One of the first things Harold did when he arrived was badger Lou to see Karl about his cough. While he was there, Karl suggested that Harold have a check-up as well. The terrible irony is, Lou's in good health, but Harold isn't.

'Neighbours' character Harold Bishop has got cancer.

The longstanding character played by Ian Smith will discover he has prostate cancer requiring immediate medical attention after returning from a road trip around Australia.

Alan Fletcher - who plays character 'Dr Karl Kennedy' - explains: "One of the first things Harold did when he arrived was badger Lou to see Karl about his cough. While he was there, Karl suggested that Harold have a check-up as well. The terrible irony is, Lou's in good health, but Harold isn't."

It is no secret that Ian - who has been in the Australian soap for 22 years - has already filmed his final scenes on the show, but whether it ends in his death or not is unknown.

Alan explains that because Harold, a strict Christian, lost his wife Madge to cancer a few years ago he believes that the news of his illness is "fate trying to reunite them and so refuses treatment.

Alan, 51, said: "Harold obviously has a lot of things to think about. He had to weigh up his belief that he'll be reunited with Madge against the love he feels for his friends and family who are still alive. It's a very difficult situation to be in."

Ian's final scenes will be aired in the UK in April.


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