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Neighbours axing defended by Channel 5 boss claiming it was a ‘business decision’

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The head of programming at Channel 5 has spoken out about the controversial axe of Australian fan-favourite soap, Neighbours saying it was a “buisness decision” in order to fund more UK shows

According to Channel 5, Neighbours’ conclusion was practical.

The decision to discontinue the show was made due to “business” and changed objectives for the network, according to the channel’s head of programming, Ben Frow, who just gave a new interview.

In an interview with Radio Times, the 60-year-old TV controller claimed that cutting the Australian soap was a “business choice” because he intended to utilise the extra funds elsewhere, specifically on UK programming.

When suggested that he could have kept the soap going by spending more money, he replied: “Yes. I had two options: I could buy other things with the money, which is what I chose to do. I could invest the Neighbours funds better on UK programming.”

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After becoming Channel 5’s controller, Mr. Frow stated that he aimed to create “British shows for British audiences.”

This prompted him to cancel a number of US-based programmes, including CSI and The Mentalist.

The TV executive, however, disputed that Home And Away, another Australian soap opera, would perhaps be threatened with cancellation as a result of this new order.

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He said, “No. However, I think it will be intriguing to observe how we use it as we advance. There might be another location for it in the fifth spectrum.

But because of the life-of-series agreement, he continued, “It won’t end until the producers decide to discontinue it.”

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Although Neighbours first appeared on television in 1985, the final scenes for the programme were shot in early June after Channel 5 decided not to renew it.

The show focuses on people who reside and work in the fictional neighbourhood of Erinsborough, which is located outside of Melbourne.

Some of the soap opera stars have gone on to become household names, such as Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie, Liam Hemsworth from The Hunger Games, theatre titan Jason Donovan, and pop music icon Kylie Minogue.

Russell Crowe even lived on Ramsey Street for four episodes in 1987.

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This comes as he complimented Nadine Dorries, the current secretary of culture, media, and sport, who is quoted as having called Channel 5 the “leveling-up channel,” a description that Mr. Frow concurs with.

I understand Station 4 has tried to say it’s the channel for levelling up, but in reality we are, he said.

But although the executive admitted that he has read some of her novels, there are no current plans to adopt those for the small screen, although he did lavish praise on the politician.

He added: “I did like her.”

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