When myself and Jeremy Brock pitched Casualty to the BBC, our document read like a manifesto. It began: ‘In 1948, a dream was born – a National Health Service. In 1985, the dream is in tatters.’
“We were passionate, left-wing and both of us had recently been in hospital so we knew what stories there were to tell and how we wanted to tell them. Happily, the BBC teamed us with the brilliant producer Geraint Morris, who knew how to make great, popular drama.
“Not every story was political, but if someone was injured in an industrial accident, it was inevitably political with a small ‘p’. Similarly, if a man was beating his wife, we wanted to know why. Everything went back to this notion that the world was in turmoil and A&E was the perfect theatre to tell those stories.
“Today it isn’t the same show, but it has the same genes, and the joy of Casualty is the way it evolves. But I don’t think something as obstreperous as it was then would see the light of day today – and that breaks my heart.”