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Neighbours star Alan Fletcher dismisses 'gimmicky' live episodes

Neighbours star Alan Fletcher has dismissed live episodes of soaps as "gimmicky".

The actor, who plays Dr Karl Kennedy in the long-running Australian soap, explained why he is not a fan during an interview with the Press Association.

"I don't actually find the whole live show thing very appealing, because to do a live episode you would have to do it in a very controlled environment so it's more likely to be all interiors," he said.

A live edition could be a possibility now that Channel 5 will broadcast the soap on the same day it airs in Australia from January 4 2016.

But the 58-year-old referenced British fans of the show as he maintained his stance.

"In fact, what they actually love about Neighbours is all the outdoor stuff, so that would go straight away. And then kind of a tentativeness comes about the drama.

"Everyone starts playing it terribly careful when they're doing a live show - for obvious reasons! So I think if you're making a drama, make it the best you can.

"Live show stuff is just a bit gimmicky."

Fletcher, who has played the Erinsborough GP for 21 years, also revealed he has never contemplated leaving the soap.

"You never know what's going to happen with your contract. It's literally year to year," he said. "But I've always found the job challenging."

The star teased storylines coming up in 2016 and admitted his character is set to make "inappropriate choices" which will impact on wife Susan (played by Jackie Woodburne).

"It's not a standard 'Karl having an affair' or anything silly like that, because he's devoted to Susan. It's more just to do with examining the appropriateness of his choices around certain issues, and then having to deal with the past and what it means."

He added: "Hot on the heels of that, someone else turns up into his life who makes life very difficult for Karl and Susan, so we've got a really big pocket of storylines happening there."

Fletcher also hinted a medical issue will crop up early next year that is "one of the most powerful stories I think I've ever been involved in".

:: Neighbours's last episode this year is on December 18. The soap returns to Channel 5 on January 4 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm.

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