Gabriella Darlington has been unveiled as the winner of Five’s Be a Star on Neighbours competition.

Gabriella, 18, from Essex, beat over 1600 hopefuls to win the role of Poppy Rogers in the popular Australian soap, shown on Five.

Along with fellow finalist Jennifer Hall, Gabriella has spent the last week in Melbourne with cast and crew from Neighbours.

Gabriella will now stay in Melbourne to take up the four-week guest role as Poppy, which starts filming on Monday July 19.

Poppy is a free-spirited young woman who has encouraged her cousin Ruby to accompany her on a backpacking trip around Ruby’s native Australia.

Gabriella said: “I can’t believe how lucky I am. I never expected to be shortlisted, let alone get to Australia and win. I have had an amazing week and am really excited to start on Monday.”

Poppy Rogers will first appear on UK screens on Wednesday November 10.

A documentary about Gabriella’s route to stardom will be shown on Five in the same week.

Neighbours will screen an action-packed 6000th episode in the UK in October to mark its 25th Anniversary this year.

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