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Harold quits Neighbours

After twenty years in Ramsay Street, beloved character “Harold Bishop” will bid the street goodbye.

Actor Ian Smith, who has played the Neighbours role on and off since 1987, is retiring from the series and a 30 year career in show business.

Smith films his final scenes this month and will depart the show next year, but producers have managed to get him to agree to some special appearances during his semi-retirement.

“Harold” is an iconic Australian TV character, whose “fuddy-duddy” ways and that infamous wobbling-chin have catapulted him into pop culture legend. In the UK “Harold” is especially loved, transgressing age groups amongst legions of fans.

Smith, who has also served as both actor and scriptwriter on Prisoner, joined the series in 1987, departed in 1991 and returned as Harold in 1996, in true soapie style as a character with amnesia. He was married to Madge, was stepfather to Charlene, ran the Erinsborough Coffee Shop, played tuba for the Salvation Army, tried to strangle Paul Robinson and even donned an afro wig.

His exit marks a blow for the soapie which has failed to resurrect its fortunes after a relaunch earlier this year.

10 Responses

  1. It certainly does seem like Ramsey Street is ripe for the bulldozer. Harold gone. Their ‘backlot’ at the old ATV10 studios about to become housing. Recycled storylines – isn’t there a ‘drug cheat’ one on now? Didn’t Boyd do that 3 years ago? All things must end.
    I had the pleasure of working with the Neighbours bunch a few years back and they are a friendly, incredibly professional lot. Ian Smith was particularly warm and a joy to work with. I wish him well in his (I’m sure) Pantomime-filled ‘retirement’.

  2. Its sad to see old Harold go, we always joked how if ever there was a query as to who the father was of a child on the show he was it.

    He’s simply lept off a sinking ship, i’ve cut back watching it in the past year or so, its sad to see 8it in the state it is now.

  3. Wow, I kinda don’t blame him for leaving now. I’ve watched the show since day one and the last few months have been the most boring in the shows history. He was also the first to complain about the loss of the Timmins clan. ( I think I read that on TV Tonight ). And I do think that writing out Janelle and Stieger was a big mistake, those two had real chemistry. And with another of Mr Smith’s ( and our )favorite’s leaving ( Janae ), they really will have to pull something out of a hat to save the show…Maybe that will be Libby…but we’ll have to wait and see.

  4. Thank GOD that Mr. Smith has finally seen the light. This show is an absolute joke, and I could’ve sworn that he looked embarrassed by the shoddy writing and acting in some scenes. I wish Mr. Smith all the best in the future, and hopefully he will find success elsewhere. 🙂

  5. NO WAY! Harold is such a brilliant character on Neighbours, and with the so many other superb characters already on their way out (Rosie, Frazer, Janae, Pepper) I don’t know how much longer I can keep watching. At least Lou’s still there though.

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