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Monday 24th February 2020

Neighbours fans amazed by 'handsome' Harold Bishop actor's new bearded look

Legendary soap couple Madge and Harold were reunited on Loose Women

Viewers couldn't believe their eyes as a Neighbours stars Anne Charleston and Ian Smith reunited for a special interview on Loose Women today.

Fans were overjoyed to see the soap legends sharing a screen together - and were even more bowled over by Ian's furry face.

And while some could barely recognise the 80-year-old actor from his soap heyday, others thought the new look suited him.

Indeed, the Aussie favourite's appearance - whose dour but loveable character was called 'Jelly Belly' as he was teased by Lou Carpenter back in the day - was said to be improving with age by admirers.

What a pair of absolute legends (Credit: ITV)

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"I always say that men get more handsome as they get older....... look at Harold!!" Twitter user @MaggieKillin commented.

His beard certainly drew a big reaction on social media and the dramatic change saw him compared to Chewbacca from Star Wars and Father Christmas.

I always say that men get more handsome as they get older - look at Harold!

One viewer even confused Ian for Doctor Who star Colin Baker.

Reminiscing about their character's most memorable moments on the show, Anne and Ian revealed behind-the-scenes secrets about a couple of scenes that didn't quite go as planned.

On Harold's first departure from the long-running soap in 1991 where he was swept out to sea from a cliff, Ian said coastal conditions did not look particularly lethal during filming.

"It wasn't a cliff, it was a rock," he said.

"It was meant to be terribly rough and a wave was meant to wash me off the rock, but it was like a mill pond.

Ian's hands had a stand in during Harold and Madge's wedding (Credit: ITV)

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"All the crew were picking up rocks and throwing them in the sea to make it look rough."

And it seems filming for Madge and Harold's wedding endured a few hiccups, too.

Ian explained: "The biggest drama was that I had psoriasis on my hands so they couldn't do the ring on the finger.

"The director's hand came in [as a substitute for the close up]. That wasn't Harold's hand!"

The acting duo formed a much-loved onscreen partnership until Madge passed away in 2001 (Credit: ITV)

So does that mean Madge and Harold were never technically hitched? Strewth.

Fellow long-time Neighbours stars Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy) and Jackie Woodburn (Susan Kennedy), as well as Bonnie Anderson (Beatrix Nilsson) also appeared on the programme in a live broadcast from the soap's set.

But it was Anne and Ian that stole the show - with his beard upstaging them all.

Don't even think about how long ago this was (Credit: ITV)

- Neighbours is on Channel 5, weekdays, at 1.45pm and 5.30pm

What did you make of seeing Madge and Harold reunited on Loose Women? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix!