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Neighbours to air on same day as episodes in Australia

Channel 5 is to begin broadcasting episodes of Neighbours on the same day as they air in Australia.

From January 4, UK fans will not face any delay in watching the latest from Ramsay Street.

The broadcaster said the move would go a long way to "establishing Channel 5 as the first port of call for fans wanting to get their daily dose of the show, and also reduce online spoilers and piracy".

To close the current storyline gap between the UK and Australia, Channel 5 will air 10 episodes between December 7 and 18.

When the show airs in January, it will do so with the first instalment at 1.45pm and the second at 5.30pm.

Channel 5 commissioning editor Greg Barnett said: "At a time when online piracy can often mean hardcore fans' enjoyment of continuing drama is spoilt, this is great news for our millions of Neighbours fans.

"Not only for the first time will it actually be Christmas when it actually is Christmas (instead of February), but viewers will see the new year start with a bang for Ramsay Street rotter Paul Robinson and the woman he's been taunting, Steph Scully, who are caught up in one of the series' most gripping storylines."

Neighbours is Australia's longest-running drama and celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

The drama has been airing in the UK since March 1985, and the current programming lag between the UK and Australia is two weeks.

The show has been the starting block for launching many careers, including for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Delta Goodrem and Holly Valance.

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