It’s a widely-known, weird fact that British people love Australian soap operas more than Australians do. Especially Neighbours.
The series, which has been airing in the UK for over 30 years, could be pulled from UK screens completely. And Brits on the internet seem very unhappy about it. So unhappy, they’re petitioning and tweeting up a storm.
But there’s something about its mundane tales of life in Australian suburbia that Brits in particular, just can’t get enough of. Its audience especially peaked in 1990, when it had 21 million viewers hooked.
If neighbours gets axed in the UK I have no other choice than to move to Australia
— Emily (@em_harbottle) March 19, 2017
According to The Sunday People, talks over the TV show’s UK rights have broken down. “The renegotiation of the Neighbours Channel 5 deal has become very fraught and is in jeopardy,” an unnamed source told the paper.
“But the failure to reach a deal is being blamed on Channel 5’s new American owners Viacom for refusing to sign off on the figures and not understanding the cultural importance of the show in the UK.” Damn those meddling Americans.
A petition to stop the show titled “Don’t Axe Neighbours!!!” was created on Change.org Sunday, gaining more than 6,000 signatures at the time of writing.
Since it’s ’90s glory days, Neighbours’ ratings have declined steadily, and now the show currently hovers around the one million viewers mark. Viewer numbers are much smaller in Australia, where the series pulls in around 200,000 viewers per episode on digital-only channel, Eleven.
The UK might still need good Neighbours, but time will tell if they get to keep them.