Photo courtesy of Channel 5.

It’s been an enjoyable week on Neighbours (the last week of June), so I thought I would do a quick recap of some of the things I liked about the latest episodes.

First of all, let me get my shallow confession out of the way – I’m a big fan of a hot dark-haired man with a beard, so I am very much enjoying the return of Ned, and the fact that Mark is currently rocking some sort of manly bearded mechanic look. I’m definitely on board with his new more scruffy aesthetic, and I know I’m not the only one.

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Ned, founding member of Ramsay Street’s new Beard Club. Photo: Channel 5/Digital Spy.

We all know that Neighbours does silly pretty well, and there isn’t much that’s sillier than Dipi’s dance-off fundraiser. I thoroughly enjoyed Amy being hyper competitive and dressing like a character from Fame, neon bumbag and all. Ellie looked pretty stunning in her flamenco get-up, and of course Aaron dug out one of his ridiculous outfits from his exotic dancing days. I seem to remember that at the last fancy dress event in Ramsay Street, Toadie’s 90s party, Paul Robinson came as Paul Robinson – and I think he did the same this time as well. I kind of have some respect for his refusal to don a stupid costume, despite his neighbours’ best efforts. He committed to being no fun whatsoever many years ago, and he’s really sticking to his guns.

Having said that I enjoyed Dipi’s fundraiser, I do kind of hope that she’s unable to raise enough funds to put on her musical, Flapper, mainly because I absolutely do not want to see it. It sounds utterly terrible, and I’m dreading the second-hand embarrassment I’m definitely going to feel if it actually happens on screen. The only way it can be worse than it sounds is if Dr Karl gets a part in it. I’m going to pray to the soap gods that this doesn’t happen. Someone hide his guitar, please.

To say they’re best friends, Piper and Xanthe don’t get that much screen time together, but they’ve had a few scenes recently and I’ve really enjoyed them. Despite their very different personalities I definitely buy them as friends and I loved the scene where they were on the loungers in the garden, they have a really natural chemistry together. Props to the costume department for Xanthe’s adorably cute outfit and pink sunglasses too. More Piper and Xanthe, please!

I do love a hammy Neighbours villain, and we currently have one in the shape of Finn, who is lying to his girlfriend about who he is and making her believe he needs to use a wheelchair, when he’s perfectly capable of strutting around being evil on two legs. There is no way that hiding a spy camera in a posh box of tea would actually ever have worked in real life, so I’m loving the ridiculousness of that. In my house, the box of tea would immediately have been shoved into a cupboard, and all Finn would be able to see would be my collection of herbs and spices that are probably past their sell-by date. My favourite thing about Finn is his intense evil frowny face, which he has been doing every time he’s been spying on Ellie and the Kennedys. He only has a single evil expression and it has had a fair few outings this week.

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Finn’s evil face. Photo: Channel 5/Digital Spy.

Neighbours is a fluffy load of nonsense most of the time, so sometimes I forget just how good the cast are. This week saw a really convincing bit of acting from Zoe Cramond, who plays Amy, when she got caught stealing by Gary and confessed her problem to Paul.

While I’m on the subject of good acting I have to mention Ryan Moloney and Eve Morey, who play Toadie and Sonya. They’ve had a rough week, with Sindi and Willow showing up with Andrea’s baby, who could well be Toadie’s. With the couple currently having fertility issues, the arrival of baby Hugo knocked them both for six, and Ryan and Eve both pulled some stellar acting out of their lockers as they showed Toadie and Sonya struggling to adjust to the shock.

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Toadie’s having baby drama. Photo: Channel 5/Digital Spy.

There are a few really fun storylines going on at the moment, so I’m looking forward to what comes next. How much longer is that box of tea going to inexplicably sit on the kitchen counter with a direct view of the Kennedys’ dining table? Does Bea have particularly hot legs that require her to have knee ventilation in her jeans at all times? And exactly how many flapper costumes does Dipi actually own…?