Moving Casualty will 'hit Bristol economy'
Plans to move the hit television drama Casualty from Bristol to Wales has"dismayed" local people and will hit the city's economy, an MP said today.
Labour's Kerry McCarthy said relocating the medical drama to Cardiff would be like "relocating EastEnders to Trafalgar Square".
The MP said the production, which has been filmed in the city since 1986, pumped £10 million a year into the local economy and provided training and workexperience for people moving into television.
In a Commons debate on a backbench bid to abolish the licence fee, Ms McCarthy said: "There is one proposal that has absolutely dismayed people in Bristol and that is the proposal to move Casualty to Cardiff.
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"Casualty has been filmed in Bristol since 1986, it is the world'ssecond-longest running medical drama and the longest ever emergency-basedhospital drama.
"It has paved the way for others, like ER and Chicago Hope."
Jana Bennett, the director of BBC Vision, announced that Wales' shareof network TV spend will rise to 5% by 2016. As part of that increase it isbelieved Casualty will be moved.
Ms McCarthy said the fictional city of Holby – where Casualty is set – was"indistinguishable" from Bristol.
"Everybody knows the landmarks, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, its A&E setsare based in warehouses in my constituency.
"I would suggest that relocating Casualty to Cardiff would be akin torelocating EastEnders to Trafalgar Square rather than Albert Square – it just wouldn't be the same."