Ambulance (TV programme)

Ambulance is a British documentary television series broadcast on BBC One which follows the work of various ambulance services across the United Kingdom. The series is currently narrated by Christopher Eccleston, and was formerly narrated by Kris Marshall.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Ambulance title card.png
Directed byBruce Fletcher
Narrated by
Composer(s)Matthew Cracknell
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series5
No. of episodes34
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Dragonfly
DistributorEndemol Shine UK
Original networkBBC One
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release27 September 2016 (2016-09-27) –


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1327 September 2016 (2016-09-27)11 October 2016 (2016-10-11)
2824 August 2017 (2017-08-24)12 October 2017 (2017-10-12)
3826 April 2018 (2018-04-26)29 November 2018 (2018-11-29)
4818 October 2018 (2018-10-18)16 May 2019 (2019-05-16)
512630 May 2019 (2019-05-30)11 July 2019 (2019-07-11)
64 June 2020 (2020-06-04)16 July 2020 (2020-07-16)

Series 1 (2016)Edit

No. in
Original air date Viewers
1127 September 2016 (2016-09-27)4.43
The first episode reveals the dilemmas faced by the London Ambulance Service as they are forced to bump patients down the queue so they can prioritise the sickest, deal with time-wasters and cope with the ever-present threat that a major incident is just a 999 call away.
224 October 2016 (2016-10-04)4.95
Episode two joins the staff in the nerve-centre control room on the night shift, when amongst the thousands of calls they receive, they also have to contend with hoaxers, frequent callers and run-away patients. At one point, 125 patients are waiting for assistance and the ambulance allocators are forced to prioritise the sickest patients, even if that means bumping others down the queue.
3311 October 2016 (2016-10-11)4.16
The London Ambulance Service brace themselves for a demanding weekend shift. As Londoners head out to play, the Ambulance Service often has to pick up the pieces. They need prepare for a torrent of cases, all with their own unique challenges.

Series 2 (2017)Edit

No. in
Original air date Viewers
4124 August 2017 (2017-08-24)4.45
Paramedics race to help a man that has suddenly collapsed.
5231 August 2017 (2017-08-31)4.90
The highly skilled team race to help a patient who has been stabbed five times.
637 September 2017 (2017-09-07)4.69
A woman having a heart attack is taken to the Cardiac Unit at Royal Stoke Hospital.
7414 September 2017 (2017-09-14)4.67
A specialist team is dispatched to a serious car accident in Warwickshire.
8521 September 2017 (2017-09-21)4.72
A call comes in from a terrified mum whose toddler is fitting.
9628 September 2017 (2017-09-28)4.27
Justin helps deliver a baby, goes to a prolific caller and surprises a drunk patient.
1075 October 2017 (2017-10-05)4.38
Two brothers battling with addiction strikes a personal chord for paramedic Nina.
11812 October 2017 (2017-10-12)4.57
The West Midlands Ambulance Service must deal with the severe consequences of Storm Doris.

Series 3 (2018)Edit

No. in
Original air date Viewers
12126 April 2018 (2018-04-26)4.38
A day shift takes an unexpected turn for two West Midlands Ambulance Service Paramedics.
1323 May 2018 (2018-05-03)4.35
Extra staff are brought in on New Year's Eve, but the night doesn't go as planned.
14310 May 2018 (2018-05-10)4.06
A West Midlands Ambulance Service specialist trauma team are called to a brutal stabbing.
15417 May 2018 (2018-05-17)3.95
A day shift with paramedic crews brings a spike in mental health cases.
16524 May 2018 (2018-05-24)4.55
A specialist paramedic attends a machete attack but his less urgent jobs are as troubling.
17631 May 2018 (2018-05-31)4.44
It's the last Saturday night before Christmas and Sui has to prioritise stabbing victims.
18722 November 2018 (2018-11-22)N/A
West Midlands Ambulance Service must manage problems of a winter NHS crisis that has left patients queuing in the corridors of Royal Stoke Hospital.
19829 November 2018 (2018-11-29)N/A
West Midlands Ambulance Service crews pay a heavy emotional toll after attending troubling cases of addiction and attempted suicide.

