Belfast Telegraph

Star slams BBC for axing hit drama

Waking The Dead star Sue Johnston has hit out at the BBC's decision to axe the long-running TV drama.

The police drama starring Trevor Eve has been given the chop after nine series despite pulling in up to 9.5 million viewers at its height on BBC One.

Sue told TV Times: "I feel robbed. I'm very sad about it. It was a lovely job. The show gets great audiences, it's sold all over the world and I don't quite get why it's going."

The Royle Family actress blamed BBC budget cuts, saying: "You'd have to talk to the powers-that-be. They say it's too expensive to make in these austere days."

Sue, 67, has played psychological profiler Dr Grace Foley since the show's inception in 2000, when she pulled a hamstring and had to be carried around the set by paramedics.

Her co-star Trevor, 59, who played Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd in the cold-case drama, told the magazine: "It's had an audience appreciation rating of 90 per cent, which I think is higher than anything else.

"We were going to finish after 10 (series), but we stopped after nine because the BBC doesn't really have the money to make it.

"The BBC can go and make other stuff that costs them less money, it's fine."

Trevor's own production company is filming a new BBC One spin-off drama, The Body Farm, with Waking The Dead's forensic pathologist Eve Lockhart, played by Tara Fitzgerald, as the lead character.

BBC controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson told the magazine: "It's always hard bringing successful series to a close, but like Ashes To Ashes and Mistresses, we want to end on a high."

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