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Jackie Woodburne: Neighbours will leave a massive gap

After ‘Neighbours’ was axed by Channel 5, Jackie Woodburne confessed that there will never be another show like it. Jackie Woodburne says ‘Neighbours’ will leave a “massive gap” in television.

The 66-year-old actress, who has played instructor Susan Kennedy on the famous soap opera since 1994, has called the cancellation a “loss of an icon.”

In an interview with Australia’s early morning talk show ‘Studio 10’, she said: “It doesn’t matter how aware you are of the fans that watch the show and how much they enjoy it; but this week, it’s like a floodgate has opened and I’ve received the most beautiful messages from people.

“People are really going to miss the show and it’s going to leave a massive gap in the landscape of not just Australian television but internationally and specifically in the UK as well.

“It’s the end of an era, it’s the loss of an icon and we will never ever see a show like ‘Neighbours’ again.”

The soap’s rights were purchased by Channel 5 in 2008. However, the network just announced that it will no longer air ‘Neighbours’ starting this summer, instead focusing on “original UK drama.”

Because it was not commercially viable for Australian broadcaster Network 10 to pay the Freemantle Media-produced show alone, the UK broadcaster covered the majority of the production costs.

“As mentioned in the email to ‘Neighbours’ cast and crew, it is our goal to maintain our affiliation with ‘Neighbours’ if another broadcast partner comes forward,” a Network 10 spokeswoman recently said.

“Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide further updates as they become available.”

Natalie Imbruglia, who played Beth Brennan on ‘Neighbours’ from 1992 to 1994, recently expressed her optimism that public pressure will save the show.

The 47-year-old star commented: “I think at this point we just thought it was gonna go on forever so, I, you know … people are petitioning. Here’s hoping they pull it off.”

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