Thousands of Shortland Street fans queue for hours to meet stars at open day

Thousands of Shortland Street fans queued for hours for a brief encounter with the show's stars at an open day on the set of New Zealand's most popular TV drama.

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An open day on the set of New Zealand's most popular TV drama has proved very popular indeed.

The event proved very popular with the queue running several kilometres.

Fans were told they faced a wait of about three to four hours, but they were undeterred.

Some travelled from far afield, eager to meet characters like TK and the longest running character in 'Shorty', Dr Chris Warner.

And it was worth it for a brief encounter.

"Oh yeah, I watch Shortland Street every day," one fan said.

It's the first time in the show's history it's opened its doors to the public, fans able to walk around the set freely, and meet some of the actors.

Ben Mitchell has played Dr TK Samuels for 13 years, known for his love interests and heroism.

He said some of the fans there today "have been watching since day dot right through. Some of them have driven from rural places, the just want to meet you and go, 'What are you like in real life?'"

Shortland Street is the country's longest-running serial drama, with almost 700 episodes. 

"We've seen everything. There's been marriages, weddings, funerals, you name it," said director Flora Wood.

In Shortland Street's makeshift emergency department, 20 people "die" every year. 

The set looks pretty realistic and that's because Shortland Street employs full-time medical professionals to make sure eveyrthing is spot on. 

Outside, the line wasn't getting any shorter, and unfortunately that meant many missed out.

But based on the popularity of today's event, they're not ruling out future open days.