Long before Casualty or Holby
City, or even General
Hospital in the 1970s, one of the UK's most popular television
shows was the medical drama serial Emergency Ward 10. The serial
which is set in Oxbridge General Hospital began in February
idea for the show was the 'brainchild' of Tessa Diamond, then a
continuity script-writer for ATV.
Tessa Diamond subsequently
submitted to programme planners
at ATV her idea for a series about life in a general hospital. Tessa Diamond went on to
write many of the scripts for Emergency Ward 10, which had only
modest one million viewers for its first episode but eventually reached
a massive 26 million viewers at its height of popularity.
Calling Nurse Roberts was
to have been the original
title for the serial which was intended to be on air for just six
weeks, but lasted for ten years as a twice weekly show and is now
widely considered to be one of the first major 'soaps' in ther
U.K. Emergency Ward 10 was made by Lew Grade's ATV company at
the Studio Centre in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
was the perceived authenticity of the show by the viewers that
regular telephone calls were received from members of the public
wishing to discuss their ailments with
Dr Dawson or Dr Anderson! Emergency Ward 10
emerged as a very popular long-running serial with viewing figures
which would be the envy of any television company in the world today.
Cast members of the serial include, Jill
Browne as Nurse Carole Young,
Desmond Carrington as Dr. Chris
Anderson, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell as Mr
Dawson, John Line as R.S.O.
Andrew Shaw, Richard Thorpe as Dr. Rennie and Ray Barrett as Dr. Don Nolan.
Emergency Ward 10 script-writers included Diane Morgan,
Roger Marshall and Robert Holmes. The producers of the serial are
Anthony Kearey (February 1957-July 1959), Rex Firkin until October
1960, Hugh Rennie until May 1961 and John Cooper from May 1961.
Numerous ATV directors worked on the show until it was axed in 1968
because of dwindling viewing figures.