Neighbours casts Shiv Palekar as newcomer Haz in show's new season

haz, neighbours
Neighbours casts Shiv Palekar as newcomer HazFremantle Australia

Neighbours' revival has signed up Shiv Palekar for a major role.

Announcing the Shantaram star's casting on Instagram today (June 7), the soap's official profile wrote: "Harold's is under new management!

haz, neighbours
Fremantle Australia

Related: Neighbours' Jodi Gordon will return alongside April Rose Pengilly in revival

"We're thrilled to announce that Shiv Palekar will be joining us in the new role of Haz Devkar in all new episodes of #Neighbours later this year.

"(Plus, he's had the seal of approval from Harold himself...)".

haz, harold bishop, neighbours
Fremantle Australia

The addition of Palekar to Neighbours' cast arrives shortly after Digital Spy's exclusive chat with Alan Fletcher, who told us what to expect when the show and his character Dr Karl Kennedy return to screens.

"The new storylines that they've got for these first few weeks of Neighbours are startling," he told us.

alan fletcher as karl kennedy in neighbours
Fremantle - Channel 5

"I actually got in contact with our story team by email the other night when I read the latest scripts that I've received, just to congratulate them. They're some of the most innovative and exciting scripts I've ever seen in the show on my 28 years.

"The fans have got an enormous amount to look forward to."

Further along, Fletcher also shared his hopes for Australian viewers getting behind the show as much as international viewers, including those in the UK.

karl kennedy in london in neighbours
Channel 5

Related: Neighbours reveals first pictures as filming begins on new season

"I think it's going to be quite a change. When Australia found out that Neighbours was ending, we had around 1.5 million people watch the last episode," he pointed out.

"Now in Australia, that figure is huge and it was the highest-rated programme of the night.

"I think the interest that has been generated by Neighbours returning will be sufficient to really bring the audience back up in Australia as well."

Neighbours returns in the second half of 2023 with new episodes streaming free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. Network 10 will retain first-run rights in Australia for the new series.

Read more Neighbours coverage on our dedicated homepage

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