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Neighbours star takes subtle dig at producers: 'Huge mistake'

Fan-favourite Neighbours star April Rose Pengilly has taken a subtle swipe at the show’s producers. The star, who played Chloe Brennan on the soap for over four years, has revealed that she hasn’t been asked back for the reboot.

Neighbours made headlines when it was cancelled this year, with the last episode airing in July. In a twist, the production company Fremantle managed to find a new broadcast partner, so the revamped show will start filming again in early 2023.

Alan Fletcher and April Rose Pengilly on the set of Neighbours
Neighbours star April Rose Pengilly has hit out at the producers. Photo: Instagram/aprilrosepengilly

While Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy), Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy), Ryan Moloney (Toadfish Rebecchi) and Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson) have all signed on to return, April has told fans that no other cast members have been contacted about returning to the show.

Multiple members of the cast have previously spoken out about being blindsided by the producers, with Georgia Stone (Mackenzie Hargreaves), Matty Wilson (Aaron Brennan) and Takaya Honda (David Tanaka) stating on social media that they only heard the news when it was announced publicly in November.

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In April’s latest Instagram post, she shared some behind-the-scenes videos from her time on the soap, and admitted that she didn’t know which characters would be returning.

“Who’s excited for the new Neighbours?! We don’t know who will be asked back yet (apart from the four who were initially announced), but swipe to enjoy some BTS vids until then!” she wrote in the caption.

L: Jackie Woodburne, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney talking into a phone. R: Stefan Dennis speaking through video chat
Only four Neighbours stars knew about the announcement before it went public. Photo: Ten

In the mid-November press release, Greg Woods, CEO Fremantle Australia, said that writers were “starting immediately” so production can start early next year. However, fans are concerned that their favourite actors haven't been approached yet.

Fans flooded April’s Instagram post with comments and many said they hoped to see her back as Chloe next year.

“The way in which it was announced with the rest of the cast not given a heads up and none being asked back yet, that sucks. I have to be honest, it’s dampened my enthusiasm a little bit,” one fan wrote passionately. “The amazing 2022 cast deserve the opportunity to return if they wish in my opinion (obviously some can’t like Hendrix or Harlow). I love the heritage four, and yes they needed to come back, they are not the whole show though.

“I feel like it’s being a little disregarded how much characters like Chloe, David, Aaron, Terese and others have come to mean to the audience over the years. I don’t want an entirely new cast,” the fan finished.

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“If you are not asked back they will have made a huge mistake! You are one of the people that makes the show shine,” another agreed.

“You have to be back, they will be making a big mistake to not ask you. I want everyone back to be honest. I really want it to feel the same as it was. I welcome new characters too, as even old timers were once new. But I think it needs a lot of favourites back to still feel like Neighbours. What a whirlwind hey,” a third chimed in.

When asked by fans if she would like to reprise her role, the star confirmed she would and said “for sure”.

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