Why is Doctors not on BBC1 today? Plus, when it's back on screens

There's been a change to the Doctors usual schedule

a still from BBC show Doctors showing characters Jimmi Clay (ADRIAN LEWIS MORGAN) and Catherine Quick (MARILYN NNADEBE)
(Image credit: Future/BBC)

Wondering why Doctors isn't on today? There's been a shake-up to the BBC's TV schedule this week - for this reason.

It's the beloved daytime soap that has been drawing viewers in for 23 years. Much like Countdown (opens in new tab), Loose Women (opens in new tab) and Homes under the Hammer, the show has become a staple of daytime television. Fans have taken to the turbulent lives and loves of both staff and patients at the Mill Health medical centre and it's wider fictional town of Letherbridge for over two decades. Be it the opinionated and organised Kirsty Millar or fan favourite Jimmy Clay (played by longest-running Doctors cast member Adrian Lewis Morgan) - the show continues to deliver strong characters and shocking storylines.

Sadly February 2023 has seen Doctors withdrawn from usual BBC scheduling of late, with many fans wondering why. We've shared the reason why Doctors has been cancelled this week and when it's next set to return to screens.

Why is Doctors not on BBC1 today?

Doctors will not air on BBC1 this week with the broadcaster deciding to replace it with episodes of Animal Park Heroes instead. It's believed the change is due to an upcoming storyline that may seem insensitive following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Following the national disaster - which took place on Monday of last week - the BBC decided to replace Doctors last-minute with the animal show instead. The shake-up to the Doctors schedule now continues for a second week, with no episodes running during it's usual time slot on Monday through to Thursday.

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Last week's change was confirmed via the Doctors official Twitter account. The tweet read: "In light of news in Turkey and Syria, today’s billed episode of Doctors will be replaced with Animal Park Heroes."

It was thought that episodes were switched due to the show's storyline showing an explosion at a medical conference with many Mill staff characters sustaining injuries and being stuck under the wreckage.

Duncan Lindsay (opens in new tab), Editorial Manager & Soaps/Drama Editor at Metro UK, replied that "Characters are literally buried in rubble. Right call by the show and the BBC here." 

Not everyone agreed though. Twitter user @MjpDocument wrote (opens in new tab): "Doctors is an explosion not an earthquake no resemblance what so ever." 

Another agreed, commenting: "Characters are literally buried in cardboard and polystyrene they are literally just that, characters, the BBC could have put out their usual disclaimer that some viewers may find the scenes distressing and aired the episode."

When is Doctors back on TV?

According to the Radio Times TV schedule, Doctors is set to be back on screens on Monday 20 February at it's usual time of 1.45pm. Episodes are expected to follow on the Tuesday and Wednesday as usual too.

The synopsis for the next episode reads: "Nina wants to join the Mill as a partner, while Kirsty and Rich have to tell Ollie the truth, and Al is recruited by a true-crime podcaster to help solve a mystery."

Doctor's usual air schedule is Monday-Thursday on BBC One, with episodes starting at 1.45pm and ending at 2.15pm. As always, you can catch up with any episodes of Doctors missed on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab).

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.