ITV’s painful cuts – and the future of “The Royal”



As expected, ITV’s annual report, released today, reads like the foreword to Dante’s Inferno. 600 jobs axed, 150 of them at the Kirkstall Road studio in Leeds (where “Heartbeat” and “The Royal” used to be produced). We’re talking about pre-tax losses of £2.73 billion here.

£2.73 billion.

BILLION! Quoi? What?

Unbelievable. My sympathies go out to all those who lost their jobs and are now facing an uncertain future. I hope that something new and better will come their way very, very soon.


ITV will cut the weekly drama by one hour – but they make a point of not telling what programme(s) might face the axe. The official status of “The Royal” is still “shelved”. Season 8 is in the can (or so they say), and sooner or later we’ll get to see it. Talks are of “two year’s worth” of episodes, means into 2010.

Now, I don’t know anything about contracts and schedules, but somehow I can’t imagine that the actors involved with the show will sit around and twiddle their thumbs for the next two years, then pick up their roles again as if they’d never stopped. So if “The Royal” should ever see a season 9, I could imagine that there would be a new cast. Some of the comments from insider sources that “options of cheaper production and modernisation” for both Heartbeat and The Royal were “evaluated” point in that direction. However, that’s all just hear-say and speculation at this moment.

I’d be sorry to see “The Royal” disappear. It’s my guilty pleasure – great fun in its own goofy, innocent and lovable way…


Some links with further information:

Guardian: Gloom descends on ITV Yorkshire

The mood outside ITV Yorkshire’s Leeds studio today, as 192 redundancies and the closure of most of the 40-year-old complex were announced, could be summarised in a single word: grim.

BBC: Troubled ITV cuts jobs and costs

The Scotsman: ITV to axe 600 jobs

Telegraph: ITV cuts – could X Factor and Coronation Street be affected?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: