Always there, to brighten my day, lighten my mood and distract me from whatever disaster was looming.
Some say the sun always shines on TV (thanks a-ha) and it did shine here (mostly), every weekday at lunchtime, repeated again in the evening.
Yes, I’m talking about Neighbours, that most beloved of Australian soap operas, lighting up our screens since 1986.
To say I’m a fan would be an understatement; an obsessive would be more accurate.
I used to watch it twice a day as a kid; my supply cut off briefly when I left school and started work, only to be reunited when I went to uni.
There I watched it every day without fail on my black and white portable television with a plastic aerial, purchased from Corby’s Sunday Market.
I don’t think its cultural significance should be underestimated either. Many of the words myself and my contemporaries use are straight from Neighbours’ scripts.
These include ‘no worries’, ‘this avo’, ‘uni’, ‘stoked’, ‘barbie’, ‘dunny’, ‘good on you’, ‘drongo’, ‘daggy’, ‘you’ve got Buckley’s’ and ‘strewth’, (the last two could also have been borrowed from Alf in Home and Away).
The annoying way our speech goes up at the end of every sentence? You can thank/blame Neighbours for that too!
So, to hear that Channel Five is dumping it after 10 years because they want to make more All Creatures Great And Small and similar... are they mad? Now, don’t get me wrong, I watch Our Yorkshire Farm and think on the whole it’s a very nice county, but what is it with Channel Five’s obsession with Yorkshire Everything programmes?!
Another broadcaster must step in and make sure Neighbours can continue.
The scripts are solid, the actors are great, and the crew held as a shining example of how to film safely during the pandemic.
But we also need to know why Harlow visits London; the secrets Glen is hiding; and how much more Machiavellian Paul Robinson can get.
Please, somebody, #Save Neighbours!