Category Archives: TV News

Holby City announces Catherine Russell’s departure

GenericsSad news from Holby City today as it’s been announced that Catherine Russell will be leaving after seven years playing Serena Campbell.

Catherine explained her reasons for the change, saying, ‘Playing Serena Campbell and being part of the Holby family has been an absolute delight. I just need to get out there, frighten myself again and pretend to be someone else.’

It’s been promised that Serena will make a ‘heroic’ exit in early 2020. She’ll face a ‘dark reminder’ of the past and we’ll see her ‘joyously rebellious side’ as she fights for her family and the values she holds dear. The door will also be left open for her to return – Catherine says ‘Hopefully I’ll be able to revisit the hospital as it really is the most wonderful place to work!’

Catherine has put a video on Twitter about her decision here

Executive Producer Simon Harper has paid tribute to Catherine’s work on the show. ‘She’s truly one of the Holby greats,’ he says. ‘We are all very sad to say goodbye to her – but it’s no surprise such a talented actor should want to go and play other roles again after seven outstanding years.  Catherine, we wish you all the best, while raising a bucket of shiraz to the glory that is Ms Campbell – and I just can’t thank you enough.’

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Casualty news: Duffy’s leaving!

Casualty - Portraits

Some sad news from Casualty HQ this morning – Cathy Shipton, who plays Duffy, will be leaving the show early next year.

Cathy was in the very first episode of Casualty back in 1986 and has appeared in over 350 episodes.

Cathy says: “Walking in Duffy’s shoes through the years has taught me so much for which I’ll be forever grateful. I’m honoured and humbled to have played this inspiring woman. With sadness, but a sense of completion, l say goodbye.”

Executive Producer Simon Harper paid touching tribute to the star and her character, saying Duffy is “the caring, ideal NHS nurse millions grew up with – and whom you’d want to be looked after by in times of need. She’s given us some of our most unforgettable stories and moments, not least of late in her heart-rending dementia storyline, and I simply cannot thank her enough.”

(Picture: BBC)

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Casualty news: Dixie returns!

tt34Kb8wExcellent news from Casualty HQ today. Jane Hazlegrove will return to the ED in the autumn in two special episodes.

She’ll arrive as part of the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) team to assist the paramedics with a patient with a life-threatening chest injury.

Executive Producer Simon Harper says, “It’s wonderful to have the brilliant Jane Hazlegrove back in the Casualty family fold. Dixie was and remains a massively popular character with the audience who miss her to this day, and she and Iain are clearly going to have a lot to catch up on after his tumultuous year.”

Dixie’s return is going to have a massive impact on Iain which leads him to think about his own future. Is Iain ready for a new challenge and pastures new?

Jane Hazlegrove has already filmed her episodes and says, “It was really great to see some familiar faces again and of course to hang out with Sir Michael Stevenson…despite the fact that his jokes haven’t got any better!”

Read more: Dixie’s last episode

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Holby City news: Elliot Hope to return! Diane Lloyd back from the dead!

image002Yet another brilliant piece of news for Holby City fans, as it’s been confirmed that one of the show’s most beloved former characters Elliot Hope (played by Paul Bradley) will be returning for five episodes this year.

Paul says, “I’m really looking forward to returning to a programme on which I spent so many happy years. Holby has always been a hive of really exciting and imaginative stories and this won’t be any different, it’s going to be a cracker!”

As well as Paul’s return, there’s going to be another fan favourite coming back to the show. Diane Lloyd (played by Patricia Potter) was last seen in 2007 – when her character died. Executive Producer Simon Harper explains: “It’s not often we literally bring a character back from the dead, and no, Diane won’t be walking out of the shower and telling her colleagues it was all a decade long dream. Her return is in itself an anniversary homage to a time on the show when we experimented quite regularly with genre and style, so the audience can expect something very different indeed in a unique and quirky episode where Ric faces a terrifying and life-changing choice, and the world of the hospital is literally turned upside down. I’m so pleased Patricia agreed to return in this most unusual way. Diane was a huge and popular character in Holby’s first decade, and this will be such a treat for our long-term viewers.”

image004Patricia herself is excited. “It’s lovely to be returning to Holby,” she says. “I really enjoyed my time there and made fantastic friends as well as meeting my husband [doctor Jim Down]. Returning after a decade is very weird but it’s as friendly as ever and revisiting Diane feels like putting on an old glove! She had a tragic end and this storyline feels like it puts the character to bed with some peace and resolution. It’s great.”

The return of Elliot Hope is always high on the wish-list of any Holby fan and Simon Harper says, “How could we possibly celebrate Holby’s 20th anniversary without a return stint from one of our most beloved characters?  Elliot was the heart and soul of the hospital and the nearest thing to a father Jac has ever had – and her desire to please and prove herself to him at a particularly fraught time will have huge emotional consequences in our climactic story for 2019.  I’m so delighted to welcome the glorious Paul Bradley back to his Holby family, and I also know just how hungry the audience have been for this moment, so it’s wonderful to finally see it happen.”

There’s also going to be a revisit to an old storyline. In 2008 fans were gripped by the story of the Tan twins, conjoined twins who were separated by Holby surgeons as babies. The twins, now 11 years old, will come back to Holby. Simon Harper says the 2008 storyline “completely transformed the scope and ambition of the way we tell guest stories.  Seeing them all grown up, with their mum, and reunited with their saviour Ric just when he needs them most is a real tear jerker, and I can’t wait for the audience to see it.” 

