Holby City: Furious fans launch petition urging BBC to reverse cancellation

‘The show has raised awareness about so many issues of value to the public,’ petition reads

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 03 June 2021 12:06
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Holby City trailer

Holby City fans have launched a petition to save the medical show.

On Wednesday (2 June), the BBC cancelled the Casualty spin-off after 23 years, announcing it would draw to a close in March 2022,

A statement described the move as a “difficult decision” inspired by a desire to “make room for new opportunities” that “better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country”.

However, the decision has been criticised by the show’s fans, who questioned why BBC bosses couldn’t relocate the show’s production from Elstree, north London, to a northern part of the UK.

The show has received praise for being a positive force thanks to its diverse cast and for educating viewers on mental health. It’s also one of the only regular shows that sees unknown actors play lead roles in every episode.

On Change.org, the petition bio reads: “Holby City is also one of the most diverse dramas on the BBC – bringing stories of real people across society, from all backgrounds and experiences. The combination of permanent characters and single episode characters offers a huge range of storylines, highlighting important issues and experiences in medicine and society.

“The show has raised awareness about so many issues of value to the public – whether that’s mental health, bereavement, exploring faith or sexuality.

It continues: “The pandemic has shown how highly the public value the NHS, and Holby City is an important representation of the work that the NHS does, and the issues the NHS and its staff and patients face.”

At the time of writing, the petition has received more than 7,200 signatures.

The medical drama, which airs weekly on BBC One, was created by Tony McHale and Mal Young. It follows the lives of staff at a fictional hospital and has regularly featured crossovers with Casualty.

The series currently features actors Jaye Jacobs, Bob Barrett, Guy Henry and David Ames.

Over the years, famous guest stars have included Ade Edmondson, Patsy Kensit and Jane Asher.

In 2020, the BBC donated fully working ventilators used in Holby City to the NHS’s specialised coronavirus hospital.

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The show’s executive producer Simon Harper added: “We are only too happy to help out and do what we can for the courageous and selfless real life medics.”

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