Casualty's Kwame joins call to keep show in Bristol
Former Casualty actor Kwame Kwei-Armah has given his support to those trying to keep the long-running BBC TV drama in Bristol.
Kwame, who left the show four years ago, said people identified Bristol with Holby and said it would be a pity if it moved to Cardiff.
Now better known as a playwright, Kwame was previously a Bristol Old Vic writer-in-residence.
He lived in Bristol when he was appearing in Casualty but now lives in London.
He said: "I had a great time in Bristol and in the minds of the audience Bristol is Holby.
"They really associate Holby with Bristol and it has been a real contribution to the city's economy. I wish the campaign all the best."
The Bristol Evening Post revealed last week that the popular Saturday night drama, which has been filmed in the city for more than 20 years, is set to move to Wales, with a final decision being made in the new year.
Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said Casualty would require new accommodation in the near future and was likely to move as part of plans to build a centre for excellence for drama in Wales.
South West Screen, the Bristol-based organisation which promotes TV and film production in the region, has vowed to make the case for keeping the show in the city. Staff working on the series have also spoken against the move, claiming it was unnecessary and a retrograde step.
The Bristol and West General Branch of Equity is running a Keep Casualty in Bristol campaign and a number of MPs have offered their support.
Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, said: "Casualty has been filmed in Bristol since 1986 and unlike, say, EastEnders, where they never seem to venture out of Albert Square, a lot of it is filmed on location. Holby is Bristol. Moving it to Cardiff and expecting people not to notice the difference is just plain silly."
She said the series was estimated to bring £10 million a year into the local economy and its success was one reason Bristol has become a hub for creative industries.