Channel 5 has revealed that ending Neighbours was a “business decision” as they wanted to spend more money on shows based in the UK.

Ben Frow, Channel 5’s head of programming, suggested the money the broadcaster spent on the Australian soap could be spent better elsewhere.

Neighbours, which first aired in 1985 and follows the lives of those living and working in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, shot its final scenes in early June.

READ MORENeighbours’ final episode air date confirmed by Channel 5

It is ceasing production after failing to secure new funding since being dropped by Channel 5 earlier this year.

Frow told the Radio Times that axing Neighbours was “a business decision”.

To the suggestion that he could have spent large sums of money on keeping the show going, he replied: “Yes. Or I could spend the money on other things, which is what I decided to do. I can better spend the Neighbours money on UK shows.”

Frow denied that Home And Away, another Australian soap, is now under threat of being cancelled.

He said: “No. But I think it will be interesting to see what we do with it as we evolve. There might be somewhere else to put it in the 5 spectrum.

“But it’s a life-of-series deal, so it’s not going anywhere until the makers decide to cancel it.”

Alongside this Frow took the time to praise Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who has previously described Channel 5 as the “levelling-up channel".

He also mentioned he had read some of her books, saying: “I read The Four Streets and it starts in the Blitz in Liverpool.

“So I was able to say to her that, when we did the Blitz over three nights, we did it through the prism of Liverpool, not London.

“That’s an example of our regionality. You know, I really liked her.”

Asked whether Channel 5 plans to adapt any of her novels for the small screen, Frow replied: “Not imminently. I’ve learnt never to say never.

“But I did like her. And I see Channel 4 has tried to claim it’s the levelling-up channel, but actually we are.”