As we wave goodbye to Neighbours for 2021, we take a look at what’s in store for the residents of Erinsborough in 2022. Now UPDATED with the Neighbours 2022 Promo which aired after the final episode.
The season finale has now aired in Australia, and we’re just a day away from it airing in the UK – beginning a 3-week Christmas break, the first time that the show has had a Christmas break in both the UK and Australia since 2017.
The show will leave us on a huge cliffhanger, with Terese left clinging onto the roof of Lassiters, and we’ll endure a three week wait to find out what happens next.
The final episode aired in Australia on Thursday 9th December, and will air in the UK the following day on Friday 10th December, and will return in both countries on Monday 3rd January 2022.
To keep you entertained over the three-week break, we’ve prepared a preview of what’s coming up in the first few months of next year.
Thanks to the devoted fans on Neighbours Forum for constantly being on the look out for new spoilers, and analysing every tweet and Instagram story for clues.
2021 was a wild ride, as we saw the return of Glen Donnelly (Richard Huggett) after 30 years, Nicolette (Charlotte Chimes) disappear for months, Kyle (Chris Milligan) battle testicular cancer, and the remaining Rebecchi clan depart to Sydney after Dipi (Sharon Johal) and Pierce’s (Tim Robards / Don Hany) affair was uncovered.
However, it seems like 2022 could be bigger than ever before. Shane Isheev, the show’s Story Editor, often takes to social media to give small hints as to what’s in store.
He’s made a number of tweets suggesting that we’re in for a wild ride in 2022, with a tweet from early December hinting that, while the finale week cliffhanger may be big, it’s “not as big as the year ahead.”
We’ll have more than one big story coming our way, with Shane commenting in November that “SOMETHING BIG IS COMING” and revealing that he’ll be “saying that A LOT next year”.
Just what is in store?
Will David and Aaron parent both Isla and Abigail?
The David / Aaron / Nicolette co-parenting triangle was one of the biggest storylines of 2021, and it looks set to continue well into next year.
After a turbulent fostering journey, David (Takaya Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson) were desperate for a baby of their own, and, when Nicolette suggested that she help them out by acting as their surrogate mother, they jumped at the opportunity.
The three formed a co-parenting agreement – the baby would be David and Nicolette’s biologically, but David and Aaron would be the primary caregivers, with Nic taking on the role of doting aunty.
However, there were too many people involved, and, when Nicolette and Chloe (April Rose Pengilly) split thanks to Leo’s (Tim Kano) scheming, Nicolette skipped town, taking the unborn baby with her.
Things got very complicated when Paul (Stefan Dennis) bought the baby from Nicolette for $1 million, and handed her over to David and Aaron.
It was later revealed that he had actually bought a different baby, Abigail, who just so happened to be Leo’s – the result of a brief but passionate relationship with a woman called Britney (Montana Cox) – meaning David and Aaron spent weeks unknowingly caring for their niece rather than their daughter.
The incredibly complex story had a surprisingly quick resolution. Britney turned up looking for her baby, and Nicolette returned with the real Isla shortly after. Leo and Britney headed to Wollongong to raise Abigail together, leaving Nic, David and Aaron to parent Isla as a trio.
Leo recently returned, and Britney followed him back to Erinsborough in the final episode, bringing baby Abigail with her to celebrate Christmas together in Melbourne.
Britney will be sticking around for at least the first few weeks of the new year, with the 2022 promo showing her attending Kyle and Roxy’s wedding with Leo.
Tim Kano (Leo) has been regularly filming with Abigail over the past couple of months, suggesting that both of the Tanaka babies will be mainstays on Ramsay Street for at least the first few months of the year.
Whether Britney will be sticking around with him remains to be seen.
With Tim Kano only believed to be filming until the end of 2021, and with a death coming at some point in the new year (keep reading for more about that), some fans are speculating that we’ll be saying a tearful goodbye to Leo, with David and Aaron left as the primary carers for both Isla and Abigail.
After already forming a bond with Abigail during the baby swap, will David and Aaron finally get to parent both babies?
Back in October, a fan spotted a number of Neighbours cast and crew filming what looks like a funeral scene at a cemetery in Melbourne.
Laura Jayne, a member of the Neighbours Discussion and Spoilers group on Facebook, posted a number of photos from Eltham Cemetery, 18km away from the Nunawading studios where Neighbours is filmed.
The photos showed David, Aaron, Chloe, Nicolette, Jane (Annie Jones) and Sheila (Colette Mann), all dressed in black, taking part in the emotionally charged scenes.
The 2022 promo then gave us our first official glimpse. The minute-long promo shows the funeral procession walk slowly behind a white hearse, before gathering around the coffin itself for the ceremony.
Fans are speculating wildly as to who the show’s latest death could be.
The main suspects are Kyle, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, and Leo, with actor Tim Kano only believed to be filming until the end of the year.
Or, could there be a curveball? With actor Benny Turland, who plays Hendrix, also believed to be bowing out sooner rather than later, could Hendrix’s recent health scare have been a hint at what’s to come for his character?
A member of Neighbours Forum posted in September that Benny Turland (Hendrix Greyson) was due to film his final scenes in October, based on info they had received from a member of the Neighbours crew.
While nothing is officially confirmed, if Benny filmed his final scenes in October, we would expect Hendrix to leave in January or February 2022.
Will he be the death that’s set to rock Ramsay Street?
A huge storm is set to hit Erinsborough, damaging the Lassiters complex and putting lives in danger.
“They’re saying gale force winds, Rox, 100km gusts,” warns Levi as the storm begins to approach.
The promo shows the lights flicker across the Lassiters complex as branches blow across the plaza in front of the hotel.
The promo shows that the residents seem unfazed by the weather.
It looks like it’s just hosted a major event – we assume Kyle and Roxy’s wedding reception – and Hendrix and Mackenzie joyfully dance together as they head across the complex. Is their carefree attitude about to end in disaster?
Suddenly, the wind knocks over a telegraph pole, causing electrical sparks to fly out.
Could the storm play a part in the impending death?
Amy’s daughter Zara arrives
In recent episodes, Amy (Jacinta Stapleton) mentioned to Levi (Richie Morris) that she wouldn’t be spending Christmas with her kids – Zara, Elijah and Jax – as it was their turn to spend the day with her exes.
Later, we saw Levi and Ned (Ben Hall) battle it out at the Police Ball auction to win Amy a holiday to Queensland, which would’ve given her the perfect opportunity to reunite with her two children.
Now, it seems we’re finally about to see one of Amy Greenwood’s kids arrive in Erinsborough.
Back in August, fans discovered two audition videos for the part of Zara Selwyn. The dialogue from the videos reveals Zara to be Amy’s daughter, and it’s expected that she will be paying her mother a surprise visit within the first couple of months of year.
UPDATE – The 2022 promo confirms Zara’s arrival, and gives us our first glimpse the new character. She’s set to reunite with her mum in the most awkward way possible, as she walks in on Amy in bed with both Ned and Levi!
While the audition video dialogue won’t necessarily translate into on-screen storylines, it does hint that Amy and Zara’s relationship is on the rocks.
“If you want things to get better with your mother, you need to show it,” Ned tells Zara, before encouraging her to be honest with her mother.
It looks like Zara is set to be jealous of her mother’s busy schedule, as she explains to Ned, “even if I do what you say, it doesn’t change the fact that mum has no room in her life for me anymore.”
While Zara and Amy’s relationship may not be the strongest, it seems she’s arriving in Erinsborough to escape a difficult family life up in Queensland. The audition dialogue shows Zara explain that everyone’s on her back, and she’s not feeling supported by her dad and her “stepmonster”, nor her half brother Jax’s dad and his two fathers.
Will Amy be able to provide the stable parental relationship Zara is searching for?
And what will her arrival mean for the already fractious polyamorous relationship? In the new promo, we hear Amy tell someone that, “right now it just needs to be Zara and me,” while we hear Levi tell someone, presumably Amy, “I think we should break up.”
Some roommates for Chloe?
Chloe has been living alone at Number 24 for quite a while, after her cheating husband Pierce departed, and her step-son Hendrix moved in with the Kennedys.
