In one of the more unexpected sentences you’re likely to read today, Neighbours has revealed they’ll not only be marching in this year’s Mardi Gras in Sydney, but they’ll also be filming scenes for an upcoming episode as well.
The enduring soap revealed on Twitter late yesterday that the cast and crew of the show will be putting together their own dedicated float for the March 2nd parade, and will be using it as an opportunity to not only celebrate the LGBTQI community, but produce content for the series as well.
We’re going to #SydneyMardiGras! Neighbours is proud to announce our fabulous cast and crew will celebrating equality and inclusiveness by taking part in the parade on March 2nd. Love is love and it’s here to stay on #Neighbours 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/K7pUh9tFs9
— Neighbours (@neighbours) January 24, 2019
The show is serving as a “major partner” of the festival this year, and continues the show’s strong emphasis on on-screen diversity and support of LGBTQI characters.
The series introduced their first full-time openly gay character back in 2011, and has continued a commitment to keeping the cast diverse ever since. Currently, the show sports three LGBTQI characters.
In 2018, Neighbours made Australian television history by being the first scripted series to showcase a same-sex wedding – between hugely beloved characters Aaron (played by Matt Wilson) and David (Takaya Honda) – following the passage of the long-overdue bill through Australian parliament. The on-screen ceremony was officiated by Magda Szubanski.
What that wheelchair bit was all about is another story for another day.
Terese Casu, the CEO of Mardi Gras, heralded the announcement in a short statement issued to media.
We’re absolutely thrilled to see LGBTQI representation on one of Australia’s most iconic TV shows, Neighbours. It’s so important that our community are able to see themselves in popular culture, and we’re looking forward of course to seeing the Mardi Gras Parade become a part of the Neighbours cannon.
The 2019 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival kicks off on February 15th and runs until March 3rd, with the famous parade taking place on March 2nd.