Entertainment

BBC soap set to be cancelled after 23 years

The BBC daytime soap Doctors will end after 23 years, with the corporation blaming “super inflation” in drama production and “funding challenges”.

The series, about the doctors and staff at a busy Midlands GP practice, launched in 2000.

Its final episode will air in December 2024 and the BBC said it will be working to give the show “the finale it deserves”.

The broadcaster said it has now become too expensive to make the show, which would need either investment to refurbish the sets or to be relocated.

A statement from the BBC said: “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.

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“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.

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“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 show has featured a raft of famous guest stars over the years, including Emilia Clarke, Claire Foy, Jodie Comer, Alison Hammond, Ruthie Henshall, Joe Pasquale, Eddie Redmayne and Sheridan Smith.

It has been nominated for five Baftas, as well as a raft of British Soap Awards.

It was nominated for best British soap and eight other prizes at the 2023 British Soap Awards and won the gong for best on-screen partnership for Jan Pearson as Karen Hollins and Chris Walker as Rob Hollins.

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