Australia’s first legal gay wedding on TV to screen on Neighbours

Australian television history was made today (May 30) when the first gay wedding since same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia last November was filmed by the long-running series Neighbours in Melbourne.

Acclaimed Australian actress, comedian, author and activist for marriage equality Magda Szubanski was fittingly cast as the marriage celebrant who officiated the wedding of the love-struck couple Aaron Brennan and David Tanaka played by Matt Wilson and Takaya Honda.

Discounting the numerous weddings that didn’t come to fruition due to runaway brides and grooms, and inexplicable circumstances, today’s emotionally charged union of Aaron and David is the 47th in the show’s 33- year history and definitely one the producers hoped they could finally complete the script for.

Neighbours’ Executive Producer, Jason Herbison said: “I'm a huge fan of Magda’s and I’ve always dreamed of having her in the show.  Aside from being a brilliant actress, she inspired many of us during the same sex marriage debate.  At the same time our story team were planning our first gay wedding, the country was trapped in a divisive plebiscite.  Would our story about love and equality even be legal by the time it aired?  Thankfully love won.  Magda was a beacon of heart and hope during this time so we had to find a way to make her part of it.”

Magda’s character, Jemima Davies-Smythe is fun and flamboyant,  dubbed the “The Wedding Whisperer”, arrives in time to play an unexpected role in Aaron and David's nuptials.  Just as Magda is TV royalty on Australian television, her character turns out to be connected to a Ramsay Street monarch.  There are twists and turns in Jemima’s backstory which will keep viewers guessing to the end.

For actors Matt Wilson and Takaya Honda, it has been a long and haphazard journey for their characters who have been an on and again off couple for nearly 18 months.  However, the couple became engaged on-air this month and fans in Australia and the UK have echoed their support for the pair.

Matt Wilson (plays Aaron Brennan) said: “We are both ecstatic to be part of this huge moment in Australian television.  It stands alone as the highlight of my career thus far and to top it all off, we get to work with Magda Szbubanski – please excuse my fangirl-ing.  This storyline means a lot to me, to my friends and to all the fans we hear from on a daily basis here and in the UK who love Aaron and David,”

Takaya Honda (plays David Tanaka) said: “It is an absolute privilege to be a part of what is and will be a historic moment in Australian television. There have been so many parts of David’s story that have given me a great sense of pride and which have been an absolute honour to portray; from discovering Paul was his dad, to his coming out to now marrying the man of his dreams in what will be the first legal gay wedding on a drama.

David and Aaron’s wedding will air in early September.