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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Home and Away returns
Home and Away
Home and Away has been running for 13 years
Australian soap opera Home and Away returns to British screens on Monday after a year away.

The soap has jumped channels to Channel 5, which has been heavily promoting its return after snatching the rights to the show from ITV last year.

A clause in ITV's original contract meant the network could delay transmission by another broadcaster, forcing the soap's 12-month absence.

Channel 5 has been running a countdown to first transmission with a weekly 10-minute Back To The Bay programme - featuring short snippets of behind-the-scenes footage and backstage gossip from some of the show's young stars.

Press launch

The programme will be shown every weeknight at 1800 with a repeat at 1230 each day and an omnibus on Saturdays.

Some of the younger members of the cast flew into the UK recently to film a series of episodes in London, meet journalists at a press launch.

It is not thought that the soap will draw the same numbers of viewers on Channel 5 as it did on ITV.

The soap began life in January 1988 and was screened by ITV as a rival to the BBC's popular Australian soap Neighbours.

It was developed by Channel Seven in Australia after the channel had dropped its then poor-rated suburban drama Neighbours.

Many faces have moved on from the sun and surf of Summer Bay, but four founding cast-members remain - Ray Meagher and Judy Nunn, who play Alf and Ailsa, Norman Coburn, who plays Donald Fisher, and Kate Ritchie, who has played Sally since she was 9 years old.

It is shown in about 50 countries world-wide and its estimated to have a global audience of about 60 million viewers.

See also:

16 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Home and Away: Q&A
24 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Channel 5 'bags Home and Away'
22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Neighbours' soap war at Crossroads
05 Apr 01 | UK
In a lather over soaps
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