Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan return to Neighbours

By Maria Zaccaro
BBC News

Published
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Jason Donavan and Kylie Minogue both shot to fame after appearing in the soap opera in the 1980s

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan will return to long-running Australian TV soap opera Neighbours for its finale after more than 30 years away.

They will resume their roles as much-loved characters Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough.

Their return to Ramsay Street comes after it was announced that the show will end this summer after 37 years.

The pair were a favourite with viewers before their departure in the 1980s.

Sharing a message on the show's official Twitter account, executive producer Jason Herbison said they would play "a very special part" in the show's finale.

"Scott and Charlene are the ultimate Neighbours couple and it would not feel right to end the show without them," he added.

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Minogue and Donovan, both 53, also posted a photo of what appeared to be a glimpse of a Neighbours script on their Instagram accounts.

Neighbours was first aired in 1985 and the pair played Scott and Charlene until their departures in 1989 and 1988 respectively.

Their wedding episode was watched by more than two million Australian viewers when it first aired in 1987 and it later attracted almost 20 million people when it was shown in the UK the following year.

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Scott and Charlene's wedding episode was watched by millions of people

Both Minogue and Donovan shot to fame after appearing in the soap opera.

Minogue - who has then had a successful pop career with hits including I Should be so Lucky, Confide in Me and Spinning Around - said she would be "forever grateful" for her time on the show as mechanic Charlene.

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Last year Minogue confirmed she was moving back to Australia after 30 years in the UK

Donovan also moved to a career in music with hits including Ten Good Reasons, Happy Together and Especially for You - his duet with Minogue. He has also appeared in musicals, including taking the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in the 1990s.

Neighbours has aired on Channel 5 for more than a decade, having previously been broadcast on the BBC.

Earlier this year Channel 5 announced it was dropping the show from its schedules.

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Donovan previously said it was sad to see the show come to an end

That decision left producers with a funding gap, as the British network was a key broadcast partner in the series.

Producers later said they were "so sorry" but had "no option but to rest the show".

When the news came that Neighbours was ceasing production, Donovan said it was "sad" but that it was "time to celebrate" the soap.

His father Terence used to star on the show, as Doug Willis, and his daughter Jemma is part of the current cast, playing Harlow Robinson.

The programme has also launched careers of Hollywood stars Margot Robbie, Liam Hemsworth and Guy Pearce, as well as singers Natalie Imbruglia and Delta Goodrem.