Doctors: why it has been axed and when does the TV show end?

The long-running daytime soap is closing its doors in 2024.

Doctors (BBC)
Doctors is coming to an end in 2024. (BBC)

The BBC is axing long-running daytime soap Doctors, saying it is just too expensive to keep making the drama.

In a statement announcing the "very difficult decision" to cancel the series after 23 years on air, it appeared the cost of living crisis had hit the production hard as it became too pricey to make, and the broadcaster couldn't afford a revamp of the show's set.

Why Doctors has been axed?

Sharing the news on Wednesday, a BBC statement read: "We have taken the very difficult decision to bring daytime drama Doctors to an end after 23 years.

Emma Reid (DIDO MILES); Nik Laverick (EVAN MILTON) in Doctors (BBC)
The soap follows a GP surgery in the West Midlands. (BBC)

"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."

TV licence fee issues also seemed to be at play in the BBC's decision as the statement continued: "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."

But it continued: "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."

When does Doctors end?

Doctors fans will still be able to tune in to the soap for a little over a year, as the show is not set for the chop until December 2024 - and they've also been promised that it will go out with a bang.

The statement ended: "The final episode will screen in December 2024 and we are working closely with BBC Studios to give it the finale it deserves."

Doctors was the show where many a household name cut their teeth on their way into the TV industry, including early appearances from Eddie Redmayne, Sheridan Smith, Nicholas Hoult, Rustie Lee and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 01: Adrian Lewis Morgan attends the British Soap Awards at The Lowry Theatre on June 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Adrian Lewis Morgan has starred in Doctors since 2005. (WireImage)

The BBC One lunchtime show follows the doctors and patients at a GP surgery in the West Midlands and its longest-serving cast member is Adrian Lewis Morgan, who has been playing Jimmi Clay since 2005.

Doctors has been on air since 2000 and hit a high point in 2022 when it was promoted to a 7pm evening slot on BBC Two.

However when ratings did not deliver it was dropped back down to lunchtimes after just eight weeks.

Doctors airs Monday to Thursday at 1.45pm on BBC One.

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