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FANS of TV wartime drama Home Fires are furious the series has been axed and could bombard ITV with jars of jam in protest.

The series, starring Samantha Bond and Francesca Annis, was based on Julie Summers’ non-fiction study Jambusters, which examined how women in rural areas coped during the war.

A second series of six episodes ran from April but ITV has now told the shocked cast and production team that there will not be a third series.

Historian and author Miss Summers who lives in Iffley, said she was "shaken up" by the decision.

She added: "Executive producer Catherine Oldfield called me last week and I thought she was going to say 'they are going with a third series.

"But she told me the network had pulled it and I couldn't believe they were pulling a drama that was getting six million viewers a week.

"None of us saw this coming and the fans are going berserk. There's a 20,000-name petition and people are sending pots of jam to ITV in protest. It's amazing.

"There is genuine sadness. Viewers loved the fact that it was a women-led drama with storylines that are still relevant today."

Miss Summers said four scripts for a third series have already been written and although she thought it unlikely that ITV would reconsider as a result of viewers' protests, she hoped the series would be picked up by one of the online networks like Netflix.

She added: "Home Fires is incredibly popular and has been broadcast in 135 territories including Canada and New Zealand."

Head of publicity at ITV Janice Troup said the TV station was aware of the petition but had not yet received any jars of jam.

She added: "We are incredibly proud of what Home Fires has achieved, but the ITV commissioning team continues to refresh the channel's drama portfolio, hence the decision not to commission a further new series."

Miss Summers, who worked on the series to give advice on its historical content, said the decision had left a gap in her schedule, and that of 550 cast and crew, including stars Samantha Bond and Francesca Annis.

In her blog Miss Summers said: "The cast have loved being involved and are as sad as the audience are.

"They were the first to spring onto Twitter and thank their six million loyal fans for their support.

"It has been heartwarming and uplifting to hear so much passionate praise for them and Home Fires."

She added: "When I heard the decision I thought I would burst into tears but I was too shocked and I still don't understand the decision.

"It would be lovely if ITV reconsidered it's decision but sadly I don't think that's very likely.

"My book Jambusters went up to the end of the war but Home Fires so far has only reached 1940 so there was a lot more we could have done with it.

"I was hoping there could have been as many as six series – I never thought it would end after just two."