TV Blood Brothers

IT’S time to call a halt to the spread of red across our screens.
I’m talking about TV dramas which insist on showing blood and guts in the operating theatre.
You expect it in something like Casualty, which has never been a natural home for the squeamish.
But then graphic operation scenes started turning up in cosy Sunday night favourite The Royal.
Producer Ken Horn says it’s what modern audiences expect and demand.
Really? At 8pm? Within earshot of The Antiques Roadshow?
Now comes The Royal Today – a 2008 teatime soap based in a modern day wing of the same Scarborough hospital.
And guess what? There’s lots of red stuff on display. At teatime. When viewers may well be toasting crumpets over the fireside.

Executive producer Keith Richardson doesn’t see anything wrong.
“What you can’t do is pander to daytime audiences. You can’t pretend,” he says.
“So we’ve worked within the confines of pre-9pm. And people expect to see the operations.”
Do you? I certainly don’t.
Paul Nicholas, who plays surgeon Mr Woods, backs Keith.
“The show is very truthful, honest and real.
“There is a certain amount of that. I think people are very used to it. They have shows like Holby which are pretty explicit.
“People can separate the fact that it is a drama, rather than reality.
But if it’s not for you, you can turn off.”
Judge for yourself when The Royal Today begins on ITV1 at 4pm on Monday.
There’s an interview with Paul in today’s MEN. The online version is here.
Royal Surgeon’s A Smooth Operator

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