It must have been school half term, the week-long Halloween holidays. 27 October 1986.
As a teenager, watching television that lunchtime, a new show came on after the BBC’s 1 o’clock news. An Australian drama. I can still remember parts of the plot.
Des was getting married the next day. It was his stag night, and the lads had invited a stripper to the party. BBC 1 in the early afternoon! Next day his fiancée calls off the wedding. But Daphne the stripper comes back to the house to find her watch which she’d left behind the night before. There’s a “I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on” moment from a nicely innocent Des. But why does the fiancée’s father recognise Daphne? Later on in the week, and in need of another income to cover the rent, Daphne the stripper moves in to Des’ house.
And it turned out it was the first episode of an exceedingly long-running soap, that when the current contract runs out next year will be moving to the screens of Five in Spring 2008 to join the old ITV stalwart Home and Away.
I stopped watching Neighbours shortly after it started, but anyone in Northern Ireland struggling with poor analogue Five coverage and with no access to Freeview may want to try catching the daily 5.30pm episodes on RTE Two!