All that could be about to change. A recent video taken by April Rose Pengilly at the Neighbours set has shown that the former Brennan house is about to gain a sunroom, joining No. 30 and 32 in having an indoor-outdoor space, for when you want some sun, but not too much sun.
Fans are speculating that the show wouldn’t be extending No. 24 just to give Chloe some more space to potter about on her own, so could she be about to get some housemates?
Recent weeks have seen her and Nicolette grow close again, and even share a kiss. While Nicolette shot down the idea of a reconciliation, it seems inevitable that they’ll eventually get back together – could 2022 be the year that the two move in together permanently?
Or is Chloe moving elsewhere, with the extended house the perfect space for a new Ramsay Street family?
Jacinta Stapleton (Amy) briefly posted a photo on social media of her and Lucinda Cowden (Melanie) in No. 24. A large number of glasses and a big bowl of punch were visible on the kitchen island, perhaps suggesting some kind of moving in party?
Could No. 24 be where Amy and her daughter Zara eventually end up? Only time will tell.
Freya Wozniak’s arrival
Phoebe Roberts has joined Neighbours as a regular cast member, playing the part of Freya Wozniak.
Freya has been described as “the ultimate mystery girl,” who “keeps her cards close to her chest”. She’s a complex, mysterious risk taker who “is not afraid to bend the rules,” so it sounds like she’ll be creating plenty of unmissable drama in the new year.
Talking about joining the cast, Phoebe said: “I am so thrilled to be joining the Ramsay St family. Neighbours is such a huge part of the Australian film and TV industry, it’s very exciting to be involved in something so iconic that is also so loved in the UK.
“As a kid, I tuned in to watch all the drama of Erinsborough unfold, it’s surreal to now be a part of that drama!”
UPDATE – The new promo shows her walking and laughing with Levi at the vineyard, just after a title card reads ‘NEW ROMANCE’. Will she be another spanner in the works for the polyamorous relationship that is Levi, Ned and Amy?
Or do the residents of Ramsay Street have more to worry about than just her love interests? The promo shows her clutching a large knife, telling a character out of shot that, “I thought someone was attacking me!”
She filmed her first scenes in late October, so will arrive in Ramsay Street early in the new year.
Filming in the Yarra Valley
Carrying on with the theme of mystery, some of our existing favourites are set to travel beyond Erinsborough to solve a number of unanswered questions.
Ben Hall (Ned), Jemma Donovan (Harlow) and Zima Anderson (Roxy) all filmed scenes in the Yarra Valley – a green wine growing region to the east of Melbourne’s centre – in November, as reported by Mountain Views Star Mail.
The cast and crew took over the main street in Healesville, and filmed five scenes on the street and in the beer garden of the Healesville Hotel.
The show’s Head of Communications, Kelly Davis, told Star Mail, “Our cast and crew have never been more excited about getting out and about again, and it’s a wonderful way to highlight the different aspects of Melbourne from the inner city to beautiful leafy areas like Healesville while making our stories visually more spectacular and interesting.”
As for exactly why the trio headed to the region to film the scenes, Kelly explained that “they are on a mission to find out some important information about a young woman who comes from the local area who appears to be harbouring some secrets.”
Could their search be related to mysterious new arrival Freya, who was described as the “ultimate mystery girl”?
The episodes will air at the end of January.
Harlow heads to London
The Yarra Valley isn’t the only destination on the cards for Harlow, as she looks to solve a presumably unrelated mystery.
Actress Jemma Donovan recently shot a number of scenes in London, as part of a major storyline airing in the new year.
She was joined by Amanda Holden, who is to star as Harriet, the aunt of Harlow Robinson (Jemma Donovan) and sister of the late Prue Wallace (Denise van Outen).
Harlow’s mother Prue Wallace was a member of mysterious cult ‘The Order’, and arrived in Erinsborough in an attempt to elect her daughter into the organisation.
Her character was killed off in 2020 in a dramatic explosion as part of the Neighbours: End Game week of episodes to celebrate the show’s 35th anniversary.
In early 2022, Harlow will visit the UK capital as part of a “huge new storyline”. She will reunite with her aunt to attempt to solve a family mystery involving her mother.
Photos released back in October showed Amanda’s character Harriet reacting with shock to see her niece in London, before sitting down with her over a coffee.
