11/08/2011 06:57 BST | Updated 11/10/2011 06:12 BST

Spooks Cancelled After Decade Of TV Espionage, Featuring Matthew Macfadyen, Rupert Penry-Jones, Hermione Norris, Keeley Hawes, Peter Firth

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Spy drama Spooks is being axed after almost a decade on air.

The BBC One show, which has featured stars such as Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes in the past, will end at the conclusion of its next run which begins next month.

Programme-makers said it was the right time to make way for "new spy dramas which reflect the changing world around us".

The show has become renowned for killing off many of its main characters since its launch in 2002, including the death of Lisa Faulkner's character during the first series. She died after her head was plunged in boiling fat, prompting complaints to the BBC.

Show bosses say the series will come to a "natural end" with a plot which continues to revolve around the relationship between central characters Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) and Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker).

Executive producer Jane Featherstone - of independent production company Kudos - said: "The heart of the show has become those two characters and I feel they own it. We've followed the arc of their personal story and I think they've brought us to a natural end."

Stars of the series have included Rupert Penry-Jones and Hermione Norris, while Hugh Laurie, Lindsey Duncan and Benedict Cumberbatch have been among the featured guests.

The final, 10th series sees Alice Krige and Jonathan Hyde joining the cast, with Simon Russell Beale returning as home secretary.

BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson said the show would bow out with "what promises to be a fittingly high-octane thrilling finale".

He said the show had "challenged convention with its topical, fast-paced, contemporary style" and helped re-define drama on BBC One.