The Hour axed by BBC2

Period drama starring Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw won't be returning to the 1950s newsroom for a third series

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The Hour axed by BBC2
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Jack Seale

The Hour has been axed by BBC2 and will not return for a third series, it's been confirmed.

The period drama, which was set in the 1950s and concerned the genesis of a fictional current affairs programme on BBC Television, was created by Abi Morgan and starred Dominic West, Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai.

It had been the original intention of the production company behind the programme, Kudos, to produce at least three series. Jane Featherstone, chief executive of Kudos Film and Television, said she was "sad and disappointed" by the decision.

The BBC said: "We loved the show but have to make hard choices to bring new shows through."

In its two years on air, The Hour received four Golden Globes nominations, having been shown on BBC America, and three Bafta nominations. In 2011 it was named as one of the 20 best shows of the year by Radio Times critics. 

However, series two, which aired in November and December 2012, saw the show struggle to attract large numbers of viewers, with fewer than 1.5m tuning in.

It was announced yesterday that Dominic West will play Richard Burton in a new BBC4 bio-drama, opposite Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor. Ben Whishaw, who starred as Q in Skyfall, also appears in Cloud Atlas, which is released in UK cinemas on 22 February.

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