Emergency Ward 10

Jill Browne as Carole Young and some of the cast

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 1957. The 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 a 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.

Such 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.

The 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.


Watch a clip from the series 

Full cast and crew at the IMDb

Listen to the end credits theme