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Neighbours cast break down in tears following crisis meeting about show’s future as it faces the axe

The cast of Neighbours looked utterly shell-shocked as they left a crisis meeting in Melbourne on Monday, following reports the long-running soap is set to be axed after 37 years on-air. 

The show’s future hangs in the balance after UK broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed its decision not to renew their contract to air the Aussie soap with producers Fremantle Australia. Although the show is filmed in Australia, Channel 5 bankrolls most of the production. 

Some of the stars, who could soon be facing unemployment, were seen crying as they emerged from Fremantle’s Nunawading Studios. 

A devastated-looking April Rose Pengilly, who plays Chloe Brennan, was sobbing behind a pair of sunglasses.

Devastated: The cast of Neighbours looked utterly shell-shocked as they left set of the soap on Monday after reports the show is set to be axed after 37 years on-air, following UK broadcaster Channel 5 decision to no longer bankroll the long-running soap. Pictured: April Rose Pengilly

The blonde sported a blotchy complexion from crying as she clutched her Neighbours script and spoke to someone over the phone. 

April, who is the daughter of INXS member Kirk Pengilly and designer Karen Hutchinson, has played Chloe Brennan on Neighbours since 2018.   

Tears: A devastated-looking Pengilly, who plays Chloe Brennan, was seen crying hysterically behind a pair of sunglasses

Tears: A devastated-looking Pengilly, who plays Chloe Brennan, was seen crying hysterically behind a pair of sunglasses

Red-faced: The blonde sported a blotchy complexion from crying as she clutched her Neighbours script and spoke to someone over the phone

Red-faced: The blonde sported a blotchy complexion from crying as she clutched her Neighbours script and spoke to someone over the phone

Red-faced: The blonde sported a blotchy complexion from crying as she clutched her Neighbours script and spoke to someone over the phone

Facing unemployment: April, who is the daughter of INXS member Kirk Pengilly and designer Karen Hutchinson, has played Chloe Brennan on Neighbours since 2018

Facing unemployment: April, who is the daughter of INXS member Kirk Pengilly and designer Karen Hutchinson, has played Chloe Brennan on Neighbours since 2018

Crisis talks: The slender blonde looked stressed as she spoke on the phone

Crisis talks: The slender blonde looked stressed as she spoke on the phone

Crisis talks: The slender blonde looked stressed as she spoke on the phone 

Also attending the meeting was actor Jason Donovan’s daughter Jemma, who also looked sullen as she walked through the facility’s car park. 

Going braless in a cream top and yellow skirt, the actress – who plays Harlow Robinson – furrowed her brow and pensive as she started into the distance. 

Jemma debuted on Neighbours in 2019, taking after her Neighbours alumnus father Jason. 

Neighbours cast break down in tears following crisis meeting about show's future as it faces the axe

Not happy: Also attending the meeting was actor Jason Donovan's daughter Jemma, who also looked sullen as she walked through the facility's car park

Not happy: Also attending the meeting was actor Jason Donovan’s daughter Jemma, who also looked sullen as she walked through the facility’s car park

Stoney-faced: Going braless in a cream top and yellow skirt, the actress - who plays Harlow Robinson - furrowed her brow and looked pensively into the distance

Stoney-faced: Going braless in a cream top and yellow skirt, the actress - who plays Harlow Robinson - furrowed her brow and looked pensively into the distance

Stoney-faced: Going braless in a cream top and yellow skirt, the actress – who plays Harlow Robinson – furrowed her brow and looked pensively into the distance

Fellow cast member Jackie Woodburne also looked downcast after possibly learning that her 27-year stint on Neighbours could be coming to an end.  

The 66-year-old, who has played Susan Kennedy on Neighbours for almost three decades, covered her face with sunglasses and a mask as she made her way to a parked car.  

Jackie has previously spoken about her career plans after Neighbours, telling New Idea magazine last year that she’d like to work in the UK one day.  

Downcast: Fellow cast member Jackie Woodburne also looked downcast after possibly learning that her 27-year stint on Neighbours could be coming to an end

Downcast: Fellow cast member Jackie Woodburne also looked downcast after possibly learning that her 27-year stint on Neighbours could be coming to an end

The 66-year-old, who has played Susan Kennedy on Neighbours for almost three decades, covered her face with sunglasses and a mask as she made her way to a parked car

The 66-year-old, who has played Susan Kennedy on Neighbours for almost three decades, covered her face with sunglasses and a mask as she made her way to a parked car

Jackie has previously spoken about her career plans after Neighbours, telling New Idea magazine last year that she'd like to work in the UK one day

Jackie has previously spoken about her career plans after Neighbours, telling New Idea magazine last year that she’d like to work in the UK one day

‘The British produce beautiful television and write really interesting roles for older women, so I think maybe one day I will go there for a little while.’ 

But to be perfectly honest, I like being home far too much. I like being in Australia and I like going to work every day.’

Actress Rebekah Elmaloglou was also seen leaving the studios looking rather upset.  

Actress Rebekah Elmaloglou was also seen leaving the studios looking rather upset

Actress Rebekah Elmaloglou was also seen leaving the studios looking rather upset

In a statement released on Sunday, UK broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed its decision not to renew their contract to air the Australian soap with producers Fremantle Australia

In a statement released on Sunday, UK broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed its decision not to renew their contract to air the Australian soap with producers Fremantle Australia

Fremantle later emailed staff saying filming would end on June 10, and absent any new broadcaster emerging to provide the funds to resume production, the show looked to be at an end

Fremantle later emailed staff saying filming would end on June 10, and absent any new broadcaster emerging to provide the funds to resume production, the show looked to be at an end

The star, who has been playing Terese Willis on Neighbours since 2013, kept her head down as she made her way to a parked car. 

In a statement released on Sunday, UK broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed its decision not to renew their contract to air the Australian soap with producers Fremantle Australia.

Fremantle later emailed staff saying filming would end on June 10, and absent any new broadcaster emerging to provide the funds to resume production, the show looked to be at an end.

Channel 5’s statement read: ‘It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.

Channel 5's statement read: 'It's been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we'd like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series

Channel 5’s statement read: ‘It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series

According to industry site TV Blackbox , 'it's unlikely [Channel] 10 can keep producing [the show]' without financial backing from an international broadcaster

According to industry site TV Blackbox , ‘it’s unlikely [Channel] 10 can keep producing [the show]’ without financial backing from an international broadcaster

If the show doesn't find another backer soon, it could spell the end of the 37-year-old television institution

If the show doesn’t find another backer soon, it could spell the end of the 37-year-old television institution

‘We’d also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years.

‘We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers.’

According to industry site TV Blackbox, ‘it’s unlikely [Channel] 10 can keep producing [the show]’ without financial backing from an international broadcaster. 

In an email to cast seen by The Herald Sun , the show’s executive producer Jason Herbison confirmed the soap's run as an institution of Australian and British television was all but over

In an email to cast seen by The Herald Sun , the show’s executive producer Jason Herbison confirmed the soap’s run as an institution of Australian and British television was all but over

Forlorn: Other cast and crew members walked slowly to their cars following the meeting

Forlorn: Other cast and crew members walked slowly to their cars following the meeting

Forlorn: Other cast and crew members walked slowly to their cars following the meeting 

Desperate: Channel 10 released a statement to TV Tonight on Sunday, confirming it had every intention of finding a new broadcast partner

Desperate: Channel 10 released a statement to TV Tonight on Sunday, confirming it had every intention of finding a new broadcast partner

If the show doesn’t find another backer soon, it could spell the end of the 37-year-old television institution.

In an email to cast seen by The Herald Sun, the show’s executive producer Jason Herbison confirmed the soap’s run as an institution of Australian and British television was all but over.

‘As you know the future of the show has been uncertain for some time,’ it read. ‘Our audience remains steady and Channel 10 would love the show to continue if we could find another broadcast partner to replace C5.

‘These discussions are ongoing however there is no new broadcaster at the moment and production must end, effectively resting the show. 

‘We are so proud of the show, you all and everything that you’ve achieved. But for now, this chapter is closing and we want to work together to give Neighbours the amazing send-off it deserves.’ 

The statement read: 'As outlined in the email to cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward'

The statement read: 'As outlined in the email to cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward'

The statement read: ‘As outlined in the email to cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward’

'Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide further updates as they become available'

‘Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide further updates as they become available’

The publication reported that the show would not film on Monday, and cast and crew had been called to an all-staff meeting at 11am that morning. 

Channel 10 released a statement to TV Tonight on Sunday, confirming it had every intention of finding a new broadcast partner. 

The statement read: ‘As outlined in the email to cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward. 

‘Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide further updates as they become available.’

The Australian soap, which still gets 1.2million UK viewers per day, has been on the air in Oz since 1985 but producers and Channel 5 were said to be looking at options to keep it on screen, three years before its 40th anniversary. 

The Australian soap, which still gets 1.2million UK viewers per day, has been on the air in Oz since 1985 but producers and Channel 5 were said to be looking at options to keep it on screen, three years before its 40th anniversary

The Australian soap, which still gets 1.2million UK viewers per day, has been on the air in Oz since 1985 but producers and Channel 5 were said to be looking at options to keep it on screen, three years before its 40th anniversary

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