When the UK broadcasting rules were relaxed in 1972, ITV commissioned programmes from each of its regions to fill the new afternoon schedules, aimed at stay-at-home mums and students etc.
ATV's contribution to these schedules was GENERAL HOSPITAL a twice-weekly medical 'soap' of 25 minutes and was set in the fictional Midland General Hospital. It first aired on Thursday 19th October, 1972 at 2pm (and also on Fridays) and continued in this format till March 1975. Later in 1975 it was revamped for prime time TV in an hourly format with self contained stories.
The daytime run was very popular, particularly after a repeat run from about a third of the way through on weekdays at approximately 4pm., bridging the gap between the end of the daytime serial and the start of the new prime time format.
Favourite characters included Senior Consultant Surgeon Mr William Parker-Brown, world-weary Senior Medical Consultant and Hospital Administrator Dr Matthew Armstrong, Dr Martin Baxter, Nurse Hilda Price, Porter Arnold Capper, Sister Edwards and Sister Frances Washington...and later Dr Neville Bywaters. Many famous faces from the 1970's appeared as patients including Joanna Lumley, Windsor Davies, Alun Armstrong, Patsy Rowlands, and Michael Culver.
The series finally ended in January 1979.
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