'Neighbours' legend Harold Bishop returns to soap for first time in seven years

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Harold consoles Mackenzie on Neighbours. (Channel 5)
Harold (Ian Smith) consoles Mackenzie on Neighbours. (Channel 5)

Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) arrives back in Ramsay Street in Wednesday's Neighbours, which airs on Channel 5 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm.

The fan favourite character on the Aussie soap as it nears the end to see Karl (Alan Fletcher) and Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne), where he makes a connection with a grieving Mackenzie Hargreaves (Georgie Stone).

Zara Selwyn (Freya Van Dyke) later asks Harold to intervene in the relationship between Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) and partner Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowden).

Read more: Neighbours hits new heights

Mel was previously married to Harold’s ex-son-in-law, Joe Mangel (Mark Little), and it’s soon clear that he’s uncertain about her and Toadie.

Neighbours (Channel 5)
How will Harold react to Toadie and Mel's relationship? (Channel 5)

You may be wondering where this soap legend has been since his last appearance in Erinsborough.

The character has a long history which stretches back 35 years; so you’d be forgiven for needing a reminder of his most memorable Neighbours moments.

Harold was introduced in 1987, where he rekindled an old romance with Madge (Anne Charleston), who he went on to marry.

But a few years later, when the couple were on holiday, Harold went missing. His glasses were found near a cliff, and he was feared dead for the next five years.

The Ramsay family on Neighbours: Kylie Minogue as Charlene Mitchell, Craig Mclachlan as Henry, Anne Charleston as Madge Bishop, Ian Smith as Harold Bishop. (Fremantle Media/Shutterstock)
The Ramsay family on Neighbours: Kylie Minogue as Charlene Mitchell, Craig Mclachlan as Henry, Anne Charleston as Madge Bishop, Ian Smith as Harold Bishop. (Fremantle Media/Shutterstock)

In 1996, Neighbours delivered one of its biggest twists: Harold was alive, but he had amnesia and now referred to himself as Ted. When Harold saw Madge again, he recognised her — but not as his wife.

Read more: Neighbours star Ian Smith says Australian government should have saved soap

After counselling, his memories were eventually restored; and the Bishops were reunited until Madge sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2001.

Neighbours -  Anna Charleston and Ian Smith (Fremantle Media/Shutterstock)
Neighbours - Anna Charleston and Ian Smith (Fremantle Media/Shutterstock)

Harold later suffered a stroke which affected his personality, and the lovable man became rude and selfish. He eventually recovered, and the Harold everyone knew was back.

Unfortunately, his health took another turn for the worse when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He agreed to have treatment, but when Harold suffered a heart attack, Karl ignored his request not to be resuscitated. Thanks to that decision, Harold went into remission; and in 2009 he moved away to be with granddaughter Sky Mangel (Stephanie McIntosh).

Read more: Neighbours finale air date confirmed

A couple of years later, Toadie called Harold after his discovery that girlfriend Sonya (Eve Morey) was the birth mother of his adopted son Callum (Morgan Baker). Harold advised Toadie to hear Sonya out, and this proved to be the right call.

Ian Smith and Tom Oliver in Neighbours. (Fremantle Media/Shutterstock)
Ian Smith and Tom Oliver in Neighbours. (Fremantle Media/Shutterstock)

Harold then wed a woman called Carolyn, and persuaded old friend Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) to slow down as his health declined. Harold and his new wife departed for pastures new; but in 2015, Harold returned alone, having split from Carolyn.

With Harold's thoughts drifting back to Madge, he began to hear her voice, which gave him great comfort. But Susan advised him not to fixate on these ghostly chats, and after saying goodbye once more to his beloved wife, he left Erinsborough to live with Sky.

That was the last we saw of Harold, so fans were delighted when Neighbours announced that star Smith was reprising his role ahead of the show’s finale, which is due to air at the end of the month.

Will Harold’s presence be just the tonic Ramsay Street needs? Find out today at 1.45pm.

Watch fellow Neighbours returnee Jason Donovan tease what's to come in the finale

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting