Robson Green’s crimes series Wire in the Blood has been dropped by ITV1 despite audiences of 4.5 million.

The decision came as top ITV stars were warned of job cuts, according to a report by the Daily Record.

Chief operating officer John Cresswell sent an email to all employees saying the slump in advertising revenues had prompted a wide-ranging review.

Wire in the Blood is the latest casualty as the channel attempts to cut costs.

Produced by Robson’s Newcastle-based company, Coastal Productions, the series is broadcast in around 30 countries and had its sixth series in 2008.

Writer Val McDermid has hit out at ITV’s decision to axe the show: “It’s just a disgrace. People could say it’s self-serving, because it’s my book. But it’s not about the money.

“This is a slap in the face for Coastal, who have delivered first-class drama on a shoestring for ITV.”

Get exclusive access to your favourite stars. Subscribe to TV Times magazine