There's no 'Holby City' reprieve insists BBC drama boss

David Ames as Dominic Copeland in Holby City which is being axed in 2022.
David Ames as Dominic Copeland in Holby City which is being axed in 2022. (Image credit: BBC)

When was it announced by the BBC earlier this year that Holby City would be axed in 2022, there was an understandable outcry from the medical drama's ardent fans.

Many were wondering if the strength of feeling shown by viewers might bring about a change of heart. We recently had the chance to question Piers Wenger, who is Director of BBC Drama, so What To Watch asked him to enlighten us further on the Holby decision and to say if there was any chance of a reprieve. Sadly for Holby City fans, the BBC is sticking by its original decision...

Piers says: "It was an incredibly difficult decision that took time to come to. We had clear direction on wanting to make more drama across the UK. We had EastEnders, Holby in the south and Casualty in Wales. We need dramas to better reflect life in the north of England which is why we've chosen to bring back Waterloo Road."

Adding further on Waterloo Road's revival, Piers says. "The original Waterloo Road had hour-long episodes and that's the form in which we'll be bringing it back. We're working on the show, we haven't started filming. So I don't want to be too specific about the kind of the feel of it, and how much of how much it will feel like a direct continuation of the previous series. I imagine it'll be an evolution. But I think it's a bit early to say."

Although Waterloo Road had been based in a secondary school in Scotland for its last couple of seasons, this new series takes the school back to its original home in Greater Manchester. It will be produced by pervious executive producer Cameron Roach and his new Manchester-based label Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall To Wall.

Piers also revealed that a new long-running drama series would be arriving in the future but hadn't been greenlit yet. "There's very little I can say on this at present," Piers says. "We're not ready to do anything at this point."

Alex Walkinshaw as Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher in Holby City.

Alex Walkinshaw as Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher in Holby City. (Image credit: BBC)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.