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I've only seen Declan 2.0. I can't say I'm impressed. He's sullen, his hair sucks (he looks like a homeless vampire), his personality is unpleasant, he can't act.

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Health scare for soap star Kym Valentine

NEIGHBOURS star Kym Valentine is in hospital in Melbourne after being struck down by a lung complaint.

After taking ill, Valentine was admitted to the Epworth Hospital in Richmond at the weekend and diagnosed with a blood clot in her lungs.

The popular actor, who plays Libby Kennedy, was on a two-week break from the show.

A spokesman for the show confirmed Kennedy's illness yesterday, and explained the Ramsay St favourite was expected to return to work on a restricted shooting schedule next week.

Neighbours executive producer Susan Bower wished Valentine a quick recovery.

"Unfortunately it is that time of year when people are prone to illness," Bower said.

"We wish Kym a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her next week when we return from a production break."

It is not the first time Valentine has suffered chest complaints.

The talented actor had a horror run of ill-health in 2008, suffering a collapsed lung on the long-haul flight from the US to Melbourne in July of that year.

She ended up having to take a month's leave from Neighbours, in which time Michala Banas stepped into her role.

"I'd told the crew I was on painkillers and they kept an eye on me," she said of the horror flight. "Lucky they did and there was oxygen available, otherwise I could have lost consciousness and not woken up."

Valentine was recovering at the Epworth at the same time as trouble-prone Richmond footballer Ben Cousins was being treated there.

Get well soon, Kym.

I do find Susan Bower's comment about being prone to illness due to it being winter, kinda strange. It's a blood clot, not a serious dose of the flu! It's not like blood clots are more common in winter, than any other time of the year.

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Maybe if she wants better ratings and more fan support, she should step down? :unsure:

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s14/neighbours/news/a243537/neighbours-boss-calls-for-fan-support.html

'Neighbours' boss calls for fan support

Wednesday, July 14 2010, 10:03 BST

By Daniel Kilkelly, Entertainment Reporter

Neighbours' executive producer Susan Bower has encouraged fans to step up their support for the soap amid its current ratings slump in Australia.

In recent months, the Ramsay Street serial has been attracting some of its lowest ever figures on Channel Ten, despite the current build-up to the show's milestone 6,000th episode.

Writing on the drama's official website, Bower remarked: "You may have read in the paper that Neighbours is not enjoying the popularity that it once did so it's time all you loyal fans band together to celebrate this wonderful show.

"Why don't you write some emails to your favourite cast? Tell them how much you like their characters and why. They'd love it."

Speaking about what the future holds for Erinsborough's residents, the show boss teased: "Over the past few months we've been filming some 'must see' episodes. The whole Steph and Toad secret just keeps getting more and more complicated. It's only a matter of time before the whole thing explodes.

"I've seen what happens, and believe you me it's shocking. I was holding my breath whilst watching it and I knew what was coming! I must applaud the cast for outstanding performances. They put their hearts and souls into it. The actors love to get their teeth into this amazing drama."

Reports recently stated that Neighbours' future on Ten is secure as the network needs to keep transmitting the soap to meet its Australian content quotas. Additionally, most of the programme's budget is covered by deals with international broadcasters.

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This woman seriously annoys me. She wants fan support b/c of the terrible ratings, and yet advises people to write to the cast!? How's that gonna help the ratings rise? If she would just listen to the fans, then maybe there wouldn't be terrible ratings. It's not neurosurgery. Just common sense. She's killed (with or without Ten's help) the shows rep, and that is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, otherwise no amount of fan calling is going to increase ratings. Why would viewers return to a show that is still playing the same tune that drove them away? :blink::rolleyes:

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http://www.digitalspy.com/soaps/s14/neighbours/news/a245700/network-boss-neighbours-needs-work.html

In recent days, there has been a flurry of speculation surrounding the drama's future on Ten. Some reports have suggested that the program could be shunted from its 6.30pm timeslot to make way for Sports Tonight, while others have stated that it could be shifted to Ten's new digital channel in 2011.

