Two stars of Casualty in front of show logo

BBC breaks silence about future of Casualty amid claims cost of living crisis could prove ‘devastating’ for show

The long-running medical drama has had its episodes slashed

The BBC has broken its silence about the future of Casualty amid reports the soap is in danger. The long-running medical drama has been a mainstay on Saturday nights for 37 years.

But now there will be a lot less Casualty than fans have come to expect. Casualty started in 1986 as a 15-part series and eventually hit 48 episodes a year.

However, ignoring Covid, the show has reduced episode numbers significantly. The latest series has just 36 episodes. The last time it had fewer episodes was more than two decades ago in 2000. The show is currently on a break – and it is unlikely to return to screens for another two months.

Nigel Harman on Casualty
Casualty isn’t just losing episodes – it’s losing stars like Nigel Harman too (Credit: BBC)

Casualty in danger?

The episode cuts has come as the BBC faces issues with budgets being stretched. It has led to the corporation cutting back the number of episodes in order to preserve quality.

A source claimed to The Sun: “Casualty peaked in the noughties when it was on our screens on a Saturday night almost all year round, and that’s what many people have come to expect. The only year that saw a shorter series was 2021 because of the pandemic when all TV productions were severely affected.

“Now it seems the cost of living crisis could prove just as devastating,” the source went on to speculate.

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BBC breaks silence on future of Casualty

However, a BBC spokesperson said “super inflation” in drama production was to blame. It also revealed the show has cut seven episodes a year.

They said: “Our priority is always delivering quality over hours and due to super inflation in drama production, we’ve taken the decision to slightly reduce the number of episodes per year in order to maintain the quality. We’ve received no complaints from cast and crew, and it will be back on air later this year.”

Earlier today (September 23), the show also tweeted: “#Casualty will return. Casualty is on a break and will be back on your screens later this year.”

Meanwhile, Casualty’s original star Derek Thompson has announced he is leaving the soap.

The actor has played nurse Charlie Fairhead since the very first episode. But next year fans will see his last appearance.

Charlie in Casualty
Casualty star Derek Thompson has revealed his is quitting the soap (Credit: BBC)

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He said: “The time has come for me to hang up Charlie’s scrubs after the most wonderful 37 years.

“Charlie Fairhead was inspired by a real nurse – Pete Salt. Together with the writers and producers, I have tried to bring to Charlie the compassion, kindness, heroism and sound judgement that we all see and love in Pete and I want to say thanks to Pete and everyone else over that time who has inspired me in bringing this character to life.”

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Soap Contributor
Soap Contributor

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