The future of ITV drama Heartbeat is hanging in the balance.

Filming of the current series will end in May and it is yet to be confirmed whether a production schedule will ever be resumed.

An ITV spokesman said: “Production is being rested because there is a stockpile of episodes to be aired – two years worth. Filming will finish later this year but fans won’t miss out. A decision about production is something that could be revisited at any time.”

Nikki Sanderson – who plays Dawn Bellamy in the nostalgic drama series – recently told whatsontv.co.uk that she was unsure of what the future held for the Heartbeat.

She said: “We don’t know whether it’s going to be finishing, whether it’s going to be put on hold for a few months or whether we are gonna carry on but that it’s just gonna be less episodes during the year.

“We haven’t had a confirmation yet, so I couldn’t honestly tell you exactly what’s happening with it.”

Nikki also commented on reports that die-hard fans of the show have signed petitions campaigning for its survival.

She said: “There’s been petitions and stuff – because it’s a very long-running programme and it’s really close to quite a lot of people’s hearts, people have campaigned, which is lovely.

“They’ve put a lot of effort in it to try and keep it on the screens.”

CLICK below to watch an interview with Nikki Sanderson

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