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Neighbours 30th anniversary: Special broadcasts planned on Channel 5

Channel 5 has revealed plans to celebrate Neighbours' 30th anniversary with a special companion show and repeats of two classic episodes.

Neighbours reaches its milestone on March 18 with a number of big storylines planned to mark the occasion, including the returns of 12 past characters.

As well as the celebrations in the main show, Channel 5 will be airing a one-off special titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which will celebrate the soap's ongoing success and take a look back at some of the most colourful cast members.

Hosted by current Ramsay Street regulars Stefan Dennis and Tim Phillipps (Paul and Daniel Robinson), the programme will bring together a number of the most popular faces past and present - including Ian Smith (Harold Bishop), Anne Charleston (Madge Bishop), Ryan Moloney (Toadie Rebecchi), Mark Little (Joe Mangel), Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy Hoyland) and Craig McLachlan (Henry Ramsay).

Channel 5 will also be airing the first
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Neighbours' Ian Smith wants film role: 'I'd like something with depth'

Neighbours' Ian Smith wants film role: 'I'd like something with depth'
Neighbours star Ian Smith has revealed that he would like a film role before he retires from acting.

The 76-year-old, who is known for his role as popular Harold Bishop, has admitted that he regrets not exploring the film industry sooner.

Speaking to the Australian Daily Telegraph, he said: "I've really not broken into the movie world and I really would love to do a movie before I hang up my voice.

"A good movie - I've done some not so good movies. It is the usual cry of the soap actor; I'd like to do something with a bit of depth in it that stretches and challenges me... something with a budget.

"My father always said, 'When you are on a money job, keep it'. I watched young people from the shows that I was in leave when they were not being asked to leave and go on to
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Madge and Harold Bishop to return to Neighbours for 30th anniversary

Anne Charleston and Ian Smith confirm that they will be back in the long-running Australian soap, despite Madge’s on-screen death in 2001

The makers of Neighbours have announced that two of the soap’s most beloved characters, Madge and Harold Bishop, will return to the show to mark its 30th anniversary, ITV reports.

Their return is particularly surprising given that Madge Bishop died on screen in 2001 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. It is not yet clear how the pair will reappear, though the long-running soap has previous experience of surreal interludes, particularly the infamous ‘Bouncer’s dream’ scene, which went deep into the dog’s subconscious mind. Harold also experienced his own dream sequence, in which he became the Earl of Doon of Scotland and the rest of the cast became peasants grovelling at his feet.

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Kylie Minogue back on Neighbours? We should be so lucky | Media Monkey

Its a date to pencil into your diaries in March next year, Australian soap Neighbours is turning 30. And if thats not big enough news for you, the Sun reports that Kylie Minogue has been invited back to star in a special anniversary episode. Apparently, there have been rumours that the singer would be making a return to Ramsay Street after one of the shows former stars Anne Charleston, who played Madge Bishop said she thought Minogue had already signed up. That ever reliable source said: We have an open invitation for Kylie to return. We would be thrilled for her to reprise her role as Charlene.

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Britain’s Got Talent 2010: Mark James wants his own pantomime production company

Britain’s Got Talent hopeful Mark James has revealed that if he wins the series on Saturday, he will use the £100,000 prize money to set up his own pantomime production company.

The singer who impressed Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan with his half man, half woman audition has previously starred in panto alongside Sue Pollard, Neighbours star Anne Charleston and Jane Tucker from Rainbow. In fact Sue even rang him up to congratulate him on his Bgt success.

On how he would spend the money if he won, Mark, who will appear on tonight’s semi final said:

I bought a house a couple of years ago so firstly I would pay off the mortgage, but I would like to have my own pantomime production company. I love pantomime as it’s for everybody so the money would definitely be used in a good way.

I did pantomime with Sue Pollard,
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Charleston: 'Emmerdale role bored me'

Anne Charleston has admitted that she grew bored with her role as Emmerdale's Lily Butterfield. The actress joined the Yorkshire-based soap for three episodes in September 2006 before signing up for a longer contract in March the following year. However, in April 2009, it was announced that she was leaving the programme. Asked in an interview with Pa whether she was sad to bow out, Charleston replied: "Not really. I really wanted to do the show and I love the show and the character, but they just started to turn her into a special extra and I was seriously bored and depressed. I thought it was a pity because I think she had enormous possibilities. "I loved working with (more)
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Gaffney reveals love for 'Neighbours'

Gaffney reveals love for 'Neighbours'
EastEnders star Dean Gaffney has admitted that he is a huge fan of Australian soap Neighbours. The actor, who is back on screen as Walford's Robbie Jackson this week, said that he is looking forward to starring alongside Ramsay Street legend Anne Charleston (Madge Bishop) in the Calendar Girls stage tour later this year. Gaffney told Pa: "I'm a massive Neighbours fan. I've watched it from when I was a child. Literally, I'm hooked on Neighbours. It's really quite sad actually. "I just love the (more)
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'Neighbours' legend wants Walford role

'Neighbours' legend wants Walford role
Neighbours actor Alan Fletcher has named EastEnders as the UK soap he would most like to star in. The 52-year-old, who plays Ramsay Street legend Karl Kennedy, confirmed that he would consider following in the footsteps of Anne Charleston by making the move from Erinsborough to British serial drama if his current role ever ends. Fletcher told Holy Soap: "I wouldn't mind at all. There are some terrific shows. Anne Charleston did Emmerdale for a while and she loved that experience." Asked which soap he would pick, the Australian (more)
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Charleston to leave 'Emmerdale'

Anne Charleston has quit her role in Emmerdale in order to pursue new projects. The 66-year-old Australian actress, who plays Edna Birch's (Shirley Stelfox) sister Lily Butterfield in the rural ITV serial, is due to finish filming within the fortnight, but will remain on screen until July. Speaking to Inside Soap about her decision to leave, she said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed playing Lily for the last couple of years, but have agreed with the producers that the time is right for me to move (more)
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DS Icon: Anne 'Madge' Charleston

Anne Charleston has acted as a comforting maternal figure for numerous generations of TV viewers. As the gruff-voiced but soft-hearted Madge Bishop (née Ramsay) in Neighbours, she provided a hefty cornerstone for the Aussie soap to flourish from. Her partnership with Ian Smith (Harold) during her two stints on the show remains one of the most touching romances in soap history. The couple's return to Ramsay Street in 1996 after Harold came back from the dead (he was last seen five years previous disappearing off a cliff face leaving behind only his glasses) was only topped by Charleston's tearful farewell in 2001 when she died from cancer in her bed at No.24. (more)
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