BBC Two drops newsroom drama The Hour

The Hour cast

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The BBC has confirmed that newsroom drama The Hour will not return for a third series.

Starring Romola Garai, Dominic West and Ben Whishaw, the 1950s-set drama followed the lives of fictional BBC journalists at the old Lime Grove studios in London.

Garai's character of producer Bel Rowley mirrored the experiences of former journalists Catherine Freeman and Grace Wyndham Goldie - the latter relaunched Panorama in 1955.

It was also noted that Whishaw, who played idealistic reporter Freddie Lyons, didn't look too dissimilar to a young version of the late correspondent Charles Wheeler.

Written by Abi Morgan and produced by Kudos, The Hour was heavily hyped at launch with the first series drawing around 2.2m viewers.

However, the second run struggled in the ratings, falling to an average audience of 1.47m despite gaining various award nominations.

Broadcast magazine reports that Jane Featherstone, Kudos chief executive, was "sad and disappointed" by the decision and the original aim was to produce three series.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We loved the show but have to make hard choices to bring new shows through."

It was recently announced that Dominic West will play Welsh actor Richard Burton in a BBC Four drama charting the latter's relationship with Elizabeth Taylor.

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