Heartbeat fans from around the world have been signing a petition and sending messages against ITV’s shelving of the show.

Businesses in the village of Goathland in the North York Moors – where the series has been filmed for 17 years – said their petition was now approaching 12,000 signatures, while campaigners said they had received messages of support.

Goathland residents have been campaigning against ITV’s decision since the broadcaster said earlier this year it was suspending production of Heartbeat and sister show, The Royal.

And on Wednesday morning, ITV announced it was to axe 600 jobs, many in the north of England – further confirming that the long-running drama, currently starring Joe McFadden (pictured), is under threat.

Postmaster Brian Taylor, of Goathland, said: “I’ve had emails from Estonia, Spain, France, Germany, America, Canada and even Israel. They just all love Heartbeat and they are desperate to keep it going.”

Brian said the isolated community relied on the mini-economy the production of the Sunday night show generated.

“If it went it would be a big, big loss to the area,” Mr Taylor said. “I’m not sure this post office would have escaped the last round of cuts if it hadn’t been for Heartbeat and the trade it brings.

“We get a lot of tourists in the summer, which would probably continue, but it really keeps us going in the winter.

“We’re approaching 12,000 signatures on the petition but we’re expecting it to rocket.”

Goathland, which is about 10 miles from Whitby, is in an idyllic location, nestling in heather-covered moors.

It has a station on the heritage North Yorkshire Moors railway line which has been used as a filming location for a number of films, including in the Harry Potter series.

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