Fans of Holby City were shocked on Wednesday when it was announced the show had been canned after 23 years.
And it seems as though even the stars were just as surprised by the announcement that the Casualty spin-off will come to an end in 2022.
One of the former stars of the BBC’s medical drama, Hugh Quarshie, has revealed that the Holby City cast were “taken aback” by the news.
He went on to admit that they were left “reeling” with the decision.
Speaking to The Guardian, the 66-year-old actor said: “My understanding is they only found out an hour before released to the press – so no-one saw this coming.”
Hugh, who played Ric Griffin for 19 years, had been one of the show’s longest running cast members before he left in 2020.
He admitted that the show still had a loyal group of fan and said social media was full of people “up in arms” about its cancellation who were trying to reverse the decision.
“More power to them,” he said.
Other stars of the show took to social media to share their sadness at the show’s nearing end.
Actor Davood Ghadami, who swapped EastEnders for Holby City and played the consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Eli Ebrahimi, said the show “will be sorely missed”.
He tweeted that while he had only worked on the show for only a couple of months “it’s already very clear that it’s a great big family, not a workplace. It will be sorely missed”.
“Let’s go out with a bang,” he added.
And another former star of the show, Joe McFadden, sent his thoughts to the current cast members.
Joe, whose character Raf di Lucca died in 2017, wrote on Twitter : “Such sad news about the end of Holby City – it kept so many people in work for so long. My thoughts are with friends in the cast and crew.”
A statement from the broadcaster announcing the show’s end read: “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.”
It went on to thank everyone who had been involved with the show since 1999 and said it had been “a stalwart with audiences” throughout its spell on screen.
It ended: “We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high.”