Channel 5 has axed Home and Away‘s 6pm screening as part of a shake-up of its schedule, with Neighbours moving to the show’s old timeslot.
Channel 5 has confirmed that it is axing the evening hour of Australian soaps, which has formed a key part of its schedule since Neighbours moved to the channel in 2008.
The UK channel has confirmed that it is axing Home and Away’s 6pm showing, with Neighbours moving from its previous 5:30pm slot to take its place.
The afternoon screening is unaffected.
The move frees up the schedule for an hour of news from 5pm to 6pm, after Ofcom granted the channel permission to combine its two evening news programmes, which currently air at 5pm and 6:30pm.
In a press release, Ofcom explained:
“Following a consultation, we have approved a request from Channel 5 to change the conditions of its licence relating to its news provision.
“We have considered the range of views submitted by stakeholders and concluded that the changes will continue to meet the objectives for news and current affairs programming requirements set out in the Communications Act 2003.
“Channel 5 requested this change in order to introduce a new one-hour-long news broadcast from 5pm. The change to the licence condition will not affect the total amount of news that Channel 5 is required to broadcast each year.”
Channel 5 has recently secured the rights for Eggheads from BBC Two, meaning the quiz show will move to the 6:30pm slot from Monday 4th October.
The changes to Home and Away and Neighbours’ airings will happen in the autumn, but the exact date has not yet been confirmed.
From that point, Channel 5’s evening schedule will be as follows:
5pm–6pm – Channel 5 News
6pm – Neighbours
6:30pm – Eggheads
The afternoon showings will stay as they are, with Home and Away at 1:15pm and Neighbours at 1:45pm.
Home and Away‘s ‘first look’ on 5STAR will continue at 6:30pm, meaning fans of the show can still see episodes a day before they air on the main channel. Catch up viewings on My5 also won’t be affected.
A statement from Channel 5 reads:
“As Channel 5 continues to attract larger audiences, its news output is an ever more crucial part of the offering it creates for viewers.
“Following Ofcom’s approval of Channel 5’s 5pm News Bulletin expansion, Neighbours will find a new home on Channel 5 in the evenings at 6pm.
“The weekday 1:45pm showing remains unchanged, so viewers will still be able to watch their favourite Neighbours twice a day and catch up on My5.”
“Home and Away will no longer air weekdays at 6pm on Channel 5.
“Home and Away will continue to air weekdays at 1:15pm on Channel 5, and viewers will also still be able to watch their first look on 5STAR at 6:30pm and catch up on My5.”
For the vast majority of its history, Home and Away has had two showings per day on terrestrial television. When it moved to Channel 5 in 2001, it took on the 12:30pm and 6pm slots, with the afternoon airing later moving to 1:15pm.
Its evening slot was previously suspended at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, but it returned to 2 episodes per day shortly after.
Meanwhile, Neighbours currently airs at 1:45pm and 5:30pm.