United Kingdom

August 02, 2005

Family Affairs has been axed after more than eight years, it was announced today.

Five's flagship soap, which was the first to air five days a week, will disappear from our screens at the end of the year after 2250 episodes.

Five's Director of Programmes, Dan Chambers, commented: "I'd like to thank every single member of the cast and crew of Family Affairs, and talkbackTHAMES, for their tremendous hard work and creativity over the last eight years.

"This was a very difficult decision to make but we felt the series had come to the end of its natural lifespan and the time was right to try something new.

"We remain committed to original drama and will be using the budget allocated to Family Affairs to fund a range of programming including several new prime-time drama projects and scripted comedy."

Lorraine Heggessey, CEO of talkbackTHAMES who produce the soap, said: "I respect the decision and understand the reasons behind it. However, I'm disappointed as I felt we had bright new plans for the show including some strong new actors.

"We have several drama projects in development with a variety of broadcasters and I'm looking forward to building upon our reputation and ability to produce award-winning drama."

Head of Drama Johnathan Young added: "My thanks go to everyone at Family Affairs for all their hard work and dedication. There's a lot to be proud of - Family Affairs has told controversial stories with power and integrity and was the first soap to go five nights a week, which is no mean feat.

"I know there will be many disappointed by the news but we must move forward and I'm excited about working with Five on new projects."

The final episode will air in December.

We, the undersigned, petition to SAVE FAMILY AFFAIRS!

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