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Robert grabs Elly in the climax of the Christmas episode. Photo: © Channel 5. Source: Digital Spy

All of my clothes are about a size too small for me and I can’t remember how to do my job any more, which can mean only one thing – I have come out of the other side of my Christmas break. I was staying at my mum’s house over Christmas, and I subjected my family to Neighbours all over the festive period, including on Christmas Day. My mum and my brother don’t watch it normally, but it’s amazing how quickly people get sucked in when they’re in the same room as a TV playing Neighbours. I love it when they start to ask questions about who everyone is and why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Obviously the big story over Christmas this time was David’s hunt for a donor kidney. His condition got so serious that his family started to say their goodbyes to him, so it was a relief to everyone when Robert agreed to donate a kidney to his half brother. This involved bringing a convicted killer to a suburban hospital with very lax security, and naturally, Robert managed to escape and go on the run. Would he be caught before he could do harm to anyone, most probably Paul, and could they find him before time ran out for David?

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Robert after his escape. Photo: © Channel 5. Source: Digital Spy

All the tension that had built up around the escape was burst slightly by a schmaltzy Christmas concert in the hotel complex, where Dr. K. sang a jolly festive number and Bea absolutely murdered a Christmas song. I’ll admit that I can’t even remember what it was because I was trying to use the strategic deployment of the mute button in between dialogue.

While everyone was inexplicably out and about on Christmas Day, instead of wallowing at home in a food coma flicking endlessly through the TV guide to find something decent to watch, Robert made his way to Ramsay Street. Unfortunately, before he could do whatever he was there to do, Elly spotted him, so he took her hostage, and she ended up giving birth on the sofa with only Finn to act as midwife. We’ve finally had the ultimate proof of how tight Dr. Karl is because, despite an actual birth taking place on his furniture, they have not replaced it. Susan must have had to use quite the cocktail of Vanish and Fabreeze on that thing.

Up until this point, I thought the big Christmas episode was going great guns, but it all ended up being a bit of an anti-climax for me in the end. Robert got in touch with Harlow and she went to meet her dad because there are no cops in Erinsborough since Mark left, so it was up to a teenage girl to track down an escaped convict. She persuaded him to turn himself in for David’s sake. The next minute, Robert was doing the convict shuffle into the hospital, and then David was out of surgery and everything was fine. It all felt like a bit of a let down to me – they’d worked so hard at building up the tension for days, and it was all neatly wrapped up in a bow in the space of about three minutes.

The only other notable incident over the festive period was the culmination of the plot about why Jimmy was back, which I absolutely couldn’t have cared less about. That all lead to Amy’s departure, which was as swift as they always are when people decide to leave Ramsay Street. One minute Jimmy was asking her to move to New York, and the next minute she was doing the obligatory farewell in the middle of the road before getting into a taxi. Did she even have a visa?

Anyway, I didn’t really care that much about Amy leaving either, but even my cold black heart was moved by her goodbyes, and I almost produced a tear. Not quite though – it’s going to take more than that.

Despite the Christmas storyline ending with a slightly underwhelming conclusion, I think Neighbours has gone from strength to strength over the last year, and I’m excited to see what the residents of Erinsborough get up to in 2020.