Daniel MacPherson praises Neighbours for launching his career and reveals the surprising spinoff that was in the works

''It set me off on an adventure that is still going to this day.''

By Alana Mazzoni
Former Neighbours star Daniel MacPherson has shared his sadness over the soap's axing after 37 years on air.
After weeks of mystery over the future of the show, Channel 10 announced on Thursday that Neighbours will officially end after its biggest investor, UK broadcaster Channel 5, revealed they would not be renewing their contract.
Production company Fremantle failed to secure another UK broadcaster, and the show will film its final scenes in June.
Daniel, who played the role of Joel Samuels from 1998 to 2002, took to Twitter to honour the show that launched his acting career.
Daniel played the role of Joel Samuels from 1998 to 2002. (Image: Ten)
"Now I know there's some pretty important happenings going on both here in Australia and around the world right now, that certainly need our attention. But I'm gonna pour a wee drink in honour of the show that gave me my start," he said.
Daniel reminisced on how he landed his role on the soap, saying he auditioned after finding an acting manager when he was just 16.
"I left to go back to school... I never thought much about it again and HSC was coming up later that year. The night before my 2nd last HSC exam, I get a call saying they've written me a role playing.. well.. myself. 😜," Daniel shared.
Three months later, when he was just 17, Daniel moved from Sydney to Melbourne to start shooting scenes for the soap that would later catapult him to national fame.
Daniel auditioned after finding an acting manager when he was just 16. (Image: Getty)
"I knew nothing. NOTHING. [Neighbours actor] Andrew Bibby asked me what I'd done before (meaning what acting work) and I answered "triathlons" with a smile," Daniel revealed, adding that he shared many similarities with his character Joel.
"I spent most of my time in Melbourne from 17 to 21 running around in Speedos, or some form of Lycra. With various versions of basically a blonde perm (and nipple ring - since departed) but slowly I learnt a bit about acting. Toadfish Lance & Joel almost got a spin off - no s--t."
The 41-year-old went on to praise his fellow Neighbours stars for showing him the ropes when he first joined the cast.
"Ann Charleston taught me that if I arrive on my call time, I'm late (still use that on to this day), Tom Oliver taught me not to sit in his chair the greenroom. Ian Smith taught me plenty. What a gent. He was a good father figure for a few of us youngsters," he said.
"I say I grew up in Sydney, but because of Neighbours I did my 'growing up' in Melbourne, and eventually London. It set me off on an adventure that is still going to this day, 25 years later."
Daniel revealed that after nearly four years of playing Joel, he tried to quit the soap but was encouraged not to by the executives.
"I was pulled into an office by the producer and the [executive producer] and in a last ditch effort to keep me, they told me I should stay to work on my craft, that I wasn't a good enough actor to go out and make it in the 'real' world," Daniel said.
"25 years later, I still remember sitting in that office, being told by two old guys that I wasn't gonna make it. Little did they know they were sparking up a fire that would become the adventure of a lifetime. Thank you gents. Truly."
Daniel went on to thank the crew for their hard work over the years: "You were the foundation of that place and its longevity. Thank you all. To the generations that went ahead of us. You paved a way for us in Aus, London & LA… thank u."
The Logie Award-winner also shared his appreciation for Neighbours fans all over the world, who have rallied in recent weeks to keep the show afloat.
"To the fans - all over the world - I can't tell you that adventures that have come from being on a show aired for years in 76 countries (at the time) that made for some of the most incredible memories of my life - and I'm pretty sure many of the cast alumni will say the same," he said.

read more from