Harold Bishop goes out to pasture

The father Christmas laugh, the whining voice, the wobbly turkey jowls - Harold Bishop is going to be sorely missed.

Harold, real name Ian Smith is set to leave Ramsay Street this Friday in an episode which will screen in the UK in April. The nation's favourite busy body do-gooder has been in Neighbours since 1987.

An outpouring of goodwill for 69 year old Harold's departure include a marching tuba band (set to tour the streets of Sydney handing out Harold Bishop souvenirs) the bombardment of the Neighbours' website with messages of support, and as much coverage of the soap actor's departure as would befit a royal wedding.

"If I had known this was going to happen I would have retired ages ago," said Smith. He added: "I'm very, very sad. I can still remember my first episode - knocking on the door of number 24 and Kylie [Minogue] answering it. I will always remember my last episode. The 22 years in between are a bit hazy." (Daily Telegraph)

Showing that he can still pull some of the characteristic Harold humour out of the bag when required, Smith also talked about his plans to do more TV in the future. “I want to be a Sun Hill baddie and I want to be collared by Smithy and Mickey Webb.” (That's The Bill in case you didn't know.)

Chortle chortle. Adiós Harold!

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