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BBC axes Doctors after 23 years

BBC

BBC axes Doctors after 23 years

BBC daytime soap Doctors has been axed after 23 years on air.

In a statement, the BBC put the ‘difficult decision’ to end the show down to rising costs. Production will end in the autumn of 2024.

The BBC’s statement in full:

“We have taken the very difficult decision to bring daytime drama Doctors to an end after 23 years. With super inflation in drama production, the cost of the programme has increased significantly, and further investment is also now required to refurbish the site where the show is made, or to relocate it to another home. With a flat licence-fee, the BBC’s funding challenges mean we have to make tough choices in order to deliver greater value to audiences.

“We remain fully committed to the West Midlands and all of the funding for Doctors will be reinvested into new programming in the region.

“We would like to thank all the Doctors cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 2000. We know the crucial role Doctors has played in nurturing talent, and we will work to develop new opportunities to support skills in scripted programming.

“The final episode will screen in December 2024 and we are working closely with BBC Studios to give it the finale it deserves.”

Behind the scenes at Doctors in 2010 / BBC

Produced in-house by the BBC in Birmingham, Doctors follows the personal and professional lives of the staff at a busy Midlands practice. With a founding cast that included Christopher Timothy, Jacqueline Leonard, and Corinne Wicks, the show premiered on BBC One in March 2000.

The show has also starred Natalie J Robb, Anita Carey, Stirling Gallacher, Sean Gleeson, Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh, Matthew Chambers, Jan Pearson, and Chris Walker, to name but a few.

A number of famous faces have graced the show with cameos, including Tony Adams (General Hospital, Crossroads), Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who, Tiswas), Eric Sykes (Sykes, Holby City), Honor Blackman (The Avengers, The Upper Hand), and Stefanie Powers (Medical Center, Hart to Hart).

The final episode is expected to air in December 2024. The BBC has pledged to invest the money freed up from axing the production into more Midlands-based fare.

TV Critic Vivian Summers:

“Isn’t it funny the BBC always cost-cut with ‘on air’ programming in times of ‘budget’ issues. I’ve noticed more management layers added the past few years – I’m pretty sure there is a major area there that could be culled with less management doing more work – but of course that doesn’t hammer the ‘poor us, we need money’ fund quite like people losing their favourite progamme does. They also seem to have an awful lot of money floating around to introduce these new look regional news sets, which in the scheme of priorities, if you’re lacking budgets that really wasn’t needed.”

Doctors, the original line up / BBC

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