Three million viewers tuned in to say goodbye to Ramsay Street as Neighbours came to a close after almost four decades of constant drama.
The final episode of the Australian soap aired on Friday night in the UK on Channel 5, with stars including Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie making one last appearance on the show that brought them fame.
Marking the end of an era, the double-episode special drew in a peak audience of 3 million as the show drew to a close, according to overnight figures.
It attracted an average audience of 2.5 million, and Channel 5 said the viewing figures on Friday night were the highest since it began broadcasting the beloved show in 2008.
Alongside Minogue, the finale also saw the return of three singers who went on to have chart hits after leaving Erinsborough. Delta Goodrem, who played Nina Tucker; Natalie Imbruglia, who was Beth Brennan, and Holly Valance, who played Felicity Scully, all appeared in the Friday night episode.
Mike Young, played by Guy Pearce, returned to Ramsay Street to give his relationship with his former love interest Jane Harris, played by Annie Jones, another shot. The pair shared a video reflecting on the reunion after the episode aired, with Jones saying: “It’s kind of a bit weird, isn’t it?”
Pearce agreed, describing the reunion as “sort of surreal”. “It’s lovely working together again. I mean we’ve stayed friends over the years and it’s sort of surreal and also very familiar and like it was just yesterday in a way”. He added that he thought the fans “might be having a little quiet smile to themselves” after seeing the pair get their happy ending together at last.
Ben Frow, the chief content officer of Paramount UK, said: “I suspect there wasn’t a dry eye from the viewers as Neighbours bowed out on a high last night.
“We wanted to give it a fitting, respectful ending and I hope our night devoted to Neighbours achieved that.
“Last night truly is the end of an era. The response from viewers overnight has been very moving, even if they wished the ending didn’t have to come.”
He added that he hoped fans enjoyed the finale. “We celebrate the success of Neighbours’ 37 years at the top – I’m sure it will remain in people’s hearts and TV memories for a long time to come,” Frow said.
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