It’s been three years since Australian soap Neighbours last filmed scenes in the UK and this week a new London-filmed storyline has started which stars Amanda Holden, Jemma Donovan and a cameo from Sophie Ellis-Bextor. But many fans were divided on the new scenes and some were left puzzled by Amanda’s accent.
The first of the soap’s London scenes aired on Monday, March 28, just weeks after it was confirmed Neighbours had been axed after 37 years. A petition was set up by fans and received more than 65k signatures but it was announced on the official Twitter page on March 3 that the show would cease production in the summer.
Harlow Robinson, played by Jemma, has taken a trip to London to meet her Aunt Harriet, played by Amanda Holden. Harlow’s visit is to try and solve a family mystery concerning her mother and Harriet’s late sister, Prue, portrayed by Denise van Outen in the soap in 2019.
During the episode singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor also made an appearance. She was briefly seen in one of the scenes sitting on a bench by the River Thames when Harlow tries to take her notebook, mistaking it for her mother’s.
Neighbours fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the latest episode with some praising the UK scenes. “How stunning did London look in today’s episode of Neighbours #London #Neighbours” Catherine Oliver posted, whilst @Chasserbox2018 added: “Actually loved seeing @AmandaHolden and @SophieEB in #Neighbours today. Still gutted it’s coming to an end.”
“Wonderful to see Amanda and Sophie guesting on the show, along with the lovely Jemma who is a first rate actress as well as being very attractive,” Artful Dodger said, whilst Steve Richards added: “Good episode, did enjoy Sophie’s “dance floors can be brutal!”
But others weren’t as impressed saying the London trips had become ‘predictable’. Justin Anthony posted: “After five years of nothing but Melbourne, Karl and Susan went to London and those scenes were very well received. Now that international trips have been happening every year, it’s become predictable and boring. #Neighbours” another viewer, Sarah, tweeted: “I always just hang out by the Thames when meeting folks in London #Neighbours” and Christie added: “I love London scenes but I wish they’d film somewhere else in the UK, Australians seem to think the UK is London #neighbours #saveneighbours”
Many fans were also questioning Amanda Holden’s “strange” accent. Michaela Hoskins said: “Is that Amanda Holden in Neighbours with a strange accent #Neighbours” and Leighton Martin tweeted: “Why is it both Denise van Outen and Amanda Holden sound(ed) like they’re doing fake British accents on #neighbours despite both being British?” and Katie posted: “Do we all sound this horribly posh and put on around non Brits? I hate it. My accent is awful but it’s preferable to that #Neighbours”.
You can tune into Channel 5 weekdays at 1.45pm and 6pm to watch Neighbours.