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14 shows wrongfully axed by the BBC that everyone wants back-Josie Copson-Entertainment – Metro

Bring them back!

14 shows wrongfully axed by the BBC that everyone wants back-Josie Copson-Entertainment – Metro

BBC has axed some fan-favourites over the years (Picture: BBC)

Goodbyes are never easy, and when it comes to parting with favourite shows, they are particularly difficult.

Over the years, fan favourites have been brutally axed on the BBC, and if viewers had their wish they’d be coming back.

From incredible comedies such as Motherland, and hilarious reality shows like Don’t Tell the Bride, nobody has been safe from being cut off.

The broadcaster has been in existence for over 100 years, so it would be impossible for them to keep every show going – that would be as wild as the teenagers on Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, but perhaps, a few shouldn’t have ever gone, and possibly deserve a comeback.

Let’s take a look at some of those shows that were so good you’re still thinking about them years later…

Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents (2011-2015)

Sun, Sex And Suspicious Parents was TV gold (Picture: BBC/RDF Television, part of Zodiak Media Group)

In this reality show, teenagers would head off excitedly on their first trip without their parents to a party destination. They’d be happily downing cocktails, snogging strangers, and getting up to general mischief with no idea their parents were in the vicinity watching their every move.

On the final day, the mum and dad would ambush them while they sat hungover at a cafe to tell them something along the lines of: ‘I saw you doing vodka shots off that lady’s body and I’m not happy. Also, your hotel room is so messy, I taught you better.’ It was silly, fun, and had a great gotcha moment.

By the fourth series, it was hard to believe that these youngsters weren’t suspicious about what show they were on, but viewers were prepared to ignore that. If they brought it back a decade later, Gen Z are unlikely to even know about the concept so it’s perfect!

Don’t Tell the Bride (2007-2023)

The grooms were unafraid to push the boundaries (Picture: Don’t Tell the Bride)

While we’re talking about the reality TV show genre, let’s take a moment to discuss Don’t Tell the Bride. The show aired on BBC from 2007 until 2015, before moving across to Channel 4 and being axed last year.

In three weeks, the groom had to plan the entire day with a £14,000 budget and he’d have zero contact with the bride, who’d be surprised completely on the day. Usually, the woman would dream of a princess dress, a manor house venue, and tasteful decor. What she’d get is a themed affair and way too much money spent on the stag do.

The husband who gave his disgruntled partner a pig-themed event, where he tried and failed to set a Guinness World Record for herding pigs was TV at its finest, and it’s time BBC did the right thing.

Let’s also not forget the man who decided they should get married in Las Vegas but didn’t have enough money for the partner’s family to come which led to an airport breakdown, or the bride who was forced onto a Thorpe Park rollercoaster in her wedding dress.

Bloodlands (2021-2022)

Bloodlands was quietly cancelled (Picture: BBC/HTM Television)

The popular thriller series starred James Nesbitt as Northern Irish police officer DCI Tom Brannick.

Throughout the first series, Brannick is put to work, when it is suspected the legendary assassin, known as Goliath, is behind a new kidnapping. Although he is leading the investigation, things aren’t what they seem. An epic finale reveals that Brannick is Goliath, who killed two people in the 1990s when his wife Emma’s life was threatened. The series ended with Brannick murdering the only people who could have identified him as Goliath.

When it returned for the second series in 2022, there were people on his case including, the widow of one of his victims, Olivia Foyle played by Victoria Smurfit.

The first outing scored an impressive 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it wasn’t enough for a third series and viewers are disappointed they won’t see Brannick getting his comeuppance for the crimes.

The Hour (2011-2012)

The creator was excited to develop The Hour before its axing (Picture: BBC/Kudos)

The show – which starred Dominic West, Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai – was set at the dawn of the TV news era, and followed the fortunes of a team working on a BBC current affairs programme – very meta!

Despite critical acclaim and four Golden Globes nominations, the BBC made the ‘hard choice’ to axe it before the third series.

‘I love those characters and I’m really excited to create more characters, so fundamentally, I’d love to see it develop and grow,’ said creator Abi Morgan before its cancellation.

Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (2001-2011)

The cast went on to do amazing things (Picture: BBC)

It had a good run with a decade of episodes but it had the fanbase to keep going longer. The series centred on five working-class twenty-something friends played by Sheridan Smith, Ralf Little, Will Mellor, Natalie Casey, and Kathryn Drysdale, who’ve all gone on to be small-screen royalty. The comedy series found the fun in the ordinary, which was joyous to watch.

Luckily, Will has revealed there is a script in existence for another series. He told the Daily Star: ‘We have got a script – Two Pints: Last Orders. If they wanted to make it I would do it just to say thank you for all the support to the people who loved the show.’

Holby City (1999-2022)

Holby City still had good ratings (Picture: BBC)

Despite good ratings and a 60,000-signature petition handed to the BBC, the long-running medical soap came to an end a couple of years ago. The Casualty spin-off that followed the lives of staff at the fictional Holby City Hospital was cut to ‘make room for new opportunities,’ the BBC said.

