Thousands sign petition to keep Neighbours on British TV

Thousands of Neighbours fans have signed a petition to keep the Australian soap on British television amid fears it could be taken off our screens.

The soap, which first aired in the UK 31 years ago, has been shown on Channel 5 since 2008.

But The Sunday People has reported that talks between the channel and makers Fremantle Media have stalled, leading to fears the programme could switch to another channel or even be axed.

A source said: “The renegotiation of the Neighbours Channel 5 deal has become very fraught and is in jeopardy.

“Channel 5 really want to keep the show.

“But the failure to reach a deal is being blamed on Channel 5’s new American owners Viacom refusing to sign off on the figures and not understanding the cultural importance of the show in the UK.”

A petition has been launched on Change.org to save the soap, which launched the careers of stars including Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan.

The change.org petition has more than 8,000 signatures on only its second day.

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

“It is a huge part of British culture and has a massive UK following!

“We, the fans, are petitioning to Channel 5 and Fremantle Group to keep Neighbours on our screens!!”

A spokesman for Channel 5 said: “We don’t comment on commercial contracts.”

Fremantle has also been approached for comment.

The soap following the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street first aired in the UK in 1986. It was shown on BBC1 until 2008, when it moved to Channel 5.

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