Responding to the rumors, Ten's head of programming David Mott told The Sunday Telegraph: "There's certainly a lot of speculation in the landscape, and, somewhere amongst all this, will be the truth, and the truth will be known when we're ready to announce something.

"Neighbours does need some work, and we're hoping we can get there on that. I can say that Neighbours will be part of the Ten family going forward, and there's a deal we're talking to [production company] Fremantle about at the moment."

Speaking about the possibility of Neighbours moving to Ten's digital channel, a source said: "They need to do something with it, and this is on the table, although it's certainly not something FremantleMedia would be happy with."

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I'm glad Ten have finally admitted that the show needs work, b/c it really can't continue how it is. They need the show to support their local drama quota, and really should be doing something with the show to make it the best it possibly can. And I think that's one of the fundamental differences with the present and the past - in the past, the show has always tried new ways of attracting new viewers, and when that's failed, they've tried something else, but under Bower, the show has tried something new, it failed, and has stuck with it.

2004 was such a successful year in characters, storylines, and ratings, that ultimately, they've never been able to get that back due to one very bungled idea rooted in greed. They (either the show or Ten) wanted more than that success, which gave birth to the OTT years, in an attempt to compete with the OTT Home & Away. That is where it started, and has yet to end, only being made incredibly worse by Bower.

What I find interesting with the shift in teen dominance and the really mundane, lifeless, boring stories that game with them, and associating those restrictions to the 'G' rating, is other teen shows on earlier, with the same 'G' rating, are able to tell more interesting, realistic teen stories. That to me says it all. One of those shows, I think it's called Dance Academy, featured a realistically written gay story, so it will be interesting to see how Neighbours' attempts at their first gay male storyline works out... Lets hope it lasts longer than 6 weeks.

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As of tonight in New Zealand (we are two weeks behind Australia), and I'll put this in spoiler tags because I know you guys are watching at UK pace

the secret is finally out and knowing what I know about what has already happened in Oz, it should be very interesting to see the fallout between the Scully's and the Kennedys and all those who get caught in the crossfire!

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Can someone who is watching through the UK catch me up on what the storylines are right now.

I`m just curious because i am starting to watch it now and want to be quite knowledgeable come the 6000th episode.

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'Neighbours' confirms shock whodunit plot

Neighbours bosses have revealed details of a dramatic whodunit storyline which will air to mark the soap's 6,000th episode.

Later this year, viewers will see Paul Robinson's (Stefan Dennis) life left hanging in the balance when he is pushed from the mezzanine level of Lassiters in a shock attempted murder plot.

The sinister event will be screened in a special week of episodes which are due to air in the UK from October 11. In the run-up to episode 6,000 - airing on October 15 - a new suspect will be revealed each day, as possible motives of Paul's many foes and the events leading up to his fall are explored.

A statement released by Neighbours' British broadcaster Five said: "With so many enemies, it will be hard to narrow down who had the motive to harm him. Who pushed P.R?"

The show's executive producer Susan Bower previously hinted at the forthcoming plot last month, saying: "Paul Robinson, or P.R as we like to call him, has been up to his usual tricks over the past few weeks and everyone on Ramsay Street is becoming really sick of him. What will they do about it?"

Neighbours' 6,000th episode - which airs in Australia later this month - will also see on-off lovers Ringo Brown (Sam Clark) and Donna Freedman (Margot Robbie) tie the knot.

Can someone who is watching through the UK catch me up on what the storylines are right now.

I'll come back later to fill you in (unless someone else beats me to it), as I have to go out, now.

Edited by Ben

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OK, BadBoy, here goes...

#22 - The Robinsons & Napiers:

Paul Robinson is in the midst of a financial crisis - he owns the local newspaper, Erinsborough News, and bought the local indie radio station, PirateNet, to help keep Lassisters Hotel from going under. He used to be a shareholder in Lassisters, but those assets were taken from him, and he appears to be in a managerial position, now (the business structure is kinda confusing). Lassisters is/was losing money; the newspaper's circulation is down, and PirateNet is haemorrhaging cash (a business that is in his wife Rebecca's name). Rebecca's unaware of the true extent of Paul's financial woes, but did agree to him doing whatever it takes to save their businesses...

