Neighbours to face the 'axe' on British television after 31 years?

Neighbours to face the 'axe' on British television after 31 years?

'Neighbours' fans have organised a petition to try and save the soap, after it was suggested that its days on United Kingdom screens could be numbered.

"Due to issues between production companies, there is a real possibility that, unless an agreement is reached, Neighbours could be axed from UK TV".

Neighbours fans received some troubling news this week, with reports claiming the Australian soap could disappear from British screens if the makers failed to reach a new deal with the show's United Kingdom broadcaster.

The petition is titled: "Don't axe Neighbours" and features a heart-felt plea to both Freemantle and Channel 5, urging them to preserve the show for the fans.

"It is a huge part of British culture and has a massive United Kingdom following!"

Fans are anxious that if Neighbours is dropped from Channel 5 and isn't picked up by another big channel, it could be axed completely.

"Neighbours" fan Kate Winrow has set up a petition on, which is already nearing its 10,000 signature target, just 24 hours after launching, with more around 8600 supporters at the time of writing.

The Australian soap has aired on Channel 5 here in Britain since 2008, though it was recently reported that the channel was having difficulty negotiating a fresh deal with show bosses.

Neighbours was first screened on BBC1 in 1986 and moved over to Channel 5 nine years ago, with characters becoming cultural icons from Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan's Scott and Charlene, to the ever enduring Kyle Kennedy.

The series made stars of Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie and follows the residents of Ramsay Street, in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough.

New US bosses at Channel 5 don't understand the cultural significance of the show, according to reports.

"Neighbours has become a British TV favourite and it would be a sad day if it were to go". Online: "We don't comment on commercial contracts".

Neighbours, which has been running for 33 seasons, has always been hugely popular in the United Kingdom and continues to pull in around one million viewers per episode, according to the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.

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