Neighbours’ London-Set Episodes Were a Camp, Cameo-Filled Fever Dream
The classic Neighbours episodes now on Amazon Freevee mean you can revisit Karl and Susan Kennedy’s logic-free, celeb-studded trip to London
Neighbours certainly knows how to go big on drama. Last year, the long-running Aussie soap was cancelled and bowed out in style with an emotional finale episode, but in a shocking twist less than four months later it was announced the show was returning, with new episodes set to air on Amazon Freevee later this year. Strewth!
Meanwhile, Freevee is offering a taste of Neighbours’ greatness, having released 50 classic episodes for fans to enjoy, plus the entire 2012 series, with more episodes on the way each month. You can currently relive iconic moments like Scott and Charlene’s poptastic wedding, poor Harold Bishop being lost at sea and then turning up with amnesia five years later, and Dee and Toadie accidentally driving off a cliff on their wedding day.
You can also revisit Neighbours power-couple Karl and Susan Kennedy’s eventful trip to London back in 2007, a bizarre sequence of episodes that we still can’t quite believe were put on screen, featuring a string of ridiculous celebrity cameos, a typically dramatic wedding, a shock childbirth, and a reunion with a Neighbours supervillain…
Karl and Susan Rekindle the Magic. Meanwhile, Paul Robinson Is Pushed Off a Cliff
Never a dull moment in Neighbours, that’s for sure.
Karl and Susan rock up in the UK in episode 5171, and the highlights of their trip to London – where they’re rekindling their love after being married and divorced twice, and during which Karl has secretly planned to propose and also organised a surprise third-time-lucky wedding – is clearly intended to be some kind of comic relief in amongst Ramsay Street’s continuing dramas, but it just makes it all the more surreal.
Over nine episodes, while Erinsborough is rocked by the loss of beloved character Scott ‘Stingray’ Timmins, who dies of a brain aneurysm at his mum’s birthday party, just after saving his niece’s Kerry’s life by donating his bone marrow to treat her leukaemia (Ding ding! That’s Depressing Storyline Bingo), Karl and Susan are busy discovering that instead of The Ritz hotel they’ve accidentally booked ‘The Ritz Hostel’ and have to share a room of bunk beds with rowdy Australian tourists.
While the Kennedys are playing silly beggars on top of a London tour bus (causing Karl to accidentally throw the engagement ring over the side while trying to propose) and getting inappropriately frisky on said bunk beds, Neighbours uber-villain Paul Robinson is being abducted by his protegee Dylan Timmins and pushed off a cliff in revenge for causing Dylan’s daughter Kerry’s leukaemia by polluting the local wetlands to secure a dodgy business deal (no we really aren’t making this up.)
Izzy Is There! And She’s Pregnant. And Embroiled In A Tabloid Scandal
Speaking of villains, who do Karl and Susan bump into, heavily pregnant and evidently homeless, asleep on a London park bench under a newspaper conveniently filled with headlines about her?
The scheming, manipulative Izzy Hoyland (Natalie Bassingthwaighte), a long-running Neighbours bad girl who started her time on the show in 2003 by pretending Karl was the father of her unborn baby (a pregnancy she sadly lost), before she left Erinsborough in 2007 after drugging Karl to get him to sleep with her again.
The fact that Izzy is heavily pregnant when they discover her roughly nine months later (*cough* Karl’s-the-father *cough*) is completely overshadowed by the fact that she’s found herself plastered over every tabloid in London just in time for the Kennedys’ holiday, after having an affair with a famous footballer, which he has since ended because it was ruining his career.
Do the Kennedys make awkward smalltalk and nope out of that encounter with their nemesis as quickly as they can? No. Instead, Susan decides to pretend to be Izzy’s mother to convince her footballer boyfriend Pete to take Izzy back, which she achieves surprisingly easily.
Weddings! Births! Boats!
On Karl and Susan’s surprise wedding day, which is taking place on a boat on the Thames, footballer Pete convinces Izzy to turn up and gatecrash so she can do the right thing and tell Karl that he’s the father of her baby. But before she can – you guessed it – her waters break, leaving the conveniently-a-doctor Karl to deliver her (and unbeknownst to him, his) baby daughter right after he’s finished his vows.
Izzy and Pete change their mind about telling Karl, but not before Susan conveniently overhears them discussing it. Instead of telling Karl this quite important bit of news, she decides it’s more important to ‘consummate their marriage’ (honestly, they’re at it like rabbits, these two), but eventually spills the beans about his baby-daddy status once they’re back on Ramsay Street.
Julian Clary, Neil Morrissey and An Ex-Spice Girl Are There For… Reasons
In amongst this already bonkers storyline of Karl and Susan trying to have a surprise London wedding while Izzy has Karl’s surprise London baby, Neighbours decided they needed to squeeze as many celebrity cameos as they could, logic be damned.
Cue a string of hilariously nonsensical encounters: when Karl accidentally throws the ring over the top of the London tour bus, who finds it? Baby Spice, AKA Emma Bunton, naturally. While they’re buying tacky postcards from a tourist trap stall, who else is doing the same? Legendary talk show host Michael Parkinson, for some reason. When Izzy desperately tries to find a phone to call her football lover Pete, who does she ask? Fabulously catty comedian Julian Clary:
And if you think we’re done, you’re wrong.
While Izzy and Susan cook up a way to get Pete back at a restaurant, they need something to write his phone number on, so Susan asks a neighbouring table for their napkin. A table that just so happens to be occupied by radio DJ Jo Whiley.
The priest at Susan and Karl’s wedding? Men Behaving Badly’s Neil Morrissey – don’t spoil it by asking why.
And lastly, when two witnesses are needed for the wedding, Karl stops the first two people he meets: TV presenter Jonathan Coleman and popstar royalty Sinitta.
Yes, all of this actually happened, somehow. The new episodes of Neighbours have certainly got a lot to live up to.