Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan to return to Neighbours

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After almost 37 years on air, the last ever day of filming on Neighbours was completed – and Jackie Woodburne was heartbroken when the time came to bid her much-loved character Susan a fond farewell. She told in a brand new interview of how she regarded herself as Susan’s “guardian” and felt “anger” on learning that the soap had been axed.

We all felt those five stages of grief – anger, denial, acceptance and the rest

Jackie Woodburne

“I’ve lived with her for so long and been through so much with her,” an emotional Jackie admitted.

“I feel like I’ve been her guardian and while she’s been living her life, I’ve kept watch.”

Feeling like a bereaved parent, she confessed: “I really miss her.”

“We all felt those five stages of grief – anger, denial, acceptance and the rest – at different times over the last few months,” Jackie continued.

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However the tight-knit team of actors on the soap “helped each other through”.

“We’re very much an ensemble and there’s no hierarchy on the show,” she insisted.

“That makes for a really strong support network.”

It has been just five months since the world learnt that Neighbours would be no more, leaving some fans heartbroken as they felt they had grown up with the characters.

Many even remembered Can’t Get You Out of My Head star Kylie Minogue’s days on the show, before she pursued a musical career full time.

Jackie believes some of the younger members of the soap face bleak prospects, claiming that being forced to take side-jobs as waitresses is a “reality” of an acting career in Australia.

However, she is looking forward to taking a much-needed break before embarking on her next role.

Top of her wishlist is playing an “evil psychopath” – in other words, the polar opposite of her comparatively innocent character Susan.

In the meantime, as someone who insists she has never been a “showbizzy” person, she will be taking her time before stepping back on the scene.

Jackie also spoke in the new interview of suffering imposter syndrome for the first 20 years of her role.

“I was waiting for the phone call to say, ‘I’m sorry, Jackie. We’ve made a terrible mistake and could you hand in your car park pass at the end of the day and not come back?’” she joked to the Radio Times.

Now that day has come – for the entire cast – and she has described her experience of saying goodbye as “heartbreaking”.

On the other hand, her on-screen partner Dr Karl Kennedy, played by Alan Fletcher, plans to continue his onscreen role in other contexts.

He has been busily creating a stage show, Dr Karl In Conversation, which first started to come to fruition during the pandemic.

Alan will also be working on musical projects, having just released an EP with a country/vintage Americana flavour.

However Jackie has warned that Susan may “cast a long shadow” and that, after 28 years playing her, she is “happy to stop for a bit”.

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