Neighbours fans devastated as Lou Carpenter isn’t returning for the finale

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It's time to get the tissues at the ready, as Neighbours comes to an end tonight (July 29, 2022).

A huge host of icons from the popular Australian soap, including Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, are returning for the final episodes.

However, many fans have pointed out that one fan favourite in particular was not announced to come back – Lou Carpenter.

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Fans have flocked to social media and forums to share their sadness that Tom Oliver, who played Lou Carpenter between 1988-2016, would not be part of the finale.

Whether it was his humourous comments, or his famous love triangle with Harold and Madge Bishop, Lou Carpenter became an instant fan favourite during his time in Erinsborough.

Yet despite Ian Smith returning as Harold for the soap's final episodes, fans were sad to see that Lou Carpenter would not be there with him.

The 84 year old actor retired in 2016 and is currently reported to be living in Australia – but many fans still hoped that he would make one last return to Ramsay Street.

Fans have since taken to social media and forums to comment on actor Tom Oliver's absence from the final episodes, with one saying: "I'm shocked, no Lou. He's a major one not to come back."

"Wonder why he isn't coming back," said another, while a third added: "Shame he isn't coming back."

However, fans are still holding out hope that the Neighbours producers are still keeping some guest returns underwraps – and that viewers may see some old faces that haven't been announced.

"Part of me still hopes Lou crops up," said one fan, adding: "Likewise would have liked to see Sky and Harold properly on screen again."

It would not be a shock to find out that Tom Oliver is appearing after all though, following a surprise announcement from Neighbours bosses at the weekend.

They announced that a whole raft of Ramsay Street icons were returning, including Kennedy kids Kym Valentine and Jesse Spencer as Libby and Billy, Carla Bonner as Steph Scully, Margot Robbie as Donna Freedman and Delta Goodrum as Nina Tucker.

Neighbours fans were originally surprised that Kym and Jesse were not originally announced to return, with one saying in a forum: "Surprised we won't see Libby without Mal," while a second commented: "I would have loved to have seen all the Kennedy kids reunited."

Meanwhile, another commented that not having her and fellow long running cast member Carla Bonner return was a shock, adding: "Not having Steph and Libby reunite would seem like a missed opportunity."

Fans had been vocal about their shock over the absence of Scully family too, particularly the news that neither Steph star Carla Bonner or Flik actress Holly Valance were originally returning.

One said: "Great line up, but would've loved to a Scully return – Lynn or Steph. In fact I'm really surprised neither of those are coming back."

"What about Libby Kennedy, Lyn and Steph Scully, Lou?" said another, while a third added: "Steph is a big one, Steph and Libby were such major characters for so long."

Similarly Hollywood siren Margot Robbie was not included in the original line-up to return, but fans 'worked out' that the return of Elle Robinson might signal a cameo from the star.

One fan said: "We're very unlikely to get Donna as Margot Robbie is not only overseas, but she's still working on the Barbie movie," said the fan.

"But since we know Elle is coming back, watch her randomly appear in a zoom cameo or something to convince Paul to move to NY."

A second also shared fond memories of the character, adding: "She lived with Paul and Elle who took her in and they were really close. I really like that little unit."

However, fans were recently delighted when Neighbours made their surprise announcement at the weekend, revealing that their beloved stars would be coming back.

A tweet from the official Neighbours account said: "You didn't think we were done did you?

"We're thrilled to share that Margot Robbie, Jesse Spencer, Delta Goodrum, Kym Valentine and Carla Bonner will all make an appearance in our finale!"

But what part will their characters all play in the finale tonight? And will Lou Carpenter make a surprise appearance after all? Viewers will have to wait and see.

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