Neighbours: Where the original cast are now as soap faces axe after 40 years

Neighbours show highlights of Paul Robinson's 'best moments'

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After debuting on TV screens in 1985, the future of Neighbours has been threatened after Channel 5 dropped the Australian soap after airing it for more than a decade. The show became a huge hit in the UK and Australia and helped launch the career of numerous stars including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Stefan Dennis.

Here’s a look at where some of Ramsay Street’s original cast members are today.

Charlene Robinson played by Kylie Minogue

Perhaps the most successful of the Neighbours alum is pop star, Kylie Minogue.

Kylie became a household name across the world when she took on the role of tomboy mechanic, Charlene Robinson.

In 1987, the iconic wedding of Charlene and Scott Robinson (played by Jason Donovan) attracted 20 million viewers and captured the hearts of many.

After leaving the soap in 1988 to focus on her music career, Kylie has had seven number-one singles on the UK chart with hits including Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Spinning Around and Especially for You.

She has appeared in seven films, including Street Fighter and Moulin Rouge.

She is also famed for a wave of high-profile romances with celebs including Neighbours co-star Donovan, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, singer Nick Cave and award-winning French actor Olivier Martinez.

In 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy before being declared cancer-free in February 2006.

The pop princess continues to perform to the masses to this day, having released 15 albums during her 33-year career and playing the coveted legends slot at Glastonbury in 2019.

Scott Robinson played by Jason Donovan

Since leaving Neighbours in 1989, Jason has sold over three million records in the UK and had four number one songs.

He has appeared in several stage musicals including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sweeney Todd.

Jason has participated in numerous reality shows including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (2006), Strictly Come Dancing (2011), and Dancing On Ice (2021).

Since 2015, he has presented Jason Donovan’s 80s Rewind on Heart Radio, which airs on Sunday evenings from 7pm until 10pm.

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Des Clarke played by Paul Keane

Paul Keane played Des Clarke and was one of the first faces to appear on the show.

After leaving Neighbours in 1990, Keane appeared in three short films and TV shows Bliss and Flight into Hell before he quit acting.

After struggling to cope with fame, Keane developed a drug addiction which he battled for 10 years.

He told the Herald Sun in 2015: “I have had a lot of problems. It’s only years and years later that I have realised that I was struggling with mental health issues – with anxiety disorders and depression.

“I was hospitalised numerous times for substance abuse. The doctors were so focused on treating the addictions that they didn’t diagnose the underlying conditions that were causing it.”

In November 2014, Paul returned to Neighbours to reprise his role for the show’s 30th anniversary and again for the 35th anniversary in 2020.

Daphne Clarke played by Elaine Smith

Elaine played Paul’s onscreen wife, Daphne, on the soap until she was killed off in 1987.

Elaine has since left acting behind and now works as a primary school teacher in Sydney where she lives with her husband, Jonathan Biggins, and their twin daughters.

Paul Robinson played by Stefan Dennis

Stefan played ruthless businessman Paul Robinson until 1992.

He then moved to the UK and starred in numerous TV shows including The Bill, Casualty and River City.

He also performed in West End musical Blood Brothers and has been a regular on the pantomime circuit.

Stefan also had a top 20 single with Don’t It Make You Feel Good in 1989.

He returned to Neighbours at the end of 2004 and is the only current cast member who appeared in the first episode.

Helen Daniels played by Anne Haddy

Series matriarch, Helen Daniels, appeared in 1,162 episodes through 12 years and was one of the soap’s longest-serving actors.

In 1999, she sadly died at her home in Melbourne from a kidney-related illness aged 68.

To commemorate her death, the episode of Neighbours that was broadcast on BBC One the following day ended with a dedication to her memory.

Max Ramsay played by Francis Bell

Francis made his first on-screen appearance in the show’s pilot episode. He was a key character as the patriarch of the Ramsay family until May 1986, when his contract was not renewed after 190 episodes.

In May 1994, aged 50, he fell from an Auckland building to his death. According to his agent Graham Dunster, he had been recently hospitalised after battles with depression, as reported by NZ On Screen.

Shane Ramsay played by Peter O’Brien

Shane was the eldest son of Max Ramsay and was initially Des Clarke’s love rival when he began dating Daphne Lawrence.

The character left Ramsay Street in 1987 to travel around Australia.

Following his time on Neighbours, he has appeared in a host of big roles including parts in Casualty, The Bill, Queer as Folk and Gossip Girl.

O’Brien has won several acting awards in his career including two Logie Awards – one in 1987 for Most Popular Actor (for his role in Neighbours) and one in 2003 for the Most Outstanding Actor (for his role in White Collar Blue).

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