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Image / Culture

Seven reasons why Home and Away will always be better than Neighbours anyway


By Amanda Cassidy
30th Jul 2022
Seven reasons why Home and Away will always be better than Neighbours anyway

First aired on the 18th March 1985, Neighbours was immediately geared towards younger TV viewers of Australia and the UK.

It was the first time, this demographic had been targeted and hooked on the lives of the small communities of Australian towns. In fact, it was the first time we got any flavour of life Down Under.

Meanwhile Up Over, both Home and Away and Neighbours have  stood the test of time.

Neighbours’ final ever episode aired yesterday with a peak of nearly three million UK viewers. It’s 90-minute extended special marked the end of 37 years with the return of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce.

But not everyone was thrilled with the run-away success.

Actress Nicola Charles, who wasn’t invited back, rose to fame after debuting as Karl Kennedy’s saucy mistress Sarah Beaumont on Neighbours in 1995. This weekend, she hit out at the finale describing it as having “zero suspension of disbelief and no attempt to round off storylines or drag even theatre school level performances from the “actors”

But whether you like it or loath it, growing up, in my community, you were either a Neighbours fan or a Home and Away person. Here’s why to me, Home and Away will always trump the folks at Ramsey street.

Theme tune

It’s undeniably iconic. And I will die on this mountain. The Home and Away theme tune (You and I belong together…) was written & composed by Mike Perjanik and is still as catchy now as it was during the Aussie soap’s peak (aka the 90s)

Better location

When Home And Away began in January 1988 it was clearly a more exotic and sunnier soap than Neighbours, it focused a bit more on the teens and was a beachside soap whereas Neighbours was set in just a cul de sac.

BORING.

It also introduced us to the world of surfing. Gnarly mate.

Themes

Home and Away was not afraid to do dramatic storylines from time to time, like Carly Morris rape for example. Murder, gang violence, car crashes, gambling, and a good old fashioned shrimp on the Barbie? Well, you can have all these things and more in Summer Bay, and still find time for a chat with Irene at the diner.

Numbers

While Neighbours has been a bigger success in the UK (reportedly reeling in around 1 million viewers a day, compared with Home & Away’s 400,000), Australian audiences have long preferred Home & Away, which films its exterior scenes at Sydney’s Palm Beach.

Fridge ghosts

I remember the day, the date, the MOMENT when Bobby’s ghost emerged from the fridge. Yes, a ghost from a fridge. It was one of the most iconic moments (along with Shane’s tragic death from a rusty nail). They just don’t make TV like this anymore.

Characters

Struth!

Alf Steward is the longest-running cast member in Home and Away for a reason. Then there’s Don’ flathead’ Fisher, Marilyn, Pippa, Sally, Irene.

ANGEL…remember her? I wore eyeliner to look like her. I sported those plaits for YEARS.

Survival

Neighbours and Home & Away are two giants of Australian soaps. Both cultural exports who launched careers of some of the biggest stars.

However. After three decades, only one has survived. Long live Summer Bay.