All of this, along with the already-announced returns of Luke Roberts and Patsy Kensit as Joseph and Faye Byrne, means that Holby is going to continue to be unmissable in the coming months.

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Holby City news: New neurosurgeon Max will be ‘complex, with no filter’

image003There’s news today that actress Jo Martin will be joining the cast of Holby City in the Autumn as neurosurgeon Max McGerry.

Jo has previously appeared in Doctors, Fleabag, Silent Witness and Back to Life. She’s looking forward to joining Holby as she’s “been a fan for years.” She promises that Max will be “complex, with no filter.”

Executive Producer Simon Harper says that Max is “wry, funny, passionately driven and with no patience whatsoever for political correctness, or ‘snowflakes’ as she calls them.  So Holby’s staff had better watch out.  Professionally, her story will explore highly topical questions about the future of the NHS, while her personal life becomes increasingly turbulent.”

Max will follow in the footsteps of previous Holby neurosurgeons Roxanna Macmillan, Guy Self and John Gaskell, so it’s a role that tends to come with quite a bit of drama. Simon Harper agrees. “Traditionally, of course, being a neurosurgeon at Holby has been the equivalent of Defence of the Dark Arts at Hogwarts – a poisoned chalice!” he says. “Will Max buck the trend of her unfortunate predecessors? Only time will tell.”

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Holby City news: Luke Roberts and Patsy Kensit are coming back

Lke Patsy Rosie

This is, for me, the best news ever. As part of the 20th anniversary Holby City celebrations, Luke Roberts and Patsy Kensit will return to the show to reprise their roles as Joseph Byrne (The World’s Most Beautiful Heart Surgeon and the One True Love of Jac Naylor) and Faye Byrne (former wife of Joseph and mother of his child Harry).

They’ll come face to face with Jac as a life hangs in the balance. Luke Roberts says, “It’s been an absolute joy to slip back into the surgical scrubs, see so many familiar faces and reconnect with the likes of Rosie Marcel, Patsy Kensit, Jaye Jacobs, Bob Barrett, Guy Henry, Hugh Quarshie, Belinda Owusu and Alex Walkinshaw to name but a few of the mega talented folks working on the wards.”

Patsy Kensit says she read the script “as fast as I could, which shows what a gripping episode it’s going to be.” She says it’s really exciting to be working with Luke and Rosie Marcel again: “We always had a fantastic time together on set and that’s not changed at all.”

Executive Producer Simon Harper says, “Joseph was the love of Jac’s life, and as if that in itself weren’t enough to rock her world, he turns up with the woman who is Jac’s sworn enemy! It was for Joseph’s sake that Jac sent Faye packing in 2010 and as far as Jac’s concerned, it’s the ultimate insult and comes at a time when she is already feeling off-balance both professionally and personally. This unique episode concentrates entirely on this classic Darwin trio with all their past tensions and rivalries bubbling to the surface.” He promises a “gripping and darkly comic” episode and Patsy adds, “There are lots of surprises!”

This special episode is due to air in the autumn. I can’t wait!

(Picture: BBC)

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Holby City news: Sharon D. Clarke and Denis Lawson return to the wards of Holby

sharon d clarke holby2019 is the 20th anniversary year for Holby City – and you can expect lots of guest appearances and surprises in the run up to the 1,000th episode in the autumn.

First off, long-standing Holby fans will be delighted to hear of the return of Sharon D. Clarke as the inimitable Lola Griffin, ex-wife of the esteemed Ric. For those who haven’t met Lola yet you’re in for a treat – she’s one of my favourite ever Holby characters. She’ll only be back for one episode, in which she’ll ‘hold a mirror up to Ric’ as he reflects on his time at Holby. ‘I spent 3 ½ happy years playing Lola,’ Sharon says. ‘She was the kind of woman I would have loved to have seen on my screen when I was growing up. I was very proud to bring her to life and be a part of the Holby family. I’m so excited to be treading the wards again, and seeing what Lola will be getting up to for Holby’s 20th Anniversary. Hey, Ric, Lola’s back in town!

denis lawson holbyDenis Lawson also returns as CT surgeon Tom Campbell-Gore, who will be a rival to Ric for some crucial funding. This storyline will also introduce new surgeon Ange Godard (played by Dawn Steele). Lawson, who left Holby in 2004, says, ‘I have great memories of my time on Holby City and I’m delighted to be back on my old stomping ground with the Holby cast and crew.’

Executive Producer Simon Harper is also teasing more excitement to come in the months ahead. ‘We want to give the audience a whole year of anniversary treats, paying homage to the show’s heritage with some delicious returning characters – but also celebrating the new, working towards the 1000th episode around Bonfire Night… which is set to be an explosive story indeed!’

He’s also delighted about Denis and Sharon returning to Holby. ‘It’s a massive thrill to have Denis back, not only as one of our country’s foremost actors but also as one of Holby’s original bad boys in the show’s early years! Tom Campbell-Gore hasn’t changed a bit since he left Holby 15 years ago and definitely has some scores to settle with Ric… And it’s such a coup to have Sharon here again. It’s fantastic too, given how in demand she is  – not only is she a fabulous actor and a much loved tender, funny Holby character but  we clearly couldn’t let the anniversary pass without the appearance of one of Ric’s many ex-wives to ruffle his feathers.’

I can’t wait!

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