Neighbours’ final ever episode attracts a peak of almost 3 MILLION UK viewers on Channel 5

Neighbours’ final ever episode attracts a peak of almost 3 MILLION UK viewers on Channel 5… as soap tops Australia’s ratings for the first time in over a decade

Neighbours’ final ever episode ended on a high this week, as a peak of almost 3 million UK viewers tuned in to Channel 5 on Friday afternoon.

The long-running Australian soap came to an end after 37 years, with UK fans getting to see the last installment – featuring the return of Kylie Minogue Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce – on Friday, while Australian fans tuned in on Thursday.

And while the extended special was a hit over here, down under it was a runaway success, with the episode winning the television ratings for the first time in more than a decade. 

Congratulations: Neighbours' final ever episode ended on a high this week, as a peak of almost 3 million UK viewers tuned in to Channel 5 on Friday afternoon

Congratulations: Neighbours’ final ever episode ended on a high this week, as a peak of almost 3 million UK viewers tuned in to Channel 5 on Friday afternoon

Overnight UK ratings show Neighbours attracted an average of 2.6 million viewers, with the episode hitting a peak of 2.9 million. 

The last hurrah garnered an audience share of 17.5% and came in fourth in the overall ratings behind BBC One’s The Commonweath Games coverage and ITV’s Emmerdale and ratings winner Coronation Street, which brought 3.5 million viewers to ITV. 

Meanwhile, midweek episodes, dubbed ‘the final week’, leading up to the finale also creeped into the UK top 20 ratings, with the third till last installment getting 837,000 viewers.

While the number crept up for the penultimate episode, with 1.02 million fans watching.

The last hurrah: The long-running Australian soap came to an end after 37 years, with UK fans getting to see the last installment on Friday, while Australian fans tuned in on Thursday

The last hurrah: The long-running Australian soap came to an end after 37 years, with UK fans getting to see the last installment on Friday, while Australian fans tuned in on Thursday

In Australia, the episode, which was simulcast on Channel 10 and 10 Peach, drew 873,000 metro viewers across both stations, largely thanks to the cast of returning favourites.

No other entertainment program came close to Neighbours as it wrapped up its historic 37-year run with a 90-minute special, reports TV Blackbox.

It was the most-watched program overall on the night and convincingly won all key demographics between ages 16 and 54.

Nice one! While the extended special was a hit over here, down under it was a runaway success, with the episode winning the television ratings for the first time in more than a decade

Nice one! While the extended special was a hit over here, down under it was a runaway success, with the episode winning the television ratings for the first time in more than a decade

The finale also drew Neighbours’ best audience since July 2009, according to Mediaweek.

Home and Away on Channel Seven put in a good fight as it went head to head with its long-time rival, drawing 429,000 metro viewers.

UK audiences were flooded with nostalgia during an emotional Neighbours finale which saw Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan make an epic comeback to the soap, joining a host of stars amid Margot Robbie and Holly Valance returning to Ramsay Street for one final time.

Success: Overnight UK ratings show Neighbours attracted an average of 2.6 million viewers, with the episode hitting a peak of 2.9 million

Success: Overnight UK ratings show Neighbours attracted an average of 2.6 million viewers, with the episode hitting a peak of 2.9 million

Viewers: The last hurrah garnered an audience share of 17.5% and came in fourth in the overall ratings behind BBC One's The Commonweath Games coverage and ITV's Emmerdale and ratings winner Coronation Street, which brought 3.5 million viewers to ITV

Viewers: The last hurrah garnered an audience share of 17.5% and came in fourth in the overall ratings behind BBC One’s The Commonweath Games coverage and ITV’s Emmerdale and ratings winner Coronation Street, which brought 3.5 million viewers to ITV

Great job: Meanwhile, midweek episodes, dubbed 'the final week', leading up to the finale also creeped into the UK top 20 ratings, with the third till last installment getting 837,000 viewers

Great job: Meanwhile, midweek episodes, dubbed ‘the final week’, leading up to the finale also creeped into the UK top 20 ratings, with the third till last installment getting 837,000 viewers

The Channel 5 soap first aired in 1985 and has been on screens for 37 years, but in March it was announced the Australian series was being axed after 8,903 episodes with the finale airing in Australia on Thursday and on Friday evening in the UK.

