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EXCLUSIVE: Guy Pearce’s final ‘nostalgic’ days on Neighbours

“I can’t ever forget this.”
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It might be almost 33 years since his character, Mike Young, was last seen in Erinsborough, but Guy Pearce’s Neighbours legacy is strong.

WATCH BELOW: Kylie Minogue discusses her return to Neighbours

Along with Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Annie Jones, the foursome was the soap’s teen core when it began airing on Network 10 in early 1986 and, as a result, Guy quickly became one of the show’s most-popular stars.

Catapulted to fame here in Australia and then overseas as Neighbours began screening internationally, Pearce was able to transition into a highly successful career in film and television after he left the series in 1989.

Back on the set of the show that gave him his first acting role, the 54-year-old tells WHO about the mix of emotions he felt and the Hollywood star who was thrilled to see him return.

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“I’m an incredibly nostalgic person anyway, so I’ve always wanted to step back onto the show at some stage.” (Credit: Supplied)

What does it feel like to be back on Neighbours?

It’s sort of everything. Surreal. It’s really lovely to be working again with the likes of Paul Keane [Des], Annie Jones [Jane], Stefan [Dennis, who plays Paul Robinson], of course, Geoff Paine [Clive], and Peter O’Brien [Shane] – it’s just remarkable. I’m an incredibly nostalgic person anyway, so I’ve always wanted to step back onto the show at some stage – and of course with the sad news that the show is finishing, it seemed like the appropriate time. Thankfully, I was planning a trip back home anyway, so it just worked.

Tell us about when you were first on the show.

It started [filming] at Channel 10 on December 2, 1985, [which was] my first day and a couple of days after my last exam at high school. I had just turned 18. I had to move from Geelong and start on this television show, so it was pretty mad.

You’ve had an incredible career. Do you credit Neighbours for that?

There are certain moments in your life that are real markers. Being cast in Neighbours, the confidence it gave me and what I learnt being on the show were immeasurable qualities and benefits. Of course, there have been other moments when I’ve auditioned for roles and got them, but I can’t ever forget this. I always feel super lucky to have got on the show when I did and, as we know, it just took off and became huge.

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Guy still catches up with his Neighbours co-stars regularly. (Credit: Supplied)

Do you get to catch up with your fellow castmates, like Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan?

Absolutely. Jason and I see each other all the time, and we still call each other Scott and Mike, which is a bit sad! Whenever I’m in London, I’ll see Jason most times and I’ll see Kylie as well if she’s around. There are a few others I catch up with when I’m in Melbourne, like Stefan and Annie, of course – she’s been on Jack Irish with me. Kate Winslet [whom he starred with in the historical drama, Mildred Pierce] is also a huge fan of the show and is literally wetting herself that I’m back. She was besotted with Mike back in the day. We share a birthday and that was the greatest news to her. When I told her I was coming back, she was beside herself.

The Neighbours finale will air Thursday, July 28 on 10 and 10Play.

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