'I Don't Know That You Can Ever Be Prepared For That': Jackie Woodburne Prepares To Farewell Neighbours

Having played the iconic Susan Kennedy on Ramsay Street since 1994, Jackie Woodburne looks back at the show's legacy.

As Neighbours nears its finale and the cast welcomes back some of the favourite faces that have passed through Ramsay Street over the decades, Jackie Woodburne described how shocked, sad and disappointed she was when she first heard the news that the show would be reaching its end.

"I think it took quite a long time for everybody to get their head around the fact of it," Jackie said. "It was always something that could happen one day... but for it to actually happen, I don't know that you can ever kind of be completely prepared for that."

Arriving on the scene in 1994, the Kennedy family became synonymous with Neighbours. Thinking back to the first day of shooting, Jackie reminisced that it was "such a lightning in a bottle day".

READ MORE: The Final Week Of Neighbours. How Will It All End?

"We only shot one scene," she said, "it was on location in Ramsay Street. It was the family moving in so, it was the first time the five of us had met... there was this instant click, this instant banter and rapport.

"Everybody was giving it back and forth, and we took that connection into the scene. I think we felt and looked like a family from day one, which is such a difficult thing to accomplish when you're working with strangers," Jackie continued. "Somehow the five of us just all got it. We were instantly connected. That was true every day that we worked together."

Through the years, Susan Kennedy has had some incredible and memorable storylines, but for Jackie one of her all-time favourites was the love triangle between Susan, Karl and Izzy.

"It was such a slow burn, it was such a long arc, Karl and Susan divorced, he fell in love with somebody else, Susan remarried, so much happened in that two or three year period," she said. "I loved it because the characters got to survive and flourish independently. It didn't rely on them being a double act. They were fully grown, independent humans, in and of themselves.

"Susan got to have an enemy in Izzy that she'd never had before, we never got to see her being mean for sport before, But she did with Izzy, and I loved that," Jackie continued. "It was just another dent in her character because she's a good person. She's an inherently decent person. So, to get to see those cracks, that was great fun to play."

Though Susan and Karl Kennedy arrived together back in 1994, Jackie and co-star Alan Fletcher had worked together previously on Cop Shop, playing brother and sister. Now, nearing the end of their tenure on Ramsay Street Jackie thought about what life will be like not working with Alan every day.

"When we're on production breaks we do check in with each other a couple of times a week," she explained. "Just a little phone call or a text. How you doing? You okay? Do you fancy meeting for elevenses? I think we will continue to do that. We're both big fans of elevenses."

As the cast and crew prepare to say farewell to the sets and locations they've called home for 37 seasons, many are already eyeing off souvenirs to take. Post-it notes with people's names on them have been slapped across pot plants and ornaments.

"Some people have got their eye on some major furniture," Jackie said, "I thought about the Kennedy portrait... but then I thought no, that should probably get auctioned off or raffled off to a fan.

"I definitely will take some little memento of the Kennedys. I don't know what, but definitely some little thing."

Neighbours Finale Week kicks off on 10 and 10 Peach from Monday, July 25. Find out all the details as Australia's longest-running drama comes to a historic end here