"All together now...Neighbours, everybody needs.."

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, March 28, 2005

There are many great pilgrimages in the world; the Muslims to Mecca, American students to Mexico for Spring Break, and of course the most famous, the British backpacker to Ramsay Street!

To come 17,000 miles and not visit the birthplace of essential after school TV viewing is just a crime. So not to offend, we booked ourselves onto one of the many tours that depart the city centre every day. Strangely enough, i actually managed to persuade Aussie, Hollie and T to come along as well. I wasn't surprised though when they moaned at the price to go ($30-12). Arguing that we could just as easily drive there ourselves!

We all jumped aboard the big blue Neighbours bus and drove to the outer suburbs, home of Pin Oak Court, the real name of Ramsay Street. Not surprisingly, everyone else apart from Hollie, Aussie and T, were English. The driver to was from blighty, and filled us all in on facts, figures and gossip along the way. Did you know:
Erinsborough is actually an anagram of Neighbours?
Sky is actaully Jason Donovan's half sister.
David, Harold's son in the show, is actually his real son.
Steph Scully has got 3 kids in real life, the oldest being 14!
BBC have just signed a contract for another 5 years, so there will be at least another 5 years of glorious Neighbours!
Over 60 countries watch Neighbours, including strangely enough, Nigeria?!

To actually walk up the road was a weird experience, probably what you would feel like if you were allowed onto the set of Eastenders. Although much smaller in real life, it felt like I has been there before. On the left was Lou's House, then the Scully's and then Harold's! But let's not forget about Susan Kennedy's House, Toadies and Steph Scully's!

We were told by the driver, that even though the real Neighbours get inconvenienced once or twice a week by the film crew and of course all the British backpackers, they do earn enough from the production company a month to cover their mortgage repayment! They also got their front gardens looked after! That would explain the very long waiting list to buy one of these properties, and why only one of the houses has been put up for sale in the past 10 years!

Before we left the driver told us one last thing about the street. For about a year now there is overnight security on the street. Not to prevent any break-ins, nope it's because 2 English Backpackers were caught having sex in Harold's garden one evening! Well it beats the Mile High Club any day!

Next stop was the studio's. Sadly we weren't allowed access so he drove us to Erinsborough High instead! Usually you can only stand outside, but because it was a public holiday, he said go and have a look inside whilst you can! What we found funny was 'Erinsborough High, was actually a school for all the non-english speaking immigrants that come to Australia! (as you can see from the sign in the photos) The other thing we found out was the school has never been paid a penny for being used in the show. To say thank you, Grundy, the production company built the school a new wooden shed this year. That's generosity!

We finished the day at another 'Meet your Neighbours night'. The others wanted to go and i wasn't going to complain about going again! This time though we got more for our money, as well as the 3 current stars, Lynn, Conner and the legend that is Harold, Mark Little, aka Joe Mangel from the early days showed up as well. Although i think he enjoyed the attention a little bit to much, and enjoyed the free beer even more!

But to top it all off Karl Kennedy played with his band at the end.
It was hard to believe we weren't at a Westlife concert, the way the girls were screaming for Karl! He knew how to work the crowd and played all the backpacker's favorite songs, including 3 Lions which I thought I was a funny choice! He actually touring England in the summer so watch out for him!

Neighbours new Kylie? Well we will just have to see about that!
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