Paul's son Andrew, is jealous of step-bro Declan, and has schemed to undermine him and win his father's acceptance. Declan distrusts him and Paul, but puts up with them for Rebecca's sake. When one of Andrew's pathetic plots went awry, that cost the hotel several long-term clients, Paul decided to refurbish Lassisters by installing a mezzanine terrace, and using the reopening as a publicity stunt to bring in new clientèle. But, Paul wanted to save money by not paying Dolan (the builders), who later threatened to sue. Paul spontaneously decided to sabotage Dolan's construction site, but was interrupted by Declan. Paul's actions nearly cost Donna her life, when the scaffolding that he tampered with, came crashing down on top of her. To cover it all up, Paul and Dolan signed a confidentiality agreement with Paul having to pay the builder what he owed.

During a corporate dinner for advertisers, Declan got into a fight with an important ad exec, who was harassing his girlfriend (and Paul's niece) Kate Ramsay, and subsequently lost a valuable client. Needing money fast, Paul transferred $100,000 from Lassisters into PirateNet's account, under the guise of paying Dolan the money he owed. When Declan found CCTV footage from the construction site, he realized that Paul had doctored it to make it look like Declan was the saboteur.

Declan asked local lawyer Toadie Rebecchi to help clear his name (who's also Paul's lawyer), and together they uncovered Paul's embezzlement. Toadie wanted to go to the cops, but Declan decided to keep it in house in order to protect Rebecca; Declan contacted Diana Marshall - one of the Lassisters execs in New York - who has now launched an investigation, and will soon be making a surprise visit. Meanwhile, Kate discovered that money from her trust fund (set-up by Paul) was mysteriously being withdrawn and put back a day-or-so later. After Declan's baby daughter, India, stopped breathing, Paul saved her life, and reaffirmed his love for all his family. Delcan decided to hand over all his ammo to Paul, who pointed out that if he goes down, then so does an oblivious Rebecca.

#24 & #30 - Steph/Toadie/Sonya/Lucas/Lyn:

Basically, Steph had a one-night stand with her best friend Libby's husband Dan Fitzgerald, after seeing Libby lock lips with Lucas Fitzgerald (Steph's love interest), and is now pregnant with Dan's baby. Dan & Libby had separated after the surrogacy saga tore them apart, and Dan subsequently left town. Steph and Lucas got together, but when she learned she was pregnant, she left town. Fearing losing Libby's love and friendship, and unable to have a termination due to previously battling breast cancer, her best friend Toadie decided to claim the baby as his - in order to protect Libby (she is like a sister to him).

So, they concocted a fake relationship, which broke Lucas' and Toadie's current love, Sonya's hearts. But Steph's mum Lyn, found the DVD of her ultrasound, and realized that Steph was lying about her conception date. Backed into a corner, Steph told Lyn everything, who struggled with the secret, especially from best friend Susan (Libby's mother). After having a cancer scare, and seeing how Lyn couldn't be trusted to abide by her wishes, Toadie proposed, under the guise of making him her next of kin in case the cancer was to return. Unhappy with the sanctity of marriage being desecrated under the mountain of lies, Lyn refused to go along with it, until she spoke to the priest who assured her that friendship is the most important part of a relationship, and love can follow later. This inspired Lyn to scheme to make them fall in love for real, by planning a huge romantic wedding.

Meanwhile, Sonya decided to move away; knowing that her and Toadie would split 6 months after the baby's birth, Steph decided to stop her from going, by explaining that Toadie is not her baby daddy. Sonya soon figured out that Dan was the real father. On the day of the wedding, Sonya and Lucas showed up, where she agreed to wait for Toadie. Lyn was far from pleased.

To complicate matters, Libby is dating Dr. Doug Harris - Steph's doctor. Libby also saw Toadie & Sonya kiss, and isn't happy that he's still in contact with her.

Elsewhere:

Ringo & Donna are getting married (they're being billed as the new Scott & Charlene - but they're not). They had opposition in the form of Donna's new-found dad Nick, but after she realized that she doesn't need his approval on everything, and he's still going to love her, she agreed to marry Ringo. There is history between Ringo/Donna/Andrew, as the later had an affair with Donna at the start of the year.

