The Royal Today

FANS of The Royal will be intrigued by ITV1’s latest soap.
As the title suggests, The Royal Today is set in the modern day.
A total of 50 initial episodes have been filmed – and could be followed by hundreds more.
I was at the series launch yesterday, where we saw the first two half-hour episodes.
The drama arrives on screen in early January and will be shown every weekday afternoon.
The theme tune is the same as that used for 1960s-set The Royal (pictured).
As is the building in Scarborough used to portray the exterior of St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital.
But right next door is the new modern Middleditch Wing.
Thanks to computer imaging, it’s actually ITV Yorkshire’s Leeds HQ placed on screen, with added NHS signage.

The scene is set from the very start, with a modern ambulance pulling into the original hospital building.
There’s a painting of 1960s hospital secretary Mr Middleditch, played by Ian Carmichael, (pictured) on a wall.

One of the wards is named after him, as well as the new wing.
Andrew Scarborough plays Dr Jonathan Ormerod, son of the original Dr Ormerod, played by Robert Daws.
But that’s it in terms of backward references to The Royal, itself originally a spin-off of Heartbeat.
Executive producer Keith Richardson said the idea of featuring an aged character from The Royal was quickly ruled out.
“We’re trying to say – this is modern, this is of today.
“So we can’t have too many back references.”
Paul Nicholas returns to TV as consultant surgeon Mr Woods.
Other names you might recognise include former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell as Matron Jenny Carrington.
Pal Aron – seen earlier this year as Sonny in Coronation Street – is Registrar Vijay Chohan.
And ex-Heartbeat actress Fiona Dolman is Surgical Registrar Pamela Andrews.
The opening two episodes feature a violent drug addict on the ward and the murder of a student nurse on her first day at work.
I asked Keith what would happen if The Royal Today was a big hit with viewers.
Could a place be found for it in primetime – bearing in mind ITV Yorkshire also make Emmerdale?
“I think it could easily play later – at night.
“But, obviously, I can’t see it at seven o’clock at night,” he smiled.
As for The Royal, filming of 12 new episodes finishes today.
They will also be on screen in 2008.


Filed under News

11 responses to “The Royal Today

  1. Judith Green

    As an avid viewer of The Royal today, a Scarborian and retired R.G.N. I was dismayed to see a patient ready for theatre chewing gum ! (Hernia episode) nil by mouth means exactly that ! and not just removing the water jug !

  2. Joyce SAlewski

    I do enjoy The Royal Today, as I’m sure many others do. If only it were on for an hour, it would be even better.

  3. Julie Watson

    The Royal Today is a really great show, at last there is something decent to watch on boring afternoons!

  4. Susan Brookhouse

    Wished this programme was on for longer periods, months not weeks. I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.
    Far better then Holby or Casualty.

  5. Rachel Holmes

    Far better than Holby and Casualty! The staff are far more realistic and the story lines more true to life. I hope they are going to make more episodes, 50 is no where near enough!

  6. Joan

    This is a great series and we are enjoying it as much as we enjoy The Royal. Let’s hope that more episodes are made but I feel it would have benefited from a later timeslot.

  7. June Greaves

    I enjoy the programme except for Dr. Ormerod’s Registrar. The actress playing the part is like a “wet week”. She seems to feel the need to to be “breathy” all the time. She irritates me immensely and I can’t think I’m the only one affected!

  8. Jessica C

    at first i was unsure that they would be able to make a modern day hospital series i liked as much as casualty but i LOVE the royal today!! i especially love the relationship between Jonathon and Sarah and love how you can see similarities between them and how Gordon and Jill got together in the royal!!
    We definitely need more episodes, 50 is nowhere near enough!


    The Royal Today is the best tv show ever i luv it sooooooooooooo much if they don’t make more than 50 episodes i will cry😦 If they make any main characters leave that would be tragic.

  10. Ross

    I enjoyed The Royal Today as I thought it was great to see hospital life in modern times. I can understand other people’s views saying that there should have made 50 episodes in its series. I guess they only made 50 just to see how well it does for viewers to tune in on ITV1. Lets keep our fingers crossed for a 2nd season and way more episodes this time, I dunno, 100 and see how that goes and if it becomes more popular, they maybe they should do a 5 times 52 week marathon where you get 260 episodes a year.
    I do hope The Royal Today continues with another series and plenty more of them to come, like they do with Heartbeat and The Royal.

  11. Di Burton

    Where can I see The RoyalToday, I so miss it.


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