The show was unafraid to tackle hard-hitting subjects over its course including assisted suicide and a horrific shooting on the ward. Leslie Ash, Patsy Kensit, Jane Asher, Robert Powell, Adrian Edmondson, Alex Walkinshaw and Jemma Redgrave are among the stars who have appeared in the show over the years.

Lip Service (2010-2012)

Frankie and Cat had a will they won’t they relationship (Picture: BBC / Kudos)

The drama centred on a group of Glaswegian lesbian women, and their intertwining love lives. It was hailed as significant to represent a group that were often left out of TV shows, and celebrated for its fun narratives.

At the heart of the first series was a classic will-they-won’t-they relationship between Cat (Laura Fraser) and Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas), but it was promptly ended before it could even begin with the former being killed off. The cult following remained loyal and there’s still more to explore. More LGBTQ+ programming is needed, and Lip Service went too soon.

Motherland (2016-2022)

Motherland fans were shocked (Picture: BBC/Merman/Scott Kershaw)

The comedy series written by Sharon Horgan and starring Cunk On Earth’s Diane Morgan, followed the trials, tribulations, and generally cut-throat world of middle-class motherhood, and scored a Bafta for best scripted comedy in 2022.

Diane broke hearts when she recently revealed it wouldn’t be coming back for another series, but did tease a spin-off involving Lucy Punch’s character Amanda.

The Demon Headmaster (1996-1998)

We’d love to see this children’s show back (Picture: BBC)

The children’s TV show based on books by Gillian Cross captured young viewers’ imagination with its wacky plots.

The trouble starts when Dinah (Frances Amey) moves to a new school and quickly realises something isn’t quite right – the children act robotically and there’s a very strange headmaster. The brave young girl tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious occurrences. The viewers may have all grown up but they haven’t forgotten Dinah’s premature departure from TV screens.

The Demon Headmaster walked so Stranger Things could run.

Outnumbered (2007-2016)

Outnumbered’s days were numbered (Picture: BBC/Hat Trick/Colin Hutton)

In this classic comedy sitcom, we were inside the home of the Brockman family with Hugh Dennis as the father, Claire Skinner as the mother and their three children played by Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez.

Much like Motherhood, it showed the chaos that often comes with family life and was praised for its largely improvised scenes with extremely talented child actors. The fact the kids grew up shouldn’t have been a barrier – viewers would have loved to see the family navigate having adult offspring.

Even Hugh expressed his hope they’d return for more one-off specials but they didn’t materialise.

Hotel Babylon (2006-2009)

The drama needed longer (Picture: BBC/ Carnival Film & Television Limited)

Hotel Babylon followed the staff and guests at a five-star hotel in London. It was glamorous, trashy, and cheeky with a similar vibe to Footballers’ Wives (which should also return).

To make the cancellation even more painful, series four ended on a cliffhanger. Does hotel owner Sam (Nigel Harman) rekindle his relationship with general manager Juliet (Anna Wilson-Jones) or start something new with PR Emily (Alexandra Moen)? The streets need to know.

Torchwood (2006-2011)

Torchwood was a spin-off from Doctor Who (Picture: BBC)

Following the success of the Doctor Who revival in 2005, showrunner Russell T Davies created the spin-off Torchwood starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness.

While Doctor Who is targeted at all ages, Torchwood instead focused on grownup viewers, allowing the tone to be a little more mature. It maintained the sci-fi elements (it was about alien-hunters after all) but also tackled themes such as existentialism and human corruptibility.

White Van Man (2011-2012)

White Van Man was too short but sweet (Picture: BBC/ITV Studios/Matt Squire)

Will Mellor’s show got off to a cracking start and became the highest-rated launch ever for a sitcom on BBC Three.

The show begins with Ollie (Will) inheriting his dad’s handyman business, which is little more than the van, and assistant Darren (Joel Fry) who is pretty much allergic to work. He puts his dream of opening a restaurant on the back burner to try to make his dad proud to varying levels of success.

It was parked (pun intended) after BBC decided ‘to take its comedy output in another direction’.

Series creator Adrian Poynton said: ‘It’s a strange place to find ourselves really. We honestly believe we made a second series bigger, bolder and stronger than series one and audience reaction seemed to back that up.’

Mock the Week (2005-2022)

Mock The Week ran for 17 years (Picture: BBC/Angst Productions)

Panel shows don’t seem to be doing well at the moment with A Question of Sport,Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and Celebrity Juice all ending up on the cutting room floor in recent years.

Mock the Week couldn’t escape the curse so after 17 years of poking fun at the week’s news it was axed.

Presenter and comedian Dara O Briain, who fronted over 200 episodes of the programme, confirmed the news, sarcastically saying the ‘UK has finally run out of news’.

‘The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers,’ he said. ‘It couldn’t go on.’

Everyone could do with some light relief from the doom and gloom, so it was a travesty to see it go.

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