The Australian soap opera Neighbours premiered its season finale Friday evening, after 37 years on the air.

The show, despite following the daily lives of people living in the fictional suburb of Erinsborough (an anagram of Neighbours), Australia, became a hit in the U.K., where the episode will be aired on Channel 5.

Longtime fans of the show turned out in droves at Melbourne’s Federation Square on the big night, marking the end of a monster cultural icon with almost 9,000 episodes aired since its inception in 1985.

Ben Frow, director of programming of British network Channel 5, announced in March that the network was not renewing Neighbours, and later revealed his preference for more local programming as the reason behind the decision.

“I could spend the money on other things, which is what I decided to do. I can better spend the Neighbours money on U.K. shows,” Frow said to Radio Times.

Neighbour’s demise is a shock of a steadfast and loyal fanbase, with almost one million U.K. viewers, marking its spot as the U.K.’s fourth most popular soap.

The show helped to launch the careers of Hollywood A-listers such as Liam Hemsworth (Josh Taylor), Russell Crowe (Kenny Larkin) and Margot Robbie (Donna Freedman).

Neighbours was often praised for its depictions of modern-day Australia. The soap had the first on-screen same-sex wedding scene when the ink was drying on Australia’s marriage equality law. Robbie, who featured in the soap from 2008 to 2011, returns to the show for a small cameo role in honor of the finale.

The Suicide Squad star is one of many mourning the show’s end, a list that includes Kylie Minogue, who played Charlene Robinson, and Stefan Dennis, who played Paul Robinson for over three decades.

“He’s not just someone I come to work and play for a few hours, and then go home,” Dennis told the BBC.

“You’re talking about a character I have grown up with, matured with, developed with for nearly 40 years.”

“I don’t know how I am going to say goodbye. I’d like to think I’m going to hang the suit up and walk away, but I think it’ll take a bit of a while to shake off.”

Fans took to Twitter to share their emotional reactions to the episode.

Tracey Wearn posted: “Oh my….I’m welling up already… Seriously can’t believe this is coming to an end….going to miss you all sooooo much.”

Mikey Cole tweeted: “The end is nigh & im not ready.. I’ve grown up with @neighbours and it ends this week, it’s going to be a sad day on Thursday but I’m glad it’s going out with a bang & happy that many of the stars are back to say goodbye. #CelebratingNeighbours.”

Lesley Renshaw, who became a fan of the show during her time as a student in northern Wales, told The New York Times that she now watches with her 13-year-old daughter. Conveying her gratitude for the show, Renshaw said her daughter “can understand a little bit more about human behavior — what’s right and what’s wrong. It grows with you.”

The finale episode of Neighbours premieres on July 29 at 9 p.m. on Channel 5 for viewers in the U.K. No word yet on a U.S. network airing the finale.

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