Neighbours star Natalie Bassingthwaighte is set to return to Ramsay Street next year as the infamous Isabelle 'Izzy' Hoyland in a special episode.

Bassingthwaighte first played Izzy, one of Neighbours' most controversial characters, from 2003 to 2006. It was her first major television role.

Izzy is remembered for breaking up the show's much-loved and most enduring couple, Karl and Susan Kennedy, who are played by Neighbours stalwarts Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne.

Karl left a devastated Susan and went on to marry Izzy. They later welcomed a daughter Holly together.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte with her Neighbours co-stars Jackie Woodburne and Alan Fletcher 

Bassingthwaighte will now be reprising her role as Izzy for a one-hour Neighbours special which is set to air in February 2018.

She said of stepping back into Izzy's shoes: "I knew there would always be a time for Izzy to make her return. 

"I had the most extraordinary time working on Neighbours all those years ago with mentors like of Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne and Stefan Dennis, I feel really blessed to have had the opportunity to learn my craft on the show and I’m so excited to be back on set."

Bassingthwaighte's co-stars are equally excited about having her back on set.

Jackie Woodburne said: "For Susan Kennedy, having Izzy back on the scene is tremendous because she is the one person Susan can just hate and behave appalling to, which is so not her usual persona.  For me, having Nat on set is such a huge boost of energy and enormous fun, I absolutely love having her around."

Natalie Bassingthwaighte reprising role as the infamous Izzy in Neighbours special

Alan Fletcher added: "It’s almost impossible to describe how excited I am to have Nat back on set, best thing about it is it makes me feel 15 years younger – it’s back to 2003.  The story is one of the best I’ve ever worked on, the fans are going to love it."

Neighbours airs Monday - Friday on RTÉ One at 2pm and RTÉ 2 at 6pm.

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