Aussie soap Neighbours makes return to screens with Co Antrim actress

Neighbours was resuscitated by Amazon Freevee after its untimely axing (Picture: Amazon Freevee)
Neighbours was resuscitated by Amazon Freevee after its untimely axing (Picture: Amazon Freevee)

Monday sees the return to our screens of hit Australian soap Neighbours, 14 months after it was axed by Channel 5.

The show launched the careers of the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and Isla Fisher.

Now millions of fans across the world are eagerly awaiting Neighbours: The New Chapter, which will launch on September 18 on Channel TEN Australia and on Amazon Freevee – a free to watch ad-supported streaming service - with new episodes streaming on Mondays to Thursdays.

Stalwarts returning to the fictional town of Erinsborough include Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), Toadie (Ryan Moloney), Jane Harris (Annie Jones) and Susan and Karl Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne and Alan Fletcher).

But it’s far from happy families for everyone as the drama continues two years since viewers last left Neighbours.

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Residents of Ramsay Street will once again be coming together for a wedding – but the love match is sure to shock some fans.

There is turmoil ahead for Susan Kennedy, aka Jackie Woodburne, who was born in Carrickfergus and spent her childhood in the County Antrim seaside village of Whitehead.

Woodburne joined the show in 1994 and returned to Ireland along with some of her fellow cast members taking part in the Neighbours Celebration tour, originally planned as a Farewell Tour, at Belfast's Waterfront Hall.  

During that event Alan Fletcher sang a song expressing his adoration for the undisputed Queen of Ramsay Street. And ahead of the Neighbours relaunch he has released  (I’ve Got a) Crush on Susie K.

On-screen as the credits rolled on what many thought was the last ever episode of Neighbours, Susan and Karl were seen smiling and holding hands, but two years on and she’s in turmoil, having to make some serious changes to Susan's life, with a personal secret that puts her happiness – and marriage – at risk. The return of Karl’s daughter, Holly Hoyland (Lucinda Armstrong-Hall), puts further pressure on the iconic couple.

Of course, there are plenty of new faces in the cast. Among them are the Varga-Murphy family, consisting of mums Remi and Cara and teenage sons JJ and Dex, who are set to rock up as Jane Harris rents her home out on an Airbnb-type site called Rent-A-Home.

Viewers can also expect house swaps, job changes, new relationships and, of course, new faces in Neighbours: The New Chapter.

The first episode kicks off with the arrival of the Varga-Murphys, featuring mums Remi and Cara and their teenage sons, JJ and Dex. The OC's Mischa Barton also makes her debut in the soap, playing mysterious newcomer Reece.