‘Call The Midwife’ and ‘The Archers’ were just two of the BBC shows which resulted in audiences seeking help from the corporation’s Action Line in 2018.
The helpline is advertised at the end of programmes with sensitive or distressing content and as the year comes to a close, the BBC has revealed that it fielded 400,000 calls in the past 12 months.
Of those, 15,000 came when Nic Grundy died after having sepsis in Radio 4 drama ‘The Archers’ and a further 5,000 were made when Call The Midwife’s Barbara Hereward suffered a similarly tragic fate.
Dame Pippa Harris, executive producer the period drama, said: “We are pleased that so many people responded to Barbara’s storyline and reached out to the BBC Action line because of it.
“So many of the ‘Call The Midwife’ issues we raise affect people today so we make sure our scripts and storylines are accurate and relatable.”
Editor of ‘The Archers’, Jeremy Howe, added that his team “take a lot of care to ensure these storylines are well researched and handled sensitively”.
“To know that this helped raise awareness of sepsis and had such a positive response from listeners is extremely rewarding,” he said.
There were 80,000 calls concerning emotional distress and suicide in 2018, and 40,000 on the subject of sexual abuse.
‘Holby City’ moved audiences to make 7,000 calls on the issue of Crohn’s disease following a storyline on the subject.
There were 400 different prompts to call the Action Line across various BBC programmes in 2018.
The BBC Action Line service can also be accessed online.