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                                      Neighbours

                           The Show

Neighbours is a long-running and multiple Logie Award-winning Australian soap opera, which began its run in March 1985. The series follows the daily lives of several families who live in the six houses at the end of Ramsay Street, a quiet cul-de-sac in the fictional middle-class suburb of Erinsborough. Storylines explore the romances, family problems, domestic squabbles, and other key life events affecting the various residents. More than most serials, Neighbours features a large proportion of young actors among its ever-rotating cast.

 

Neighbours celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2005 with some special episodes which featured appearances from several former members of the cast.

 

The series is produced by FremantleMedia Australia, which was formed in January 2007 by the merger of Grundy Television with Crackerjack Productions.

 

A major revamp of Neighbours occurred in 2007. In Australia the show's viewing figures had in early 2007 dropped to fewer than 700,000 a night and the attitudes among long term fans of the show to storylines were negative.



The revamp includes now recording the show in HDTV video, introducing a new family of characters, the departure of several existing characters, a new version of the show's familiar theme song, a new style of opening titles. These changes came into effect over several months in 2007; July 23, 2007 saw the introduction of the new theme music and graphics. Neighbours was also made available for viewers to watch online via Network Ten's website.

Neighbours is recorded in Melbourne. Interior scenes are taped at the Global Television studios in Forest Hill, Victoria in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. These studios were previously the Network Ten Nunawading studios, used frequently by Fremantle (then Reg Grundy). External scenes of the building and its grounds have been used in several TV series, including Neighbours, but perhaps most notably as the fictional setting for Grundy's Prisoner.

                      Daniel Fitzgerald

In Neighbours Brett plays Daniel Fitzgerald. He originated the role from 1999 to 2000, and returned to Australian screens on 2007 October 30.

Dependable Daniel Fitzgerald (or ´Fitzy´ to his mates) is a perfect school counsellor, friend and confidante. Having been a teacher since 2000 (training at Erinsborough High), Dan was also happy to take over Pepper Steiger´s Health Science and PE classes when she left abruptly for Queensland.

Dan´s laid-back but determined when he puts his mind to something. He´s easy-going but passionate about the people and things he loves. He´s got a sly sense of humour but he knows when it´s time to knuckle down and take things seriously.

As a counsellor, it´s Dan´s job to look beneath the surface and to strive to understand what drives other human beings. He prides himself on his honesty, loyalty and compassion and he inspires confidence. However, while Dan is excellent at persuading other people to reveal the innermost hope, fears and dreams, he himself is something of a closed book. He´s slow to really open up to people, or trust them with his true feelings.

As a teacher he´s no softie, but the students like him because he is fair and straightforward with them. There are no power games or condescension from Mr Fitzgerald: he respects his students and expects them to respect themselves. None felt this more than Ringo Brown, who found himself on the receiving end of some tough love from Fitzy when Pepper told him about his eating disorder.

Outside of work Dan channels his physical prowess into playing footy for the Erinsborough Dingoes and volunteering for the SES. He was a key player in the rescue of Ramsay Street´s youth from the dramatic dance party roof collapse.

Indeed the only area of Dan´s life over which he does not have total control is romance. Back in his trainee days Dan had failed flings with neighbour Steph Scully and colleague Tess Bell. When he fell in love with fellow university student Samantha, he thought he´d found ´the one´. Sadly soon after their marriage, a miscarriage triggered the first symptoms of bipolar disorder in Sam. Their relationship disintegrated as Dan became her carer rather than her husband and eventually Sam just took off. 

Devastated by his shattered marriage, Dan returned to Ramsay Street looking for a new start. Settling into his new role at Erinsborough High and inching closer to colleague Libby Kennedy, things seemed to be looking up for Dan… until the day Samantha walked back into his life and introduced herself to Libby as Daniel´s long lost wife.

 

It was reported in TV Week magazine that Daniel will begin a relationship with Libby Kennedy (Kim Valentine). The surprise arrival in Ramsay Street of Dan's wife Sam is set to shake up his budding relationship with Libby. It turned out that Sam has bi-polar disorder. She has now got it under control. He and Sam were going to file for divorce but they decided to give their marriage another go.