Neighbours star Ryan Moloney announces he is leaving soap after 30 years

Ryan Moloney, who has played Jarrod “Toadfish” Rebecchi on Neighbours for nearly 30 years, has announced his departure from the long-running Australian soap.

Moloney joined the cast in 1994 aged 15, appearing as a one-off character named Cyborg. He returned the following year to play Toadfish, the brother of the established character Kevin “Stonefish” Rebecchi, played by Anthony Engelman.

Toadfish was only meant to be a one-scene role, but Moloney impressed the directors and was called back before becoming a permanent cast member in 1996.

The daily Australian soap, which has been airing since 1985, is being rebooted by Freevee after its cancellation and series finale in 2022. When the show resumed in September 2023, it earnt two Emmy nominations in the daytime category.

On Thursday (27 June), Moloney announced he would be leaving his long-term role for a directing position on the show.

“I can’t tell you what is happening to the character – maybe I could be the next Jim Robinson. Or maybe I’ll be the next Harold Bishop and keep popping back over the years,” he said.

“And although I won’t be bringing you our fantastic storylines from in front of the camera, I will be bringing them to you from the other side, behind the camera. I’ve just started director training and have just finished filming my first episode as director – so I really hope that you enjoy that.”

“Thank you all for the love that you have shown me and Toadie over the years. Three decades, in fact. I’ll miss you, I’ll miss him, and I’ll miss Erinsborough …but whatever you do, make sure you don’t miss what’s going to happen on Ramsay Street.”

Following Moloney’s announcement, fans have been sharing emotional farewell messages online.

Moloney’s ‘Toadfish’ in ‘Neighbours’ (Amazon MGM)
Moloney’s ‘Toadfish’ in ‘Neighbours’ (Amazon MGM)

Neighbours without Toadie!?” asked one viewer. “Watching Toadie and Dee go over the cliff when I was nine was one of the storylines captured my interest and I’m still watching at 30! Wishing him luck in his future director roles.”

Another added: “Very sad news. Once the show came back, assuming it’s long term future is safe, I assumed Ryan might do another 10-20 years.”

Others remarked he had “picked the right time” and wished his good luck for his “new chapter” as a director.

A young Moloney in his earlier episodes (Network 10)
A young Moloney in his earlier episodes (Network 10)

The announcement comes just months after it was revealed that character Harold Bishop, played by Ian Smith, will be returning to the Australian soap.

In May, Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause announced she would be swapping reality TV for a role on the Australian soap as Yasmine “Yas” Shields, who is described in a press release as “a glamorous and successful businesswoman in pursuit of an exciting new opportunity”.

“I am honoured and excited to join such a beloved and iconic show,” Stause said in a statement. “Coming from the world of soaps in the US, it’s back to my first love in the entertainment industry,” she said.

They pitched me an idea for a character, and I was immediately excited to figure out a way to make it happen. Ramsay Street here I come!”