Neighbours star reveals huge twists and 'big' storylines in new episodes

Alan Fletcher has heaped praise on Neighbours’ upcoming return, telling that they’re some of the ‘best ever’ and consider us very excited.

The popular soap, a staple of daytime TV in the UK for 37 years, was controversially axed by Channel 5 last year, much to the horror of fans, who wasted little time in trying to right the huge wrong.

But while the show did reach a star-studded conclusion, fans’ efforts didn’t go unnoticed, with Amazon Freevee subsequently swooping in to resuscitate Neighbours, proving to be the good friends we all needed.

Filming has already re-commenced, with a new season slated for the second half of this year, and fans couldn’t be more excited.

Alan, who plays Dr Karl Kennedy on the show, has taken a short break from filming to travel up and down the UK this summer with his The Doctor Will See You Now Tour. took the opportunity to catch up with the TV and music legend to discuss what fans expect both from his show, in addition to the new and reinvigorated Neighbours.

Hi Alan! You’re going on tour around the UK this Summer. Are you excited to get out and see all the fans? 

Oh absolutely. We did the Neighbours Celebration Tour in March, which was joyous. It was a huge show with massive audiences and we saw thousands of people face-to-face. This tour gives me an opportunity to have much more of an intimate interaction with fans of the show, and really go for a deep dive into Karl Kennedy’s life and times in Neighbours – and to do something different as well. 

The fans love it when we play a bit of music and sing a few songs, particularly the Neighbours-related songs, so it’s going to be quite different from the Celebration Tour, apart from the fact that we’re going to continue celebrating Neighbours. It will very much be a celebration of Karl Kennedy’s time on the show. 

Last year when you did your solo tour, Neighbours had been axed. With the show set to stage a comeback, will meeting the fans be a more celebratory experience this time around? 

My goodness, it certainly will! We were supposed to do the Neighbours Farewell tour [which later became the Celebration Tour], that would’ve been doom and gloom! I did the Dr Karl show last year when Neighbours was over, and people were very sad. There was this outpouring of grief. We played the last scenes of Neighbours during the shows and there were a lot of tears in the audience. So now having the opportunity to celebrate the show instead is a joy.

What can fans expect from the tour?

It’s very much a look at Dr Karl’s life. I don’t take myself very seriously so we have a lot of fun with it. My beautiful wife is interviewing me, she knows me better than anyone in the world so she doesn’t let me get away with anything! We’ve incorporated an enormous amount of video footage, and I’ve revamped the show from last time to include footage that a lot of people may not have seen or have forgotten about. I have included completely new segments about Karl Kennedy’s life as well, and I’ve incorporated a lot of music into the show.

Last year and during the Celebration Tour, people were asking if we were going to be playing more music so I will be incorporating some of my new music into the show, and also some Neighbours-related songs, one in particular dedicated to Susan Kennedy, so a lot of music – some Dr Karl music as well – and a lot of fun. I think people are really going to enjoy it – a blend of entertainment.

Neighbours is coming back! You’ve started filming again. 

The fans are gagging for Neighbours to come back! They can’t wait. I’ve been filming new episodes and the scripts. Stephen, the scripts that I’ve read are some of the best I’ve ever read on my time on Neighbours. It’sso clever – it’s so clever what they’re doing. We’ve got an incredible blend of old cast, many of whom are fan favourites. They’re regulars. Then we’ve got wonderful guest cast coming back – people like April Rose Pengilly and Ian Smith as Harold. 

We’ve got really interesting people like Mischa Barton in the cast. She is fantastic! There are so many people out there who loved The OC, so hopefully They’ll be like: ‘If she’s in Neighbours, let’s take a look at the show!’ We’ve also got a bunch of new cast that haven’t been announced yet.

What happened is, when I went back to Neighbours after being away from it, I found the whole environment had been reinvigorated by the presence of the new cast and a new crew. It’s a blend of old and new, we’ve got this sense of having a chance to make this show the best it could ever be. That’s what we’re doing, and people are throwing themselves into that wholeheartedly. 

Neighbours was axed when it was on such a high. From everything that we know about the revival series, it really feels like the magic has been recaptured – but with bosses determined to make it even better than before!

Totally. Neighbours has always been very faithful to the fans, and the producers go to enormous lengths to make sure they know what the fans want and expect, but also give them many surprises. 

The Neighbours that comes back in the latter part of this year will be the Neighbours everyone knows and loves. There is no doubt about that. But we have the opportunity here to take it to another place – where people will be able to look at it and go: “We’re not just watching a soap opera here, we’re also watching a high quality drama.” In my eyes, it was always a high-quality drama, but it carries that badge of being a soap opera. I think people are going to take a really good look at this new Neighbours and go: “Do you know what? This show is remarkable! It’s high quality television!” 

Streaming services have largely steered clear of soap operas, so do you think the fact that Amazon Freevee came to Neighbours’ rescue is proof of not only how popular the soap genre remains but of just how popular Neighbours still is with audiences?

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video

Totally. No question. Amazon made it pretty clear that they saw the outpouring of grief at the end of Neighbours – the petitions and the social media response, not to mention five and a half million watching the last episode. They made a smart business decision to pick the show up, but not just for the UK as they will be showing it in the States and Canada, and in lots of other places where it might not have been seen before. Hopefully it will build a new audience for the show and create new interest around the world. 

Are you excited to see what the future holds for Karl Kennedy when the show returns?

We have some sense of the storylines coming up, but there’s a lot of surprises waiting for me. I haven’t been told a lot about what’s happening this year because I had an already scheduled tour, so my big stories will come later in the year. But there will be big stories, I know that for sure! They’ve given me some hints which I can’t pass on just yet Stephen, but I’m so looking forward to what Karl Kennedy is going to get up to, and of course being a part of other people’s adventures, supporting other characters in their adventures. 

Source: Read Full Article