Susan's suspicious about the Dolan cover-up, and believes Paul is involved in something dodgy. She wrote a uni assignment about her suspicions, and posted it on Facebook, where she received a very personal, slightly stalker-y reply...

Michael & Natasha Williams have a very tumultuous father-daughter relationship. His wife/her mother is dead, and Natasha reminds him a lot of her. She wants to be a model, and is currently the face of PirateNet. That ad campaign didn't go down to well with Michael, who started feuding with Paul. Natasha is the female version of Andrew, and constantly plots and schemes, which totally gets at Michael; he doesn't know how to handle her, which she takes as him not caring. One heated argument ended in Natasha slapping him, in order to get a rise out of him. Natasha and Andrew are dating, and she loves to pay out Summer.

Summer Hoyland (Steph's ex-step daughter) is currently in a slow burning relationship with Chris Papas. But he has a secret... Summer hates bitchy Natasha.

Lucas is best mates with Michael, and has recently got a second job teaching the kids mechanics.

Kate recently set-up her dance instructor Terry, with Lyn, who he fancies, but she loathes. Lyn is beginning to soften towards him.

The Kennedy's pet Galah, Dahl, recently escaped, and is now missing. This story will be brought back up, soon. Also, Dr. Karl doesn't get on with his boss and daughter Libby's boyfriend, Doug.

Lou Carpenter was the Ramsays legal guardian until Kate turned 18. Now he simply lives with Kate, Sophie and until recently Harry, as their surrogate grandpa. He's currently in Sydeny helping Harry adjust to city life.

Edited by Ben

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Woah just seen the 6000th episode preview:

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name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

Dare I say it looks like the show seems to be hinting at a creative upswing? I'll not get too excited just yet but the preview does look good. I like the fact that Paul's in a business story and Libby/Steph's meltdown. Even the teens are vaguely interesting with the new gay character and the actress playing Summer is pretty good.

I'm about a week behind at the mo so yet to see Jane Badler's character onscreen...hope it's worthwhile.

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Dare I say it looks like the show seems to be hinting at a creative upswing?

Don't jinx it, James!

That preview was awesome. The music they used to showcase the whodunit was very affective, and really shows that they don't need to be using a whole bunch of fancy effects, like they do for the recap and previews. Less is more.

I'm a fan of business stories, and this one is OK. Tighter writing would make it seem less contrived and random in places, but I'm just happy that they have two long running stories going on at the same time. Maybe this is why the teens are working better, b/c Declan, Kate, Donna and Ringo are now involved in more mature stories, and Natasha/Andrew/Summer/Chris aren't saddled with lame plots, either. The balance is better.

So far, Diana is pretty cool. I know Jane Badler has said that her first 2 days were pretty nerve racking for her. It's been a long time since the show has had a "super bitch", so her stint should be interesting.

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'Neighbours' axed from Channel Ten

The long-running Australian soap, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, will move to Ten's new digital channel Eleven when the network launches next year. The new station will target the youth market of 13 to 29-year-olds.

Chief of programming David Mott told ABC: "Neighbours is an important and cherished member of the Network Ten family. We believe Neighbours is perfectly suited to Eleven's audience strategy and will find a successful and enduring home on Eleven.

"We will round out the first 25 years with a bang, and give Australia's most successful drama a new home to keep it vibrant in the schedule for the next 25."

CEO of the show's production company Ian Hogg added: "Just as Neighbours forged new territory for Ten in 1986, so we will again for Eleven in 2011. We are very proud of the faith being placed in Neighbours and the key role we will be playing in Eleven's launch and lineup.

"Our storyline plans for 2011 are both bold and dramatic. Neighbours fans have much to look forward to for many years to come."

Neighbours will continue to air in its usual 6.30pm timeslot when it makes the move to the new channel.

The Simpsons is also being moved to the new network, where it will join shows such as Futurama, Dexter, Smallville, 90210, The Office and Supernatural.

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