Holby City news: Henrik Hanssen and Oliver Valentine return!

hanssen4It’s the news that thousands of Holby City fans have been waiting for. It’s just been announced that Guy Henry is returning to Holby to reprise his role as Henrik Hanssen, the fabulously tall, enigmatic and looming Swedish former CEO and Director of Surgery. He’s looking forward to it, too:

“I’m so pleased to be reunited with Mr. Hanssen,” he says. “He’s such a weird and wonderful character to play – I’ve missed him! And the cast and crew at Holby are such fun to work with – I’ve missed them too. We don’t know what dark acts may have befallen Henrik during his time away in Sweden but I do believe that, when he looms down the corridors of Holby once more, his wit and his scalpel will be as incisive as ever! Can’t wait – see you on the ice!”

ollie-holby1In other excellent news, it’s also been revealed that James Anderson will be returning as Dr Oliver Valentine. Will he still be angry and bitter following the death of Tara, or will he have regained some of his sunny disposition? Most importantly, will his pig-ear-suturing and coin-juggling skills still be on point?

“I’m so thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring Ollie back to Holby,” he says. “There are lots of surprises in store, but one thing I can say: he’s older now – wiser, even – and I can’t wait to get stuck into playing this altogether more grown up Valentine to the one I left behind. Step up Oliver 2.0! Holby is a wonderful, nurturing family to return to, and I’m hugely excited.”

Also announcing the return of Kaye Wragg playing Essie, Executive Producer Oliver Kent and Series Producer Simon Harper told us,

“Essie was a big hit in her short stint with us earlier this year and so we were really keen to bring her back as soon as we can – finally it’s time to see if romance can happen for Sacha. He really deserves it.

“We were gutted when we lost James Anderson last year and we’ve been trying to persuade him to come back for a while. Finally the threats and thumb screws have paid off and the heart throb of Holby is coming back. He’s going to set someone’s heart a-flutter…

“And finally – HANSSEN IS BACK. The titan of Holby. We are thrilled to welcome Guy Henry back to the Holby family. We can’t wait to see how he gets on with Selfie…”

Sue H

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The Missing: Hard hitting and haunting

Nesbitt_The_Missing-388765James Nesbitt last night endured every man’s worst nightmare. No, he wasn’t forced to watch a rerun of last Saturday’s X Factor; he was starring in BBC Ones new thriller/drama ‘The Missing’ in which he lost sight of his young son in a foreign country for a mere moment. This minor lapse in attention led  his alter ego Tony Hughes, and his family, into the horrific ordeal of a missing child situation; one that, 8 years on, where certain strands of this story pick up, still haunts him.

The Missing tells the story of the Hughes family’s agony on two separate timelines; one which builds up to and shows the immediate aftermath of Oliver’s tragic disappearance and the other which looks at how the characters continue to struggle in the present day, eight years later. The direction and writing of the episode, where characters are effectively introduced twice and events are portrayed in a non consecutive manner, keep viewers on their toes and hold attention perfectly. It is a tense hour of drama that you can’t take your eye off of for fear of missing anything; and the slow unfurling of the plot already allows, at this early stage, for pieces of the puzzle to start clicking together.

Any parent sitting watching ‘The Missing’ would have been wincing throughout the entire thing; feeling a cold dread in the pit of their stomach in the blink-and-you’d-miss-it moment where Tony loses sight of his son. Once it finished, I have no doubt many would have went upstairs and given their children extra tight hugs too for this is a drama that tells a brutally human story; in a non sensational way and it sticks with you long after it airs.

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Holby City: Sometimes people can surprise you

mo holby(Series 17, ep.3) Mo might be “Doctor Mo,” star of Radio Holby’s crowd-pleasing medical phone-in, but that’s not really where she wants to be career-wise. She wants to be Miss Effanga, Holby’s well-respected hot-shot CT surgeon. In the zone, but not, as Jac pointed out, “the comfort zone.”

So Mo did what CT surgeons seem to do when they have a point to prove – she decided to do a spot of risky, history-making, ninja-level surgery that makes everyone else go, “Surely you’re not going to try that?”

jesse mo holbyWas she over-reaching herself and putting her patient at risk? At one point in theatre even Mo thought so. It was the point at which the machines go beep and people start wanting to page Jac. What Mo needed at that point was a pep talk. Possibly a pep talk from a devilishly handsome anaesthetist who just happened to have pitched up on Darwin that very day. It was only Jesse, back to be a thorn in the side of Selfie, but more importantly for this episode, to help Mo believe in herself, carry on with the procedure and save the patient’s life (and buy him a surfboard afterwards). Career credentials restored, Mo resigned from her Doctor Mo job – from now on we must once again call her Miss Effanga. Continue reading

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Our Man’s Soap Roundup: What I’ve loved and loathed