UPDATE – In the new promo, Harlow explains to an off-screen character that “whatever their motives are, they can’t be good.”
Harriet asks, “what are you gonna do?”
Harlow responds with, “I dunno, I just need to be alone,” before rushing off.
Sophie Ellis-Bexter will also make a cameo in the London episodes, when Harlow has a chance encounter with her on The Queen’s Walk, a promenade on the south bank of the River Thames.
It’s been teased that Sophie’s advice will prove helpful to Harlow’s search as she offers words of wisdom.
“I hope you find what you lost,” Sophie tells Harriet in a brief glimpse of her cameo appearence in the new promo.
Exactly what the family mystery is – or how Harriet and Sophie will help solve it – remains to be seen.
Kyle and Roxy’s wedding
“I’m going to be crying my eyes out at the wedding, just you wait and see,” said Sheila in one of the final episodes of the year, as she watched her grandson and Roxy enjoy a tender moment together at the police ball.
However, will Sheila ever get to see her grandson and Roxy tie the knot?
Kyle was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer, having been convinced to go for a checkup after Hendrix’s scare. He had both testicles removed shortly after his diagnosis, but the cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes, meaning his battle had only just begin.
He’s currently undergoing chemotherapy, which has been taking it out of him, leaving him exhausted, unable to taste food, nauseous, and utterly miserable.
He’s also been struggling to catch his breath, and the aches and pains continue to persist. In a recent episode, as Roxy asked him what song he would like for their first dance, he vomited on her dress.
Are these simply the effects of the chemotherapy, or is Kyle’s cancer continuing to spread? Will he and Roxy make it to their big day?
UPDATE – The new promo, which aired in Australia after the final episode, suggests that Roxy and Kyle will get to say their “I do’s” after all.
With Mick / Michel (Joel Creasey) seemingly acting as Roxy’s wedding planner, it looks like it’s set to be a beautiful event, as their family and friends gather together to see the couple tie the knot.
Will it be happily-ever-after, after all?
Finally, there’s one more big change on the way from January…
Neighbours to air in the UK before Australia
Neighbours has been a regular fixture on Australian TV since 1985, and made its UK debut just a year later in October 1986.
When the show first hit British shores, UK viewers were over a year behind their Aussie counterparts. A large gap remained for most of the show’s history, meaning the show’s Christmas scenes would often end up airing in the middle of the UK summer.
In recent years, that all changed. The gap slowly reduced, and, in January 2016, a new deal saw the show air in both countries on the same day, shrinking the gap down to a matter of hours.
Then, the pandemic struck, and Channel 5 reduced the amount of episodes being broadcast to free up schedules for more frequent news broadcasts. The gap has remained ever since, and increased even further at the end of 2020, when Channel 5 took a break for a week and a half while Australia’s 10 Peach continued to air the show across Christmas and New Year.
Fans have been calling for the two countries to re-synchronise broadcasts for over a year and a half. Then, in July 2021, 10 Peach made the decision to reduce to only showing Neighbours on Monday–Thursday, in a move widely believed to be to allow the UK to catch up.
When the 2021 season ends this week, the finale will air in Australia just one day before it airs in the UK. When the show returns on 3rd January, it will once again air in both countries on the same day!
Fantastic news for Neighbours fans in both countries… for a grand total of four days. In an unexpected move which has shocked loyal fans in both countries, Australia’s 10 Peach will continue to air just four episodes a week, meaning that, for the first time in the show’s 36 year history, the UK will overtake Australian broadcasts and become the first country to air new episodes.
From Friday 7th January, the UK will officially be ahead of Australian broadcasts. It looks like the change will continue indefinitely, with scripts for the show posted on Instagram showing that, in March 2022, the UK will be two weeks ahead of Australia!
10 Peach still hasn’t commented on the schedule change. However, it seems that, at least for now, Aussie fans will have to hit up their UK counterparts for all the latest spoilers!
The Neighbours season finale airs on Thursday 9th December at 6:30pm on 10 Peach, and Friday 10th December at 1pm and 6pm on Channel 5.
Neighbours returns to the UK and Australia on Monday 3rd January 2022.