Holby City

Holby City celebrates its 20th anniversary

Holby City: 20 years, 20 facts and figures

Date: 11.12.2018     Last updated: 11.12.2018 at 00.02
  • Initially the entire production set was just one set, which is now Darwin. This was split into Cardiothoracic and General Surgery bays. The series is now filmed on five sets.
  • Holby City’s original title was Surgical Two.
  • There were three doctors in the first episode, Anton Meyer, Nick Jordan and Kirstie Collins, in 1999,with a fourth Victoria Merrick (Lisa Faulkner) on screen from the second episode.
  • The series will reach its 1000th episode in the autumn.
  • Both Holby City and Casualty are set in Holby City Hospital. When Casualty proved popular with audiences, the BBC wanted to explore what happened to its patients once they were taken away to the surgical wards.
  • The hospital is based in the fictional city of Holby, in Wyvern County. The city is based on the real city of Bristol, where Casualty was formerly filmed. Holby has an airport called Holby International.
  • Holby City films for 50 weeks a year.
  • Holby City shares the same studio site as BBC One’s EastEnders. What is now the location for the Keller Ward set was once the EastEnders production offices at Elstree. The current design office for EastEnders now occupies the space that once was the Holby City maternity ward.
  • The first series was only nine episodes long.
  • Holby City has been nominated for more than 100 television awards and has won ten, including the 2008 Bafta for Best Continuing Drama.
  • Holby began with 11 main characters in its first series. It now has a core set of 16 main characters at any given year.
  • There has been 12 CEOs in the series (not including Casualty). The first Holby City CEO was Jan Goddard, played by Judy Loe, who started off on screen in Casualty.
  • Several episodes of the series have been shot on location abroad, including Ghana, Switzerland, Dubai, Stockholm, Paris, Kiev and Cape Town.
  • To ensure accuracy in scriptwriting, the series employs a team of researchers and medical advisors.
  • The series now makes 52 hours of drama every year.
  • While Holby City and Casualty are based in the same fictional city, they are actually filmed around 160 miles away from each other (Holby in Elstree and Casualty in Cardiff).
  • Hugh Quarshie is the longest serving actor on the series, having joined in 2001. He has worked on the show for 17 years and has appeared in nearly 600 episodes.
  • The issues tackled in Holby City continue to impact real lives. Recently the show was lauded for working on a storyline about male mental health with charity Mind, which resulted in contact from a GP who claimed patients had reached out for help specifically after watching the programme.
  • Cast members are taught how to give realistic injections, monitor blood pressure and check a pulse. They are also sent out into hospitals when they join to experience what it’s like to work in a real medical environment.
  • Holby City premiered on 12 January 1999.