09/10/2017 16:32 BST | Updated 09/10/2017 16:41 BST

'Neighbours': Channel 5 Sign New Deal To Continue Airing Soap In UK Following Fan Petition

We won't be saying goodbye to Ramsay Street just yet.

Neighbours’ future on UK screens is finally secure, after Channel 5 signed a new deal to continue airing the Aussie soap. 

Fans launched a petition to save the show, after it was claimed Channel 5′s new owners Viacom were contemplating ditching it from the schedules. 

'Neighbours' will remain on air in the UK

The new deal will keep it on British screens for years to come, while it has also been agreed that the show will air for 52 weeks of the year, meaning it be on at Christmas, for the first time ever, in 2018. 

Channel 5 has also agreed with production company FremantleMedia to collaborate on a number of annual special episodes airing prime time, the first of which is earmarked for early 2018, which will set up major new storylines. 

In a statement, a Katie Keenan, VP Acquisitions, Channel 5 & VIMN UK, said: “I’m delighted ‘Neighbours’ will continue to air across the Channel 5 portfolio. ‘Neighbours’ is an important part of our schedule and is held in great affection by British viewers.

“For more than three decades, ‘Neighbours’ has been an unmissable daily drama and although Ramsay Street is on the other side of the world, the stories we tell have struck a chord in the hearts of the UK audience.”

Neighbours’ executive producer, Jason Herbision, added: “I’m excited to keep delivering our worldwide viewers with their daily fix of Ramsay Street. We are proud that our show, set in the Aussie suburbs, has touched the lives of viewers the world over. 

“Just as our characters span generations, so do the people that watch ‘Neighbours’ – we value our global audiences and are delighted to stay on this journey together.

“Come the end of 2018 we will also make history by becoming the first Australian drama series to screen all year round. The best is yet to come.”

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After doubts about Neighbours’s future in the UK first surfaced earlier this year, a number of high profile names spoke out in support of the soap, most notably Adele, who paid a visit to the set. 

‘Neighbours’ has aired on Channel 5 since 2008, after they picked up the rights from the BBC, who had screened it since 1986. 

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