Neighbours finale: Final episode airs in Australia after 37 years

Hundreds of fans gathered to watch on a big screen in Melbourne - the city where the show is set and produced.

The finale will air in New Zealand in September, while in the UK, where Neighbours found most success, it will be broadcast on Friday.

Former stars of the show including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and Margot Robbie returned to say goodbye to Ramsay Street.

Over almost 37 years, the soap has had plane crashes, bushfires, drownings, and several tearful bedside death scenes.

Neighbours: TV soap will end this summer, producers confirm

The announcement follows the news that UK broadcaster Channel 5 was dropping the show from its schedules.

That decision left producers with a funding gap, as the British network was a key broadcast partner in the series.

Writing on the programme's official Twitter account, producers said they were "so sorry" but had "no option but to rest the show".

"We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in the summer," they said.

Neighbours: Actress Sharon Johal also alleges racism on soap

The Australian actress, who has Indian heritage, left the show in March after four years as character Dipi Rebecchi.

Johal said she had faced racist taunts from white castmates, and felt further targeted when she asked for help.

She said she felt "morally compelled" to voice her trauma after two Aboriginal stars did so last week.

The former lawyer and Melbourne-based actress described it as a "human rights issue".

Aboriginal actors allege racist incidents on set

Shareena Clanton alleged "multiple racist traumas" during her time on the show in an Instagram post on Monday.

A day later, former Neighbours actor Meyne Wyatt said he too had experienced racism on set in a tweet.

The actors, both Australians of indigenous descent, said they heard other cast members use racist slurs.

"It's been lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space," wrote Ms Clanton, who has guest starred in yet-to-be-aired episodes of Neighbours.

Australian soap Neighbours to resume filming after Covid-19 shutdown

Social distancing rules will still be in place, with cast and crew split into groups in separate areas on set.

No physical contact like kissing will be allowed, and extras will not be used. Instead, crew members will appear in the background.

Australia's prime minister has said the country is on the road to recovery, with new infections almost stamped out.

Neighbours producers Fremantle Australia stopped filming as the virus spread last month, and Australians were told there must be only one person per four square metres at gatherings.