Alan Fletcher is probably best known for his role as Dr Karl Kennedy on the beloved Australian soap Neighbours. He has played the role for 28 years.
In early 2022 shockwaves were felt worldwide when it was announced Neighbours was to be cancelled after 37 years on air.
The outrage from fans worldwide was clear, with continuous trends on social media, petitions etc. They were keen to make their voices heard they did not want their favourite long-running show cancelled.
“it was exhilarating. Because, you know, we got to the last episode, which we were very, very proud of.” Alan explains when we have a chat with him about his new single ‘I’ve Got a Crush on Susie K’. “Five and a half million Brits watched it. One and a half million Australians watched it, which is a lot huge. It was the highest-rating programme on television in Australia. The night went to it. And Amazon have told us that they saw that. They saw the petitions, they saw the outpouring of grief. And they said no, hang on. Hang on. The show is very popular.”
When the cancellation was originally made public, a Neighbours farewell tour was also announced. That tour would later become the celebration tour as months after the cancellation it was announced Freemantle and Amazon were going to bring the show back.
The Neighbours tour was a triumphant success one that allowed Alan and other members of the cast to meet many of the show’s fans. It also allowed Alan to showcase his other passion, music. He wrote a comedy track and performed it to introduce his co-star Jackie Woodburn who plays Susan Kennedy.
“I used the song to introduce Susan Kennedy. And everyone said You gotta release that song. So I’ve done it to time with the release of neighbours. So it’s been a real swings and roundabouts, roller coaster ride, you know, from grief to joy, the people that can’t begin to we met face to face about 4000 people on that celebration tour. That’s as the Meet Greets, there were about almost 40,000 People who saw the shows. Every single one of them was just bouncing with excitement.”
“[The cast] They’re so kind on social media, so many of them posted about it. But the only one really important though is Suzie K. And Jackie loves it. She adores it. So we’ve got a gorgeous video of her. When it’s when I’m seeing you on stage. She was videotaped off-stage. Yeah, she adores it.”
Alan’s passion for music was seen in the show and on the numerous tours he’s done in the UK. He’s a true performer who just loves his craft. His passion for his music is clear to see, just as much as his love for acting is.
“I say, as a performer, I’ve done a lot of stage work. But when you’re seeing your own songs, you look forward to it so much, because you can actually sing your songs looking people in the eye, and they look back at you and you can tell whether or not they’re responding to the music or not. And it’s, that’s that’s the natural reaction. If you’re doing a TV show they put it together and months and months later the show goes to where and then you might suddenly see on social media, I love last night’s episode or someone might email you it’s a completely different connection with the audience to be able to sit there and play music to an audience is solely true.”
Aside from I’ve Got A Crush on Suzie K, one of his most personal and meaningful tracks to perform live is ‘Hey You.’ A track dedicated to his mum.
“She was a spiritualist and she always said to me that she would be looking out for me beyond the grave. So it’s a song that I wrote and I’m not sure if I believe what I believe about after we die but the song I wrote basically is saying and just asking the question Hey Mom, are you is this Are you are you really there? You know, Will I see you when it’s my time? I will always keep it never, never not play it.“
When he’s not hard at work on his music Alan is back filming the new series of Neighbours which aired this week.
“It has links to the old series of the diehard fans, but if you started watching the show, for the very first time, when it comes out, you go, Oh, this is fascinating. And what they’ve done is cleverly, over the months that follow, they explained the back history. So what if you’re a new viewer who starts having never seen the show before. You’ll be hooked You’ll get drawn into it in seconds. I guarantee it.”
“They’ve done some really clever stories. And there are some great new characters as well. So there’s a big wedding comes in the beginning. But there’s a wedding with a twist, which is gonna have ramifications for months and months and months and months. So everything’s happening at once. And I think our audience is going to be like, Wow, we’re in the eye of a tornado here. And then suddenly, we’re in the tornado, which I think will get everyone very excited.”