Loving Neighbours Again

My love affair with the TV show ‘Neighbours’ began in 1986. The Australian soap was light and funny and everyone watched it back then. It was the talk of my school.

As well as drawing our attention to my favourite pop star, Kylie Minogue, it has introduced many stars, including Guy Pearce, Natalie Imbruglia, Chris and Liam Hemsworth and Margot Robbie.

When it finished last year, seemingly forever, I was absolutely gutted. Check out my Everybody Needs Good Neighbours post to appreciate my feelings about this.

Luckily, when I went to the Neighbours farewell tour in Brighton, the news had already arrived that Amazon Freevee had bought Neighbours and it could then become a celebration tour instead.

It Is Back!

Since it came back in September, I have been glued to the exciting and amusing storylines. Although some characters had left, the newer ones have added even more drama. It is especially cool to see Mischa Barton from the OC in this season.

With occasional appearances by Guy Pearce and all of my favourites (Jane, Susan, Karl, Chloe etc), I am loving the four days a week format. This week we had a sequence of flashbacks, with previous cast members popping back to tell the story of what happened during the period that Neighbours was off screen.

I am loving the twists that flashback week has brought. High drama!

In A Nutshell

Normally it is hard to get into a soap opera without weeks of watching. But right now is an excellent time to try out ‘Neighbours,’ especially as it is available in the US and Canada via the Amazon platform. I know I am biased but I would urge anyone to take a look and see if they enjoy this light, easy to follow series as much as I do.

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours!

Today is the day that I have to get out the tissues and prepare for some weeping. My favourite TV soap opera is finishing after 37 amazing years. ‘Neighbours’ has been with me ever since I was 8 years old and I originally watched every day with my nan. Now we are about to see the final episode with some returning famous faces.

The original cast from 1986.

I used to love coming home from school and checking in on the Erinsborough neighbours as they went through drama after drama. It had an optimistic way of presenting Australian life and soon became incredibly popular.

After a failed run in 1985, Channel 10 decided to start afresh with Neighbours and introduce new characters. It was this second run that was publicised in the UK and established the Robinson and Ramsay families that included Charlene and Scott and introduced us to Madge, Paul and Mrs Mangel.

In the school holidays I lapped up the early afternoon showing and sometimes watched it twice in the same day. When Kylie and Jason’s characters got married 20 million UK viewers tuned in. Kylie went on to be a popstar and Jason starred in West End shows such as Joseph and the amazing technicolour dreamcoat.

Although I lost touch with the show while I was at university I did reconnect and soon got back into it, following the stories as they moved from BBC 1 to Channel 5 in Britain. Sadly in April this year Channel 5 decided to drop the show and another funding company wasn’t found so the show had to reach a conclusion.

Neighbours should be proud of tackling difficult subjects such as cancer, sexuality and celebrating diversity in a way that felt natural and totally inclusive. The story team are excellent and ground breaking and its narratives will be surely missed.

And Sadly..

Tonight we see some of those superstars return for a much anticipated finale. Neighbours was a breeding ground for talent such as:

Margot Robbie, Jason Donovan, Annie Jones, Guy Pearce, Thor himself – Chris Hemsworth and his brother Liam, Kylie Minogue, Jesse Spencer and Felix Mallard.

So I hope some of you will check out the Neighbours Finale online. It will be a celebration of wonderful characters, including my favourites, Jane and Madge. I will be crying my eyes out and looking forward to when the cast do a UK tour next spring. Thank you for reading my article and If you enjoyed it please consider following my blog.

Writers You Will Love Discovering

I have really got into blogging this month and enjoyed becoming part of the brilliant blogging community. As a reading blogger I felt I should write about some of the authors who influence me most and inspire me as a reader. In this post I mention contemporary writers who have produced high standard narratives that kept me fully engaged.

Do you fancy trying out books by different authors?

Joanne Harris

Anyone who knows me will be aware of the fact that I love Joanne’s writing style. She usually writes in short chapters and often in the first person, with alternative chapters written through the eyes of different characters.

I read her novel, ‘Chocolat’ and then went on to watch the movie. Both were wonderful and the storyline about a woman taking over a Chocolate shop in a rather traditional, stuck-in-its-ways village in France, was immediately captivating. The way that she used the preparation of food and language related to taste and smell really intrigued me so I went on to read more of her work. As well as her French books, she has quirky novellas based on Folklore. She also wrote two books about the Norse God Loki. All of her work is entertaining, descriptive and well written.

Joanne has a new thriller novel out called ‘A Narrow Door’. It follows on from her books set in a stuck-in-its-ways private old school. She also has a series of short stories revolving around new fairy tales for adults. It’s called ‘Honeycomb’ and the art work is wonderful,

Liane Moriarty

Seeing Nicole Kidman on the front of a book called ‘Big Little Lies’ I was intrigued to read the story before I then sat down and watched the HBO series. Both were fantastic but Liane’s writing style totally sucked me in and I was soon checking out her other work. Later I went on to read ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ which I have reviewed previously on my blog. https://jamieadstories.blog/2021/06/16/books-that-more-than-satisfied/

She writes in the ‘close third person’ and is able to bring some very modern characters to life. Her writing is clever and relatable. The way that she gives away nuggets of detail in the conversations is seamless. I am totally hooked on her books which include ‘The Hypnotist’s Love Story’ where Ellen’s new boyfriend comes with the baggage of an ex who happens to be a stalker. The hypnotist becomes fascinated by the other woman and their paths cross in a twisted story of jealousy and discomfort.

John Boyne

It was quite random that I came across a book of short stories in Apple Books that led me to becoming a fan of John Boyne. ‘Beneath the Earth’ has a range of stories with varying contexts including one about a university student who didn’t want his initials ‘B.S’ to be inscribed on his student card for reasons that soon became clear.

All of his writing is witty and often quite thought-provoking. His sharp words can sometimes be alarming as he never holds back in trying to show a real picture of life for the colourful characters that he describes. When reading his short book called ‘The Dare’ you get to know a boy whose mother seems to have run over another kid and put him in hospital. Meanwhile the main character befriends the unconscious boy’s sister. A peculiar premise for a heart-wrenching tale.

These writers all have distinctive styles and write compelling narratives that draw readers in and never fail to put a smile on their faces. I totally recommend checking out one of their books soon.

If you enjoyed this post then perhaps consider following my blog for more content about incredible authors and brilliant books.