Why is Home and Away not on and when does it return in the UK?

Wondering why Home and Away isn't on today? Here's why...

Home and Away cast - When does Home and Away return in the UK?
(Image credit: Channel 5)

After news of Neighbours coming back, fans of Australian soap Home and Away are now wondering why is Home and Away not on and they're asking when does it return in the UK?

The popular long-running show, which celebrates its 35th anniversary later this month, on 17th January 2023, is usually aired on weeknights on Channel 5 in the UK and on My5 but in recent weeks the latest episode of the show is unexpectedly absent from screens.

Instead of airing new episodes, filmed in Palm Beach, Sydney, New South Wales and Redfern, it's been replaced with Home and Away Classic episodes, from when Home & Away started, as we look at why and all you need to know about the show's future....

Why is Home and Away not on?

New episodes of Home and Away are not on Channel 5 because the soap is still on its annual Christmas break to make way for the channel's festive films ahead of celebrating its 35th anniversary. To mark the milestone, the channel has  been airing Home and Away Classics: Celebrating 35 Years of the Legendary Soap from Monday 21st November. The show explained on its instagram, "An iconic episode from each of the years Home and Away has been on air will drop every weekday, starting right back at the beginning with the 1988 pilot!"

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When does Home and Away return in the UK?

Home and Away will return in the UK on Monday, January 9th 2023, bosses of the show confirmed the details of the show's return on its official Twitter. The announcement reads, "1 week till we are BACK on your screens #HomeandAway Returns 7pm Monday Jan 9 #oneweektogo".

And fans are delighted with the announcement. One wrote, "So glad to have it back on my tv x" 

Another fan put, "Been watching old episodes on my 5 in the meantime"

And a third fan asked, "Who's this fella?" as the show's return was accompanied with the photo of a cast member.

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Is Home and Away on a break 2022?

Yes, Home and Away is still on its annual Christmas break where it won't be airing new episodes so that its broadcaster, Channel 5, could air Christmas films over the festive season and early new year.

Home and Away traditionally takes a break in the UK and Australia as it's usually only commissioned for a certain number of episodes per year, usually around 230.

This equates to 46 weeks' worth of Summer Bay drama, if the show airs in a five-episodes-per-week scheduling pattern.

And with 52 weeks in a year, the show is taken off air for six weeks.

Has Home and Away stopped for a break?

Yes, Home and Away has stopped for a break on Channel 5 but the broadcasters of My5 are celebrating 35 years of the soap and are airing classic old episodes not on the streaming service. Episodes fans can watch includes one featuring Tom and Pippa Fletcher who fostered five children when they were unable to have children of their own. The government wanted to take the children. So they sold up and bought a run-down caravan park in Summer Bay. 

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Why is Home and Away finishing?

Home and Away is only finishing for a few weeks - and will be off air for a further week, before returning with new episodes airing from January 9th, despite fears from fans that the show could be axed like Neighbours was earlier this year before its sensational return was announced.

At the time of Neighbour's last episode, Ben Frow, Channel 5’s head of programming, 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.”

And for the planned break, Channel 5 bosses appear to have worked closely with the Home and Away team in Australia, as the final UK episode of the year ends on a dramatic cliffhanger.

This was also the case last year, when the final Channel 5 episode of the year featured the gas poisoning incident at Salt.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)