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Neighbours star Takaya Honda shares powerful real-life link to David's exit storyline

Major Neighbours spoilers follow from Thursday's episode (February 1), which is streaming now on Amazon Freevee.

Neighbours star Takaya Honda has shared a powerful real-life link to his character David Tanaka's exit storyline.

David made his final appearance on the soap in Thursday's episode (February 1), as he tragically died following injuries he'd sustained after falling from a cliff with Eden Shaw.

Honda took to Instagram shortly after the episode aired to reveal that his last scenes had a special impact on him, as they were filmed only days after his mum passed away from Alzheimer's.

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"This one's for you mum," he wrote, alongside a clip of David's emotional death.

"Some of you know that my mum passed away last year after living with early onset Alzheimer's for about 15 years. What very few know is that she passed away just days after I filmed this scene.

"In the lead up to David's death I was experiencing a strange kind of grief. When David was to die I felt that part of me was going to die. We had shared 8 years together and he was very much written into the fabric of myself.

"With his death looming I began thinking a lot about my mum and how she had never really watched me on Neighbours, not in any real sense, as the Alzheimer's had progressed too far by the time I was cast."

david tanaka, aaron brennan and krista sinclair in neighbours
Amazon Freevee / FremantleMedia Australia

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He continued: "This was a scene I was so motivated to bring to life on camera from the very start. I pitched that we film it when they first told me the storyline, and then, when it wasn't in the script or the schedule, I pushed again for us to squeeze it in. I was adamant that we let the audience see David die.

"As this scene approached my thoughts of her, began turning into more of a motivation. I wasn't using mum to create the emotion for the scene, but for some reason I just felt like I was doing the scene FOR her."

Honda went on to explain how the memory of his mum got him through the difficult scene, saying: "I didn't know why at the time but when she passed a few days later it finally made sense to me, why I felt so motivated and why she would pass away at the beginning of my last week of filming.

takaya honda and matt wilson as david tanaka and aaron brennan in neighbours
Amazon Freevee / FremantleMedia Australia

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"She wanted me to know that she knew, that she had been watching, and she was proud. And as she had been non verbal for years, this was the only way she could tell me.

"When I turned up back on set two days later to literally die on a slab as David's dead body, people would ask me how I was able to get through that and I don't think I understood then but I do now. It was because of her, she got me through it because she wouldn't have wanted me to have done anything else."

The actor concluded: "Mum loved watching soaps and I'm now certain she loved me on Neighbours, even though Days of Our Lives was always her favourite. Love you mum."

Neighbours releases new episodes from Mondays to Thursdays for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. In Australia, the show airs from Mondays to Thursdays at 4pm on Channel 10, with a 6.30pm repeat screening on 10 Peach.

Read more Neighbours coverage on our dedicated homepage


More information about Alzheimer's is available on the NHS and Alzheimer's Society websites. Resources for readers in the US are available via the National Institutes of Health.

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