The BBC has cancelled daytime soap Doctors after 23 years on air, blaming ‘super inflation in drama production.”
The final episode of the series about doctors and staff at a busy Midlands GP practice will screen in December.
Doctors first launched in 2000 and has been nominated for five Baftas, as well as a raft of British Soap Awards.
The soap is well known in the industry as a training ground for many actors, and has featured appearances from Emilia Clarke, Claire Foy, Jodie Comer, Alison Hammond, Ruthie Henshall, Joe Pasquale, Eddie Redmayne and Sheridan Smith.
In a statement the BBC said: “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.”
The BBC statement acknowledged the “crucial role Doctors has played in nurturing talent” and said the corporation would “work to develop new opportunities to support skills in scripted programming.”
Actors’ union Equity expressed its concern in a statement, describing the cancellation of Doctors as “enormously detrimental, not only for those regularly engaged on the show, but also for those who will be deprived of an opportunity of work – particularly in the Midlands, where there are very few job prospects due to continuing underinvestment in the region.”
The cancellation of Doctors comes 18 months after another BBC medical drama, Holby City, was axed.
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