The finale was jam-packed with appearances from long-gone characters as fans were given a nostalgic glimpse through Neighbours’ history, with characters tearfully flipping through photo albums, a lingering melancholic piano score and the odd in-joke. 

Although the finale aired in Australia earlier this week, dedicated UK fans had to wait until Friday evening to watch the much-anticipated last ever episode of the soap opera, and viewers were quick to share their emotional reactions to the show. 

Over in Aus: The all-star series finale of Neighbours saw the long-running Australian soap win the television ratings for the first time in more than a decade. (Picture: Guy Pearce and Annie Jones)

Over in Aus: The all-star series finale of Neighbours saw the long-running Australian soap win the television ratings for the first time in more than a decade. (Picture: Guy Pearce and Annie Jones)

The broadcast drew 873,000 metro viewers for Channel 10, largely thanks to the cast of returning favourites such as Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan

The broadcast drew 873,000 metro viewers for Channel 10, largely thanks to the cast of returning favourites such as Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan 

The finale centered around Toadie’s (Ryan Moloney) wedding to Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) as many familiar faces reunited for the picturesque lakeside ceremony and street party afterwards, while other pals – including Margot Robbie’s Donna Freedman) – sent their well wishes in sweet video messages to mark the big day.

And appearing on screens once again, Kylie and Jason’s beloved characters Charlene and Scott Robinson made their much-anticipated entrance to the garden party as they pulled up on Ramsay Street in their recognisable green Mini before surprising their pals.

And viewers were quick to gush over Scott and Charlene’s first appearance on Ramsey Street in more than 30 years, taking to Twitter to comment on how ‘nostalgic’ and ’emotional’ it made them feel.

Winner: No other entertainment program came close to Neighbours as it wrapped up its historic 37-year run with a 90-minute special episode

Winner: No other entertainment program came close to Neighbours as it wrapped up its historic 37-year run with a 90-minute special episode

As the iconic pair arrived on screens, Kylie and Jason’s real-life love song Especially For You belted out in the background, with fans left delighted at the unexpected crossover. Kylie and Jason recorded the love ballad in 1989 – one year after they left Neighbours and soon before they ended their three-year romance. 

Scott and Charlene returned to Erinsborough for the first time since they bid farewell to the suburb and moved to Brisbane after tying the knot in a romantic wedding ceremony more than 30 years ago.

As well as Kylie and Jason making a final appearance on the show, there were also epic returns made by Holly Valance (Flick Scully), Natalie Imbruglia (Beth Brennan), Guy Pearce (Mike Young) and Ian Smith (Harold Bishop) as they reprised their roles on the soap opera.

'Pure nostalgia': UK audiences were flooded with nostalgia during an emotional Neighbours finale which saw Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan make an epic comeback

‘Pure nostalgia’: UK audiences were flooded with nostalgia during an emotional Neighbours finale which saw Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan make an epic comeback

Reunion: In the emotional scenes, the couple were seen leaning against their car, as they took in the surroundings and reminisced on their time together in the town

Reunion: In the emotional scenes, the couple were seen leaning against their car, as they took in the surroundings and reminisced on their time together in the town

They were joined by Daniel MacPherson, (Joel Samuels), Peter O’Brien (Shane Ramsay), Natalie Bassingthwaighte, (Izzy Hoyland), Mark Little (Joe Mangel) and Paul Keane, who memorably played Des Clarke.

Also appearing in the finale were Annie Jones (Jane Harris), Anne Charleston, who portrayed matriarch Madge Bishop, Jacinta Stapleton (Amy Greenwood), and Delta Goodrem (Nina Tucker).

And stars from more recent years on the soap joined the episode, including Olympia Valance (Paige Smith), Jodi Gordon (Elly Conway), Zoe Cramond (Amy Williams) and Kate Kendall (Lauren Turner).

With Ben Hall (Ned Willis), Olivia Junkeer (Yashvi Rebecchi) and Zima Anderson (Roxy Willis) completing the line-up of Neighbours alumni returning.

Star-studded: As well as Kylie and Jason making a final appearance on the show, there was also an epic return made by Margot Robbie as Donna Freedman (pictured) as she appeared in a video message for Toadie's wedding day

Star-studded: As well as Kylie and Jason making a final appearance on the show, there was also an epic return made by Margot Robbie as Donna Freedman (pictured) as she appeared in a video message for Toadie’s wedding day

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