‘Encapsulated everything it means to be human’: your favourite Doctors moments

‘I’ve played roles including receptionist, nurse and patient’

I began watching Doctors in 2005 and was hooked. There were so many excellent storylines. Valerie’s cancer story touched my heart, being a cancer survivor myself. I also remember when Cherie and Daniel had an affair and it was accidentally announced on the intercom system. Heston was drinking a cup of his favourite tea and his face was a picture. And when Rob lost Karen – that episode made me cry. Doctors has a very talented cast.

I work as a supporting artist (SA) on the show. The cast and crew are so friendly and supportive. I have the best night’s sleep after a long day filming. I’ve met lots of other SAs on the show and we get on so well. I’ve played a number of roles including receptionist, nurse, patient and venue manager. I’ve even been lucky enough to have a few words to say. I and everyone who works at Doctors are heartbroken that the show is coming to an end. We are like a family. I even managed to rope my husband in too, as during Covid they were looking for bubble couples. It’s the end of an era. Julie Douglas-Plumb, supporting artist, Evesham, Worcestershire

‘One of the first TV programmes to show a “Zoom episode”’

Doctors was one of the first TV programmes to film and show a “Zoom episode” during the pandemic – a fact that was overlooked in the TV awards. They produced a thought-provoking and entertaining 45-minute episode where we saw the characters coping, as we all were, in their unique ways in their own spaces, filmed by the actors themselves. There was a moving storyline but also humour, and it felt very special. Sara Holt, 51, music teacher, Somerset

‘Eric Sykes gave a masterclass in monologues’

In one of his last roles, Eric Sykes gave a masterclass in monologues as a patient who left a video message for his GP to be viewed after his death. The scene lasted almost the entirety of the episode and I felt like it encapsulated everything it means to be human. There were moments of pure joy which made me laugh out loud and others of incredible pathos which left me crying. While obviously inspired by Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, it was so well written and performed it could easily have been included in that series. RIP Eric. This was one hell of a performance to go out on. Michelle Kimber, 59, Plymouth

‘I couldn’t stop looking at the camera, so I was edited out’

I was a core writer on Doctors. My favourite moment came after the episode Smears without Fears. The episode, which was designed to encourage women to have cervical exams, explained that the term “smear test” came from smearing the cells between glass plates and wasn’t actually gross. It showed the lovely Doctor Emma having her examination. Several viewers said on the Facebook pages that they had finally overcome their fear and gone for the test. It’s possible our show saved lives. Also, any episode with the legend that is Barry Biglow! I was an extra on a Christmas episode I wrote once – a carol singer. I couldn’t stop looking at the camera, so I was edited out. Claire Bennett, writer, Sutton Coldfield

‘The cast and crew made miracles happen on a shoestring’

I’ve been blessed enough to write more than 70 episodes of the show over the past 19 years. I’ve written farces, tragedies, ludicrous lines, the most deadly serious scenes. I’ve written self contained plays, and multi-episode mini-dramas. The producers, cast and crew made miracles happen on a shoestring with endless good humour and good will.

My personal highlight was my episode from 2021 – Three Consultations and a Funeral – a three-scene two-hander starring the astonishing Lucy Benjamin alongside series regular Dido Miles. In three real-time scenes it told the story of a woman slowly awakening to the reality that her husband had been abusing and coercively controlling her for 30 years. Both actors were incredible. The episode won two RTS Midlands awards and best single episode at the British Soap Awards. I was then able to write a two-part follow-up to complete the story. No other show on TV could have done that. Doctors was the last show British TV had in the tradition of Play for Today. Always fresh, always quirky, always unique. Cutting it is ludicrously shortsighted and TV drama will be the poorer for it. I was also fortunate – back in my acting days – to appear in an episode of the show. My admiration and respect for the cast and crew was only heightened by the experience. Phil Ralph, 52, writer, Machynlleth

‘I can’t imagine my weekdays without it’

I have watched almost every episode of Doctors from the start. It has seen me through the pregnancies and births of my two children. They have grown up with me watching the show. After I returned to work as a school dinner lady, getting home to watch Doctors got me though my long walk home. I suppose I’d start with the many wonderful storylines involving Karen and the Hollins family. Jan Pearson bowed out of Doctors this year with a perfect ending. And lovely Jimmi Clay. His most memorable storyline has to be getting kidnapped, Misery-style, by obsessed radio show fans Ivor and Sissy. Doctors fans just want him to find his forever love and have the happiest ending.

I could go on and on. Doctors has given us so many funny, dramatic, silly and wonderful moments. I cannot imagine my weekdays without it. Claire Costello, 49, Gravesend, Kent

‘I wrote just under 40 episodes’

I wrote just under 40 episodes of the show, mainly in the first five or six years, but have done so throughout the run, here and there. My favourite storyline was a week that dealt with homelessness and life on the streets, which was written by the brilliant Claire Bennett and Peter Lloyd. It was the highest level of acting, writing and directing. A Cathy Come Home level of social drama. I had an hour-long episode that was nominated for a Golden Rose international TV award, but I put this above that. Marc Peirson, writer, Cromer