20 years of Doctors’ famous faces

The show has seen famous faces and well-known actors, actresses and personalities pop into the medical saga over the past two decades.

Midland soap legend, Diane Keen in 1969 in Crossroads, and back at The Mill Medical Centre in 2020.

“The show has ultimately stood the test of time because people keep delivering excellence every day, and all those wonderful guest artists that you get to meet and work with make it an absolute joy. It was very exciting to be a part of the anniversary episode, and I was delighted to do it. It’s been heaven and was just like going home.” – Diane Keen

Doctors, one of BBC Daytime’s most popular continuing dramas, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week with a special extended hour-long episode, ‘A  Day in the Life’ this afternoon.

In true Doctors fashion, the ‘fly on the wall’ style documentary will be full of the usual twists and turns along with a dramatic Brewery explosion in Letherbridge. The action-packed episode will welcome the return of fan favourite Diane Keen and special guest cast members including Georgia May Foote and Matt Bardock.

Over the past 20 years, Doctors has helped launch over a thousand careers with appearances from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Eddie Redmayne, Nicholas Holt, Emilia Clarke and Claire Foy to name a few. The show has become recognised not only for tacking important storylines but also as a creative hub with a successful history of nurturing new actors and writers, many of whom have gone on to star in major productions on a global stage.

Mike Hobson, Executive Producer has worked on the show since the start over 20 years ago at the now long demolished BBC Pebble Mill centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham. He produced the 1000th episode, series produced the 2000th and exec produced the 3000th episode.

“Doctors has the unique ability to do something that no other continuing drama can do and we are incredibly lucky to work with such talented guest cast who work alongside our regular cast members. We have become known for our famous faces with literally hundreds having graced our screens over the past 20 years and we look forward to welcoming many more in the future.” – Mike Hobson, Executive Producer

Nick Owen, Kate O’Mara, Lionel Blair and Tim Brooke-Taylor

Famous names to appear in the series include singers Jamelia, Alvin Stardust, Barbara Dickson, Kim Appleby and Toyah Willcox. There’s also been spots for Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clark, The Avengers’ Honor Blackman, Anna Lee star Imogen Stubbs, Doctor Who lead stars Jodie Whitaker and Sylvester McCoy and regular time travel companion Pearl Mackie. Actors who have gone onto movie success include Claire Foy, Eddie Redmayne, Ruth Negga and Nicholas Hoult.

Hart to Hart lead actress Stefanie Powers made an appearance as did Santa Barbara star Shirley Anne Field and ATV News, TV-am and BBC Midland’s Today host Nick Owen.

Grange Hill performers popping up in the show include Cathy Tyson, Todd Carty and Gwyneth Powell.

Todd Carty, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Eddie Redmayne and Claire Foy

There have been a few soap names too with Clive Mantle of Casualty fame, EastEnders’ Nicky Henson and Annette Badland, Emmerdale’s Frazer Hines, Crossroads and Coronation Street actors John Challis, Johnny Briggs and Stan Stennett as well as Crossroads‘ mainstay Tony Adams, Triangle and Dynasty‘s Kate O’Mara and Coronation Street‘s Kym Marsh and Tracy Brabin.

There’s also been an abundance of sitcom stars with Hi-de-Hi’s Ruth Madoc and Su Pollard appearing together in an episode, Are You Being Served? star John Inman, Open All Hours Lynda Baron, Michele Dotrice of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em fame and Melvyn Hayes from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum all featured in storylines as did The Good Life’s Richard Briers, Just Good Friends’ Paul Nicholas, Wendy Craig of Butterflies fame, My Good Woman star Sylvia Simms, Last of The Summer Wine’s Burt Kwouk and Russ Abbot as well as Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs and Men Behaving Badly actress Caroline Quentin.

Neil Grainger, Su Pollard, Tony Adams and Ruth Madoc

The series has also seen Blackadder actors Brian Blessed and Tony Robinson feature as well as Two Pints of Lager’s Sheridan Smith.

Personalities include Family Fortunes host Les Dennis, Give Us a Clue and Saturday Variety’s Lionel Blair, entertainer Darren Day and Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke. Comedy names include Roy Hudd, Ed Byrne, Phil Jupitus, Joe Pasquale and Tim Brooke-Taylor.

Doctors’ 20th anniversary episode, today (Thursday March 26th) at 1.45pm on BBC One.

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