Crimewatch axed by the BBC after 33 years

Don't have nightmares... the show that helps track down criminals is ending to make way for new programming

Jeremy Vine Crimewatch

Crimewatch, one of the BBC’s longest-running shows, has been axed after 33 years.

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The series is being cancelled to make way for new programming, the Corporation said, though it will broadcast more episodes of the daytime sister edition, Crimewatch Roadshow.

Announcing the end of the format, which asks viewers for help to track down criminals and is hosted by Jeremy Vine and Tina Daheley, the BBC said in a statement: “We are incredibly proud of Crimewatch and the great work it has done over the years.

“This move will also allow us to create room for new innovative programmes in peak time on BBC1.

“Daytime show Crimewatch Roadshow will continue. We believe the successful Crimewatch Roadshow format in daytime is the best fit for the brand going forward and we will increase the number of episodes to make two series a year.”

Sue Cook and Nick Ross hosted the first show in 1984, which featured the murder of 16-year-old Colette Aram, who disappeared as she walked to her boyfriend’s house in Nottinghamshire, in October 1983.

The often frightening reconstructions meant that Ross always signed off with his famous refrain: “Don’t have nightmares, do sleep well.”

Previous Crimewatch presenters included Jill Dando, who was murdered on her doorstep in Fulham in 1999 – her own case being featured on the show.

Kirsty Young, Fiona Bruce and Rav Wilding have also fronted the programme over the years.

Notable cases the show has featured and helped solve include the James Bulger murder, the murders of Lin and Megan Russell and the murder of schoolgirl Sarah Payne.

Vine and Radio 1 presenter Tina Daheley took over as hosts of Crimewatch in September 2016 following a relaunch, replacing Young, Matthew Amroliwala and Martin Bayfield.

News of the programme’s cancellation was greeted with surprise and sadness by many, including former host Bayfield who said:

Today presenter Nick Robinson, who first worked for the BBC as a researcher on the show, also reacted to the news:

And Big Brother narrator Marcus Bentley said:

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What do you make of the decision? Was the BBC right to axe Crimewatch?