Harold Bishop leaves Ramsay Street

After more than 20 years actor Ian Smith is hanging up Harold's tuba and departing one last time.

"I turn 70 in a couple of months and I thought 'start living life,'" said Smith. "You work to earn money, you have money to have a good time. I always said that I would leave if it ceased to become fun, and that had happened. So it was time to leave."

As arguably the show's most popular character, Smith had quite a sizeable workload in the show that produces 2.5 hours of television week in, week out.

"It can be twelve hour days for us but it doesn't happen that often. The thing is if you love what you're doing, what's it matter how long you do it?"

In recognition of his long years on the show, a campaign has swung into action to see Ian Smith nominated for the Gold Logie -- an award he has never received, gold or otherwise.

On Thursday tuba players will even be playing the show's theme tune across the Sydney CBD and handing out "I Heart Harold" memorabilia.

So far The Living End, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Jason Coleman, Kym and David from 9am have all joined the push, as well as several other local and international faces:

Australian Idol's Dicko said: "20 years... Schapelle Corby got less. Mate, you deserve the gold Logie, I'm voting."

Tom Jones: "Harold, good luck in the future from me, Tom Jones. We're gonna miss you."

Rick Astley: "I was never going to give you up but you're off anyway. Best of luck."

The Wiggles: "Ramsay Street just won't be the same"

Like his humble character, Smith is grateful his role has connected with the audience.

"People say 'do you want the Logie?' but it's prize enough for me that people are doing it. That's nice enough for me," he said.

"I'm glad that my work pleased you enough to do this."

'Harold Bishop' takes his leave from Neighbours on Friday February 27th. His departure will come later in the year for British viewers.

Comments (3)
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Feb 26, 2009
I probably wouldn't have voted for him for a Logie but I might if other people are...
Feb 25, 2009
I Can't believe it, he's been in the show so long. Hope he enjoys his retirement.
Feb 25, 2009
Neighbours won't be the same without Harold. :(