BBC has announced that the long-running hospital drama Holby City has been scheduled to come to an end in 2022, after 23 years on the nation’s TV screens.

“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.

“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.”

The broadcaster added: “Holby has been a stalwart with audiences, delighting millions of viewers each week and winning hundreds of awards with a compelling mix of cutting edge medical stories and explosive personal stories.

“We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high,” A statement from the broadcaster read.

The show, which was set in the fictional city of Holby near the Wales-England border, was filmed at the BBC’s Elstree studios in Hertfordshire, just north of London.

Leslie Ash, Patsy Kensit, Jane Asher, Robert Powell, Adrian Edmondson, Alex Walkinshaw and Jemma Redgrave are among the stars that have appeared in the drama over the years.

Davood Ghadami was one of the latest additions to the cast after he left his role as Kush Kazemi in EastEnders in April to join the medical drama as Eli Ebrahimi, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Joe McFadden, who played Raf Di Lucca before he was killed off on the soap, responded to the news on Twitter, saying: “Such sad news about the end of #HolbyCity- it kept so many people in work for so long.

“My thoughts are with friends in the cast and crew”.

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