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Casualty star Di Botcher says she fears BBC medical drama will be axed like Holby City


Casualty star Di Botcher says she fears the BBC medical drama will be axed like its sister show Holby City.

The spin-off came to a dramatic conclusion last month after 23 years on the national broadcaster leaving cast and crew devastated. 

The actress who plays paramedic Jan Jenning said the shock axing has left stars worried for their future as there are ‘no guarantees in TV’. 

Worrying times: In an interview with The Daily Star Sunday, Casualty star Di Botcher says she fears the BBC medical drama will be axed like its sister show Holby City

Worrying times: In an interview with The Daily Star Sunday, Casualty star Di Botcher says she fears the BBC medical drama will be axed like its sister show Holby City

Speaking to The Daily Star Sunday she said: ‘Everything has a beginning, middle and an end.

‘So we think we’re lucky to still be there. We feel that every day of the week.

‘Nothing is guaranteed in TV. Every time I get a phone call from a producer, I think, ‘Oh, what’s happening here?’ I’m very happy to be still hanging on.’ 

The BBC announced it would scrap the show last year as it continues its drive to appear more northern, sparking a furious backlash among fans.

Worry: Casualty stars fear the series will be axed just like Holby City

Worry: Casualty stars fear the series will be axed just like Holby City 

Di added: ‘All of us at Casualty were all very, very sad when we heard about Holby City ending.

‘We know quite a lot of the cast because there has been a certain amount of crossover through the years. We felt very sad for them.’ 

Since the announcement it emerged that stars of the show had planned to sue the BBC after the broadcaster pulled the soap without warning, according to a new report.

'Many feel betrayed': Holby City stars are reportedly set to sue the BBC after the broadcasting giant pulled the soap 'without warning' (pictured Angela Griffin)

‘Many feel betrayed’: Holby City stars are reportedly set to sue the BBC after the broadcasting giant pulled the soap ‘without warning’ (pictured Angela Griffin)

 Many actors have reportedly voiced feeling ‘betrayed’ because they thought the soap would run for years to come and give them ‘security and career development.’

A TV insider told The Sun: ‘It was the way in which it came to a close which seems to have angered people. Many feel betrayed.

 ‘At no point were they warned Holby would be pulled, otherwise they would have considered other job offers.

Tense: Holby City's shock axing has reportedly left Casualty stars worried for their future (pictured: character Marty Kirkby played by actor Shaheen Jafargholi)

Tense: Holby City’s shock axing has reportedly left Casualty stars worried for their future (pictured: character Marty Kirkby played by actor Shaheen Jafargholi) 

‘They thought they had security and career development. The feeling was that the show – a favourite for 23 years – just fizzled out with little consideration for the people put out of work.’ 

According to the publication, bosses sent round an email to cast and crew implying they could enjoy a ‘well-deserved break’, which ‘did not go down well’ as the actors have been left ‘jobless’ and ‘worried about feeding their families.’

The insider added that those willing to pursue legal action felt like they forewent ‘more secure work’ to move to a show which looked like it could run for ‘another 23 years.’

The long-running medical drama had been filmed at the corporation’s London Elstree Studios for the last two decades.

But the programme was  left at odds with the BBC’s ‘Across the UK’ plan to move TV shows and staff out of London to kill off the idea of a so-called ‘southern bias’.

With three big soaps set in the south – the others being Eastenders and Casualty – Holby City was seen as the easiest to scrap as Casualty’s Cardiff base helped to fulfill the diversity directive.

The costs of producing Holby City will instead be used to fund two replacement soaps in the next three years; one set in northern England and another in either Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

But the announcement left dedication fans of the soap furious, calling the move ‘short-sighted’ and warning that the diverse cast and storylines were going to be lost.

The BBC said in a statement: ‘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.

Testing times: The Casualty cast are reportedly worried about the show being axed like it's spin off show  (pictured: cast characters Robyn Miller played by Amanda Henderson and Stevie Nash played by Elinor Lawless)

Testing times: The Casualty cast are reportedly worried about the show being axed like it’s spin off show  (pictured: cast characters Robyn Miller played by Amanda Henderson and Stevie Nash played by Elinor Lawless)

‘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.

‘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.’

The BBC insisted they will make sure the programme goes out ‘on a high’.

They added: ‘We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high.’

Fury: The BBC announced it would scrap Holby City last year as it continues its drive to appear more northern, sparking a furious backlash among fans

Fury: The BBC announced it would scrap Holby City last year as it continues its drive to appear more northern, sparking a furious backlash among fans

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