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'Neighbours': Rhys, Andrew and Sophie to leave show

Neighbours bosses have announced that Ben Barber, Jordan Smith and Kaiya Jones are all leaving the soap.

The trio, who play Rhys Lawson, Andrew Robinson and Sophie Ramsay respectively, will depart screens in 2013.

Neighbours confirmed the news on the show's official Twitter page today (November 26) after the departures were reported in TV Week magazine.

Asked whether the three cast members are leaving, a representative replied: "Yes they are. We'll miss those guys!"

Meanwhile, Jones told her online fans: "Im both sad but excited :D Hope you get to see me on your tv screens again soon. :)"

Jones joined Neighbours as Sophie in 2009, while Smith took over the role of Andrew later that year.

Barber, meanwhile, was cast as Rhys in May 2011.

Other recent cast changes at Neighbours have seen Jordy Lucas film her final scenes as Summer Hoyland, while Valentina Novakovic is bowing out as Natasha Williams.

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Disappointed about Jordan Smith leaving the show. I've always liked the character of Andrew. He's more complex than he first appears. It'll be a shame to see him go. My theory is he might have a falling out with Paul and decide to go back to leave with his mum in Sydney or Paul can't cope with his son's epilepsy and decides that he should leave with his mum in Sydney.

I don't really care about Sophie leaving. I've never liked her character, but she was so dislikable when she had a makeover. I'm guessing her departure might have something to do with her passion for music. I wouldn't be surprised if she was accepted into a selected music school in the country or interstate. A bit similar to the way Summer first left the show back in 2005.

In regards to Ben Barber, I feel the writers can explore more of Rhys' character. They haven't fully elaborated on his past involving his father and mother completely. However, it fits his character of leaving sooner rather than later. Rhys is the type of guy that doesn't stick around for the long-term.

Apart from Sophie, I would hope that the writers leave Andrew and Rhys with the opportunity of returning to the show in the future. I have a feeling this won't be the last we see of Andrew, but Rhys might be one of those characters who leaves and is never mentioned of ever again.

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