Series 4 (2018–2019)Edit

No. in
Original air date Viewers
20118 October 2018 (2018-10-18)N/A
Over a busy weekend in Manchester, North West Ambulance Service paramedics Andrea and Glynn attend an RTC, while Debbie and Shaun try to persuade a homeless man to go to hospital.
21225 October 2018 (2018-10-25)N/A
During a 12-hour night shift with North West Ambulance Service, call handler Elly tackles an increasing volume of calls, and there are surprises for paramedics April and Clare.
2231 November 2018 (2018-11-01)N/A
A suspected terror incident requires a large-scale response and brings back memories of the Manchester Arena attack for the paramedics.
2346 December 2018 (2018-12-06)N/A
Call handler Joe faces his first unsupervised shift answering 999 calls on a busy night for the North West Ambulance Service.
24525 April 2019 (2019-04-25)4.26
A Friday night shift takes an unexpected turn for paramedic Jon. A panicked caller needs help for a friend who has given birth in a hotel room despite not knowing she was pregnant.
2562 May 2019 (2019-05-02)3.92
Joining North West Ambulance Service for a twelve-hour night shift. Call handler Elly tackles an increasing volume of calls, and there are surprises for paramedics April and Clare.
2679 May 2019 (2019-05-09)N/A
The BAFTA-winning series follows ambulance crews in the wake of England's defeat at the 2018 World Cup.
27816 May 2019 (2019-05-16)3.82
While most enjoy a hot May bank holiday weekend in Manchester, North West Ambulance Service paramedics Gary and Claire need face matters of life and death.

Series 5 (2019–2020)Edit

Series 5, again following the North West Ambulance Service, was split into two parts: the six episodes aired in 2019 were filmed in Manchester, and the six episodes shown in 2020 were filmed in Liverpool.[7][8]

No. in
Original air date [9] Viewers
(millions) [10]
Part 1 – Manchester
28130 May 2019 (2019-05-30)3.93
Call handler Laura offers life-saving advice to a panicked 999 caller.
2926 June 2019 (2019-06-06)N/A (<3.82)[a]
Paramedics Alice and Lauren of the North West Ambulance Service respond to an emergency call for a baby not breathing.
30313 June 2019 (2019-06-13)N/A (<3.88)[a]
Doctor Ian and paramedic Nikki see the human consequences of youth violence when they attend a 13-year-old who has been stabbed and two young men who've been shot.
31420 June 2019 (2019-06-20)N/A (<4.15)[a]
North West Ambulance Service faces the pressure of the busiest day of the winter so far with an overwhelming volume of calls and severe delays handing over patients in hospital.
3254 July 2019 (2019-07-04)N/A
Advanced paramedic Luke puts his specialist training to use when he is dispatched to a life-threatening motorcycle accident.
33611 July 2019 (2019-07-11)N/A
Following the North West Ambulance Service on their hectic shifts.
Part 2 – Liverpool
3474 June 2020 (2020-06-04)N/A
Following ambulance teams attending to the 1.4 million people of Merseyside on St Patrick's Day weekend
35811 June 2020 (2020-06-11)N/A
The control room team feel the pressure on a busy night as they receive calls concerning a cocaine binge, a traffic collision and an accident involving a cherry picker.


Michael Hogan, writing for The Daily Telegraph gave the second series 4 stars, saying "All human life was here. We witnessed birth, death and resurrection in the space of just two shifts. It sure beats Casualty".[11]

Awards and nominationsEdit

In 2018, Ambulance won its first major award, the BAFTA for the best factual series or strand. Producers from Dragonfly were joined by a representative from the West Midlands Ambulance Service as they accepted the award.[12]

Year Award Category Result
2018 British Academy Television Awards Best Factual Series or Strand[13][14] Won

International versionsEdit

Ambulance Australia screens on Network Ten in Australia.[15]

The first series of Ambulance (אמבולנס), was aired on Reshet in Israel during 2018.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Not reported in the weekly top 15 programmes for four-screen viewer ratings.


  1. ^ "BBC One – Ambulance, Series 1". The BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Hit BBC One series Ambulance bluelights its way back to London for a sixth series". The BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  3. ^ "BBC One – Ambulance, Series 2". The BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  4. ^ "BBC One – Ambulance, Series 3". The BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  5. ^ "BBC One – Ambulance, Series 4". The BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  6. ^ "BBC One – Ambulance, Series 5". The BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  7. ^ Sansome, Jessica (16 May 2019). "Will there be another series of BBC's Ambulance?". Manchester Evening News. Reach plc. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Ambulance Series 5 - Liverpool: Episode 1 of 6". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Ambulance – Listing". Next Episode. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Ambulance, series two episode one – an immersive insight into the stories behind the sirens – review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Ambulance wins Factual Series | BAFTA TV Awards 2018". BAFTA. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  13. ^ Rodger, James (14 May 2018). "BBC One documentary Ambulance wins BAFTA Award - full list of winners". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  14. ^ Sandwell, Ian (13 May 2018). "Here's the complete list of BAFTA Television Awards 2018 winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Ambulance Australia". Endemol Shine Australia. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Endemol Shine Group's Ambulance heads to Israel". Endemol Shine Group. Retrieved 30 April 2020.

External linksEdit