1413115878831_wps_6_FROM_ITV_n_nSTRICT_EMBARGIt’s been an eventful few weeks in soapland of late; with the return of gobby Cilla to Coronation Street, the return of slimeball Robert Sugden to Emmerdale, the return of sinister panto-villain Nick Cotton to Walford and the return of the grumpy Dylan to Casualty but nobody can say that the soaps rely on old faces to bring in the viewers. Oh, no, there has been much, much more going on besides. Unfortunately not all of it has been good. Here’s my every-so-often roundup of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of soaps…

What I’ve LOVED

More screentime for Gaynor Faye AKA Megan Macey (Emmerdale)
soaps-emmerdale-6978-2If there ever was a soap actress who was criminally underrated then it is the Dales’ Gaynor. She has proven over the last few weeks that, when given the material, she can consistently deliver some of soap’s strongest performances. Megan’s anguish in the wake of Robbie’s demise, her bitterness against Leyla upon discovering her business partner’s trysts with Jai and her viper-sharp cattiness towards Charity have all been sublime to watch. Megan is a character whose layers are only truly starting to be noticed and, the more I discover about her, the more I enjoy watching her. The tough exterior has long hidden a likeable vulnerability and I hope Gaynor and Megan both stick around for a long time to come. She’s the only one who can keep the Macey name alive!

Steve McDonald’s depression story (Coronation Street)

coronation-street-steve-mcdonald-402468Could there have been a better candidate for such an important story than Steve McDonald, played by the fantastically versatile Simon Gregson? Taking a character who is often perceived as a joke and who has a tendency to mess around and be light hearted and show that they, as much as anyone else, can be susceptible to the demons of depression has been a worthwhile writing decision. The story is honest and non-sensational; it shows a man reaching his midlife crisis in a very difficult way; finally succumbing to the stress he is constantly under. It accurately captures the mistakes and misconceptions those around someone with depression can make and Simon himself is making a heartbreakingly perfect job of portraying a man at the end of his tether. While it’s sad to see Steve in this way, it’s providing incredible drama and it is important for viewers to go along on this journey with such an established character as, at some time in our lives, almost all of us will have brushes with depression in some way. Well played on this one, Corrie.

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Keep It In The Family: Sunday silliness

embargoed_keep_it_in_the_family_tx01_02What do you get if you mix Paddy from Emmerdale, Colin Firth and spotted dick, throw in a bit of Miley Cyrus, combine a group of dirty minded pensioners and add a prize of a year’s supply of baked beans? No, this isn’t the start of one of my world renowned hilarious jokes but a fair enough summary of Bradley Walsh’s new Sunday night show, Keep It In The Family.

With the terminally declining and infuriating mammoth-turned-baby-elephant contest that is The X Factor and the thoroughly enjoyable but sleepy Downton Abbey, ITV’s schedule needed something lively and exciting to chase off the impending Monday blues and Keep It In The Family does a good job of fitting the bill. Admittedly, I spent the first ten minutes of the show sitting with my mouth agape in horror and my brain plaguing me with the question: ‘What the hell are you feeding me with?’ There is simply no getting away from the undeniable fact that Keep it In The Family is a hamfest of epic proportions; but once you get your head around it and realise that it is supposed to be that way, you can go on to embrace the cheesiness of the show and really enjoy it.

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Doctor Who (8/10) If you go down to the woods today…

doctor who[Jo the Hat is away, so SarahLady gives her thoughts on this week's episode]

You’re in for a big surprise…especially if the woods weren’t there the day before.

(Spoilers all the way down this week, come on, it IS episode 10!)

Firstly, I enjoyed this episode – I’ve been saying since Capaldi was first announced that he’s a natural for the part – the moment I saw him on screen in Deep Breath, I immediately couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t the Doctor. He harks back to ‘old’ Who with his lovely nods to the grumpiness of Hartnell and Colin Baker, the silly jumping up and down-ness of Troughton, the strangely old youthfulness of Tom Baker (rather than Matt Smith’s young oldness) – he’s a joy to watch and for the most part this series I’ve loved watching everything HE does, BUT it does come with a whole heap of problems, which Jo the Hat has talked about in past weeks.   Continue reading

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Casualty: Well look who it is

zoe casualty(Series 29, ep.8)  Zoe’s back, and her task is apparently to heal the post-Jeff grief with her soothing presence. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Connie doesn’t want to share her office because she needs somewhere to offend bereaved relatives in private. Ash doesn’t really want to share his office – he needs somewhere to hide from Dixie, who is still blaming him for Jeff’s death (out loud – she was yelling “It should have been you!” at him at one point). Max has no office, though he’s happy to share a ciggie, but Zoe is trying to give up nicotine and she’s already given up Max. And Honey keeps calling her Hanna. “I’ve heard all about you, Hanna.”

But Zoe does help, you know, because she’s a fantastic doctor and it hasn’t been the same without her. She and Dixie had a lovely bonding moment towards the end of the episode.   Continue reading

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