Well, as we all know, Neighbours shuffled off this mortal coil on Friday 29th, and it struck me that the soap had been broadcast in Britain for around half my life plus 5 years before disappearing from our screens. I'm not really a watcher of soaps, but when it started, I was still a freelancer working from home and had the TV on as I worked. BBC 1 was the default channel that flickered into life when I turned on my telly in the mornings, so along with Going For Gold with Matthew Kelly and a show (the name of which I forget) hosted by Tom O'Connor, I also half-watched Neighbours (as in lifted my head to look at the TV screen every so often). Back then, television remote controls weren't so common and I was far too lazy to get up off my chair at my desk to change channels, so it was no surprise that I gradually got sucked into the 'social cliff-hangers' which usually ended each episode.
I must've watched it for a few years until most of the original cast departed, at which time I lost interest and departed with them, but I occasionally dipped into it every so often, until I abandoned it entirely as I found many new cast members about as charismatic as a group of stamp collectors or train spotters (or comics collectors). It's ironic that characters Scott and Charlene gave the ratings a boost, because they were probably mainly responsible for killing my interest in it. You see, until their romance and wedding became the main focus of the show, it seems to me that plotlines were built mostly around older members of the cast, but Scott and Charlene, due to the interest from teenagers, prompted producers to shift the emphasis to newer, younger members, with older ones slightly side-lined to that of supporting characters.
Anyway, I watched the extended last episode (as well as the afternoon one earlier in the day), and it was good to see the return of actor Paul Keane as Des Clarke, as he was always an amiable, likeable character and his performance when his wife Daphne died back in the late '80s was a good piece of acting, not something TV soaps are usually known for (with exceptions of course). Funny how soaps can affect people, as, despite myself, I somehow feel I've lost some friends and acquaintances, and the ability to visit a Melbourne cul-de-sac, which was as familiar to me via the TV screen as the view outside my house is via my window. (And that's what a TV is - a window to another world.) Like so many other things I thought would be around forever, I felt I'd be able to drop into the Ramsay Street whenever the fancy took me, but I was misguided in that belief.
Having said that, though, I didn't realise there was quite so much (any in fact) same-sex kissing (and touching and fondling) nowadays, so had I known, and had Neighbours continued, it's unlikely I'd have felt inclined to renew my acquaintance with the show as it had transformed into quite a different kind of programme to what I knew. Therefore, maybe it's a good thing it's finally ended, lest my memories of it in its heyday became sullied by its pc embrace of a lifestyle for which I have no empathy. Better to remember the glory days of its early years, before it descended into 'woke'-ism. So here's to Neighbours - everybody needs good ones, and I hope all you Crivvies are lucky in that respect.
Did you watch Neighbours? Will you miss the show, and are you saddened by its demise? Feel free to comment in the relevant section. It might take me a while to respond, but you can chat amongst yourselves 'til I join the party. (I'll endeavour to publish your comments - if any - as soon as I can.)