Neighbours legend Harold Bishop set to return to Ramsay Street | Ents & Arts News

April 8, 2024
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Neighbours veteran Harold Bishop is making yet another Ramsay Street comeback, it has been announced.

One of the Australian soap’s most recognisable faces, played by actor Ian Smith, he will return once again some 15 years after his departure as a regular character, at the age of 85.

“After 15 years of living away, the legendary Harold Bishop is returning to Erinsborough,” the show revealed in a statement shared on social media.

Kylie Minogue as Charlene Mitchell, Craig Mclachlan as Henry, Anne Charleston as Madge Bishop and Ian Smith as Harold Bishop in Neighbours
Image:
Where it all began: Kylie Minogue as Charlene Mitchell, Craig Mclachlan as Henry, Anne Charleston as Madge Bishop and Smith as Harold in the late 1980s

“We are thrilled to welcome Ian Smith back to the show and the opening titles, where he belongs.”

Smith first appeared on Neighbours in 1987 as an old flame of Madge (Anne Charleston), and the pair went on to get married.

But tragedy struck when Harold was washed out to sea while on holiday in 1991, presumed dead – with Madge left with only his glasses, washed on to a rock.

Of course, anything can happen in soapland, and Harold returned in 1996, remaining on screen until 2009.

Ian Smith, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Annie Jones and Stefan Dennis. Pic: Fremantle/Channel 5
Image:
Smith on set with Minogue, Jason Donovan, Annie Jones and Stefan Dennis for the ‘final’ episodes in 2022. Pic: Fremantle/Channel 5

During that time, Harold had his house burgled by a gambling-addicted girlfriend, suffered a stroke that completely altered his personality, and tried to strangle the man he blamed for the plane crash that killed his son.

The character has made brief guest appearances in the soap since his exit – including in what was thought at the time to be the final ever episode in 2022 after the series was axed by Channel 5 – but this is the first time since 2009 that Smith’s return has seemed indefinite.

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Despite a non-continuous show run, and previously saying on Austalian TV that he wanted to retire, he is the longest-serving actor on Neighbours, having first appeared 37 years ago.

Neighbours returned in 2023 after being picked up by streaming channel Amazon Freevee.



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