20 March 2010

Neighbours - 25th Anniversary

Neighbours 1980s - Charlene Mitchell/Robinson (Kylie Minogue) smiles out from the opening titles; caring Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy) gives good advice; Des Clarke (Paul Keane) makes it to the altar with Daphne Lawrence (Elaine Smith); Jane Harris - "Plain Jane Super Brain" (Annie Jones) - looks on as her grandmother, Nell Mangel (Vivean Gray), sticks her oar in; Katy and Todd Landers (Sally Jenson and Kristian Schmidt) arrive in the Robinson household; the original Scott Robinson (Darius Perkins) seeks advice from his father, Jim (Alan Dale); Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) ties the knot with female plumber Terri Inglis (Maxine Klibingaitis) - the relationship will end with a bang; Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) goes in for karate; Shane Ramsay (Peter O'Brien) wields a spade, his aunt Madge Mitchell/Ramsay (Anne Charleston) wields two massive shoulder pads; Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) has his first on-screen encounter with Charlene Mitchell; Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) meets up with Madge and "jelly belly" Harold; Daphne grins out from the opening titles; Scott and Charlene become Mr and Mrs Robinson; Hilary Robinson (Anne Scott-Pendlebury) pokes her nose in - Gail Robinson (Fiona Corke) is not amused; Eileen Clarke (Myra De Groot) and Mrs Mangel join the bowling club; Mrs Mangel keeps an eye on Ramsay Street in the opening titles; Eileen passes on some hot gossip on the phone at Daphne's Coffee Shop; marriage number two for Paul Robinson - this time to Gail Lewis; Paul Robinson amuses dad Jim in a nappy in the first episode - neighbour Max Ramsay (Francis Bell) is not amused; Clive Gibbons (Geoff Paine), Ramsay Street's resident doctor, delivered chicken-grams; Mike Young (Guy Pearce) was a troubled youngster who found sanctuary and a future in Ramsay Street; the original Julie Robinson (Vikki Blanche) always had right on her side - or so she thought; Charlene looked stunning on the morning of her wedding; the original Lucy Robinson (Kylie Flinker) with the second Scott.

Neighbours celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first broadcast in Australia on 18 March.

1985... it seems all of ten years ago to me. How time flies!

Here in England, we weren't introduced to the residents of Ramsay Street until October 1986, with the arrival of the BBC's new daytime service. Shown initially in the early afternoon, with a repeat the following morning, the show hit all the right notes with me immediately.

The show was the brainchild of Reg Watson, who was producer of English soap Crossroads from its inception in 1964. Mr Watson based the idea for Neighbours on Coronation Street, but the large number of child and teen characters, and their sunny outlook on life (so different from the moaning teens of the '80s English soaps) ensured that the show was something in its own right - and influential. Young characters in English soaps were soon rising in number (although the early-to-mid 1980s had already seen an increase), and Australia introduced another high youth content soap in 1988 - Home And Away.

Golden telly memories of Mrs Mangel, Eileen Clarke, Helen Daniels, Jim Robinson, Madge Ramsay, Des and Daphne Clarke, Scott and Charlene, Bouncer, Harold Bishop and so on still remain with me from those heady days of '80s Ramsay Street...

I must admit I stopped watching Neighbours after the first four or five years, but I thoroughly enjoyed those years.

Happy 25th anniversary to the show.

Click here for lots and lots more '80s Actual Erinsborough info.

A selection of "Topps" Neighbours collectors' cards from 1988.


Nicky said...

Neighbours was a lovely programme back in the '80s. I think Helen was my favourite character.

Maria said...

Yes, Helen was great. But Eileen topped the lot for me. She was nice, bitchy, gossipy and daft.

Anonymous said...

The high teenage character content of Neighbours was quite revolutionary - as was the communication between the generations - and so different from moaning Sharon and Chelle in EastEnders!

Anonymous said...

Bouncer was adorable! I had a golden Labrador puppy and I called him Bouncer because I love the Neighbours dog so much!