Holby City

Holby City cancellation – our response

WGGB has responded to the BBC’s announcement on 2 June 2021 that it will be cancelling the long-running medical series Holby City from March 2022.

The continuing drama, which has aired on the channel for 23 years, first broadcast in 1999 as a spin-off of Casualty.

It won a Bafta for Best Continuing Drama in 2008 and attracts audiences of more than three million viewers.

The BBC’s reason for cancelling the show, which it said it is “incredibly proud of” is to “make room for new opportunities”, and particularly to “reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country”.

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said:

“Over two decades WGGB’s scriptwriter members have played a central role in the success of Holby City, which has delighted viewers in the millions and garnered an impressive number of awards.

“They have been the driving force behind the cutting-edge medical storylines and compelling personal drama and had already made many sacrifices in the past year to keep the show alive through the numerous challenges presented by Covid-19.

“Indeed, our members endured a 33% pay cut without a proportionate reduction in workload and stressful working conditions on the understanding that this was necessary to keep Holby going through these difficult times, so this announcement comes as a shock and deep disappointment.

“We are talking behind the scenes to our members and the BBC, to ensure writers’ interests are best represented in the coming months as Holby prepares to close, and to ensure that the new drama shows promised by the BBC do not represent loss of employment, earnings or creative opportunities for screenwriters.”

If you are a Holby writer and want to get in touch with us, please email Ellie Peers: ellie@writersguild.org.uk