The Australian star portrayed Scott Robinson in more than 500 episodes of the popular soap opera. Promoting his new stage role on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, Jason Donovan believed fans should celebrate rather than mourn the series after Neighbours was confirmed by Channel 5 to be coming to an end in February this year.
Jason admitted it was sad to let the soap opera go, but it was also the perfect time to celebrate Neighbours’ long-lasting legacy.
Originally starting on the Seven Network in 1985, the series has had a number of homes in the UK over the years.
Having aired on BBC One throughout the 1980s and 90s, it moved to Channel 5 in 2008.
Unfortunately, Channel 5 confirmed it would be dropping the series in August 2022, and the series was completely cancelled shortly afterwards.
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Former cast member Jason spoke to BBC presenters Sally Nugent and Ben Thompson about the end of the show on Thursday morning.
“Let’s talk about your home country, and Neighbours coming to an end,” Sally pressed him. “Slightly heartbroken?”
Jason admitted: “I do think it’s sad. And I don’t want to get into a running commentary about this. I’ve made comments about it.”
The actor and singer had previously said the cancellation was “sad” news, and he was “very grateful” for the soap.
“We should be grateful for what it has given Australia,” he maintained.
“[What] it’s given actors, producers, writers, directors. My father, in the 70s, fought very hard for Australian content in television, because the governments at the time wanted to bring cheaper exports in.
“It’s as a result of that that we have productions like Neighbours, Priscilla, Muriel’s Wedding, Moulin Rouge.”
“We have an identity through the arts. Again, it comes back to the arts. It gives us an identity that is not so, sort of, dark like the moments we’re going through at the moment.”
Earlier in the interview, Jason had criticised the UK government for not supporting the arts, especially live theatre, during the pandemic.
“We’ve lost a lot of actors as well,” he said, as he encouraged viewers to go out and support live events.
The Australian star is currently playing the Pharaoh in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, having embodied the leading role in the show’s 1991 West End revival.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays from 6am on BBC One.