.

After leaving following a dispute in the story, he moved to Ireland and returned to the theatre.

Scott Robinson, played by Darius Perkins

Darius Perkins (left) with his on-screen brother Paul Robinson, played by Stefan Dennis

He was the original actor in the role of teenager Scott Robinson on the soap opera. However, when the series moved to Network Ten in early 1986, Perkins left the role.

Perkins died of cancer in January 2019, aged 54.

Kylie Mingogue and Jason Donovan as Charlene and Scott on their wedding day in Neighbors
Kylie Mingogue and Jason Donovan as Charlene and Scott on their wedding day in Neighbors

Neighbors has featured several guest appearances by celebrities playing themselves or specially written characters.

These include Russell Crowe, cricketer Shane Warne, Little Britain’s Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Paula Abdul and former Spice Girl Emma Bunton.

Big stars like Liam Hemsworth, Craig McLachlan, Holly Vallance, Delta Goodrem, Natalie Imbruglia, Margot Robbie and Kimberly Davies have appeared on the soap opera on their way to stardom.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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