Neighbours star says Channel 5 has "jumped the gun" by cutting episodes

Jess Lee

From Digital Spy

Neighbours star April Rose Pengilly has suggested that Channel 5 perhaps made the decision to cut the number of weekly episodes too quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting this week, the Australian soap will only be airing two episodes a week (Mondays and Fridays) on Channel 5, but the schedule in Australia remains unchanged. This means that starting with Tuesday's episode (March 31) in Australia, the UK will start to fall behind.

Channel 5 commented that the decision was made so that Neighbours can stay on air "as long as possible".

Photo credit: Channel 5

But speaking to her fans on Instagram Stories, April – who plays Chloe Brennan – said that she was surprised by the cut, explaining that the show was still "on schedule" and that, as things stand, filming will resume after Easter.

"We are on break now," she said. "We were scheduled to have our regular two-week break starting at the end of this week, but they just brought it forward by a week while they sort everything out.

"We're due to go back after the Easter long weekend, depending on government regulations.

"All good, we're not behind. I don't know why the UK's only airing two episodes a week because we are totally on schedule. I think they've just kind of jumped the gun on that one."

Photo credit: Channel 5

April also cleared up a rumour that some people were wearing hazmat suits behind the scenes, saying that this was false.

"There was a rumour that while we were still at work, the make-up team were in hazmat suits. This is not accurate," she said.

Elsewhere, Colette Mann (Sheila Canning) recently tweeted that she agreed with Channel 5's decision, saying that "it means longevity for the show... rather than complete disappearance off our screens".

Neighbours currently airs on Mondays and Fridays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 in the UK.

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing.

For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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