Why is Doctors being cancelled and when is the last episode? | The Sun

THE BBC has axed medical soap Doctors after over two decades.

The famous medical soap is being pulled off air, leaving fans in shock.

Why is Doctors being cancelled?

On October 18, 2023, The Sun exclusively revealed that Doctors had been cancelled by the BBC.

The soap is being taken off air following falling ratings and rising costs.

It’s been a rollercoaster 12 months for the medical soap.

But the cast and crew were thrilled when in February 2022 bosses promoted it to a primetime, 7pm slot on BBC Two after axing Holby City.

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Their joy was short-lived, though, with ratings failing to deliver and after just eight weeks it was quietly returned to its lunchtime schedule. 

However, cast and crew have now been told that Doctors has been dropped entirely. 

A source told The Sun: “Doctors has ticked along fairly quietly around the 1.3million viewers mark for years now without any word of cancellation, but the news will still come as a shock.

“A full cast and crew meeting was held today where the news was shared and then a lunch was laid on in the Drama Village cafe.

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“Some of the cast and crew have been there since the soap first began and it really felt like a job for life, plus the soap is such a central pillar for the entire community – it employs so many contractors and freelance and is known to be a real rung on the ladders for British acting talent.

“While the impact on viewers might not seem huge, in terms of the industry this is seismic.”

A BBC statement added: "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."

When is the last episode of Doctors?

Show runner Kate Oates confirmed that the latest batch of episodes to be filmed are the last as the show is no longer affordable within the broadcaster's daytime budget.

Filming will continue through to March 2024, with the final episode set to air in December 2024.

Oates promised fans " the finale the show deserves."

How long has Doctors been on BBC?

Doctors has traditionally occupied the lunchtime slot on BBC One since it first aired in 2000.

Set in the fictional West Midlands town of Letherbridge, Doctors follows the lives of the staff of both an NHS doctor's surgery and a university campus surgery, as well as the lives of their families and friends.

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Initially, only 41 episodes of the programme were ordered, but due to the positive reception, the BBC ordered it as a continuing soap opera and was filmed at the legendary Pebble Mill Studios until 2004 when it was relocated to the BBC Drama Village in Birmingham.

The longest serving cast member is Adrian Lewis Morgan, who was cast in the role of Jimmi Clay in 2005.

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