Neighbours star pays heartfelt tribute to soap’s queer legacy


neighbours david aaron same-sex marriage gay wedding proposal
Image: Channel 10

A Neighbours actor has shared a heartfelt tribute to the long-running Australian soap’s queer legacy as the show potentially faces the end of its 36-year run.

Neighbours halted production this week as major UK financial backer Channel 5 confirmed it would axe the soap, leaving its future uncertain.

Actor Takaya Honda took to Instagram to write a tribute to the long-running show.

Honda has played gay man David Tanaka on Neighbours since 2016.

After marriage equality passed, David married onscreen husband Aaron (played by Matt Wilson, both pictured above) on Neighbours in 2018.

The characters’ ceremony was the first legal gay wedding on an Aussie drama.

Honda took to Instagram to tell followers he loved them all “so much”.

“You are the reason I am still on @neighbours and you have been my motivation to continue telling David’s story for as long as I have,” he said.

Honda went on, “Yes, when you reduce a storyline to dot points it can sound silly (that applies to more shows than people are willing to admit).

“But not everything on Neighbours is silly and the effect it has on people certainly isn’t.

“I have, on multiple occasions received messages from fans stating that the show and David’s storylines have saved their lives. They say this genuinely.”

One of Aussie TV’s longest on-screen gay relationships

He went on, “Neighbours has always offered a place to escape. And in recent years has offered a place to escape for so many who have been underrepresented.

“I have been one half of, not only the first on-screen gay wedding in Australian history but, I’m pretty sure, also one of the longest-running on-screen gay relationships too.

“There are very few that span the length of time or episode count that @mattywilson and I have as #Daaron.

“I say this on top of being a POC too.

“I am proud of being a part of this show, I am super proud of the work we have been producing over the past few months that you are yet to see.

“And I am proud to be a part of this team as we move towards June 10 and whatever lies beyond.

“Thank you, for your passion, your love, and your overwhelming support.”

 

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Magda Szubanski officiated Neighbours’ first gay wedding

In 2018, Takaya Honda and castmate Matt Wilson’s characters tied the knot on Neighbous in the first legal gay wedding on an Australian drama.

Celebrant Jemima Davies-Smythe, played by high profile same-sex marriage campaigner Magda Szubanski, officiated David and Aaron ceremony.

“When me and my gay mates were watching Charlene and Scott get married in 1987, we would never have dreamed there would be a gay wedding on Neighbours. It’s really very, very exciting,” Szubanski said at the time.

David and Aaron later became dads to a young foster child in Neighbours episodes screened in 2020.

In early 2020, transgender Melbourne teenager Georgie Stone joined Neighbours full-time, playing Mackenzie, the soap’s first trans character.

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