Neighbours will feature Australian TV’s first same-sex wedding, it has been confirmed.
The long-running soap will air the nuptials between Aaron Brennan, played by Matt Wilson, and David Tanaka, played by Takaya Honda, in September.
It follows the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the country in December 2017.
The actors expressed pride at their involvement in what Honda described as a “historic moment in Australian TV”.
Wilson said it “stands alone as the highlight of my career”.
He said: “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.”
Newly-released images accompanying the announcement show the actors at their on-screen wedding ceremony – which will be shown on Channel 5 in the UK.
Australian actress and LGBT rights activist Magda Szubanski will be seen officiating.
It marks the culmination of a long-standing relationship between the fictional couple, who are back together after David’s fling with Rafael Humphreys, played by former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas.
Honda added: “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.”
The soap’s executive producer Jason Herbison said show bosses had been working on the storyline before the “divisive referendum” last November.
More than 12.7 million people – about 79.5% of eligible voters – took part in the voluntary eight-week poll, which asked: “Should the marriage law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
The results showed 61.6% of people to be in favour. “Thankfully love won and we’re very excited for viewers to see this iconic moment come to life on screen,” Herbison said.
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