Ian Smith, best known for playing Harold Bishop on ‘Neighbours’, has blamed the Australian government for not saving the axed soap opera.

The famous Aussie soap opera, which will air its final episode on August 1st, was cancelled after the UK’s Channel 5 decided against renewing its contract with the program’s production company to finance and broadcast the series.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Ian Smith has blamed the Australian government for not intervening to save the show.

“I think the Australian government should have bought it, put it on the ABC and used it as a living, working school for actors, writers and cameramen and put it to air as such,” he told the publication.

He added that the soap opera has been a great platform for up-and-coming Aussie actors and crew members, and its cancellation is a huge loss to the country’s entertainment industry.

Ian Smith portrayed the character of Harold Bishop from 1987-2015.

Fellow actor Stefan Dennis, who plays Paul Robinson on the show, has placed the blame on the lack of promotion of the show, noting that the success of streaming services has swayed viewers away from watching free-to-air shows.


“If a show doesn’t get promoted, people don’t know about it, and if people don’t know about it, people don’t watch it,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth, Guy Pearce, Delta Goodrem, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and more got their start on Neighbours.

The Neighbours cast will be heading to the UK next year for their hotly-anticipated tour.