General Hospital (UK)
General Hospital is a British daytime soap opera produced by ATV, which ran on ITV from 1972 to 1979. It was modelled after the American drama of the same name.In 1972, ITV started to broadcast programmes on weekday afternoons, triggering a new wave of productions to fill out the extended schedules. Among the first of these shows, which were aimed at giving advertisers access to 'stay at home mums' and housewives in general, were the long-running rural soap Emmerdale Farm and the twice-weekly medical drama General Hospital.Set in a fictional Midlands town, the series followed the romantic and professional lives of its doctors and nurses. While the location and the characters names had been changed, in most other respects General Hospital was almost identical to its predecessor, Emergency - Ward 10, a deliberate attempt to recreate its success.In 1975, after 270 twice-weekly episodes, General Hospital was given a primetime slot on Friday evening. The move saw the episode lengths double from 30 to 60 minutes, with each episode being more self-contained, while on-screen medical procedures, including detailed scenes of surgery, became more prominent.Amongst the regular cast of the series was actor Tony Adams who played Doctor Neville Bywaters; he also appeared as Adam Chance in Crossroads. Among the other familiar faces to appear was Lynda Bellingham, who gained national fame as the mother in a series of commercials for Oxo stock cubes, and later as Helen Herriot in the series All Creatures Great and Small, based on the books by James Herriot. Other notable regulars included Carmen Munroe, who was also a regular presenter in the Play School children's programme team; and a young, Sally Knyvette, who went on to appear in Blakes 7 and Emmerdale Farm.