BBC hospital drama Holby City axed after 23 years

Hospital soap Holby City will come to an end next year after 23 years, the BBC has announced.

The Casualty spin-off, created by Tony McHale and Mal Young, debuted in 1999, following the lives of staff at the fictional Holby City Hospital, the same hospital as Casualty.The show - which featured a cast of regular supplemented by guest stars such as Emma Samms, Phill Jupitus, Leslie Phillips and David Soul - was often criticised for being a clone of Casualty.

A statement from the broadcaster said: “We are incredibly proud of Holby City but it’s with great sadness that we are announcing that after 23 years, the show will end on screen in March of next year.

“We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC’s commitment to make more programmes across the UK, we have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country."

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“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing team at BBC Studios and all the cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 1999.”

Former cast member Joe McFadden said it was "such sad news".

A tweet from the official Holby City account added: “Holby will remain on air on Tuesdays until next March, and we will continue to bring you a regular dose of all things Holby right here until then.

“We promise that Holby will get the send-off it deserves.

“Thank you for your continued support and love for the series”.