2019 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 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!
Chizzy Akudolu has just announced on ITV’s Loose Women that her character, Mo Effanga, will be returning to Holby City.
Confirming the news, Executive Producer Simon Harper says, “Chizzy is an all-time audience favourite and it’s glorious to have her back for a stint. Mo comes sweeping in after huge, dramatic events at Holby with all her trademark warmth and humour intact – and is determined to change one particular life on Darwin for the better.”
Mo will return to the wards just before Christmas, and Chizzy will start filming soon. She says, “Being back on Darwin is like putting on your slippers and wrapping up in your duvet. You’re home. I’ve really missed the cast and crew.”
And Holby fans have really missed Mo, so this is great news!
Not the actual cover!
I’m excited to announce I’m writing the first ever official, by arrangement with the BBC, Holby City book!
It’s a behind the scenes look at how the show gets to our screens, from the initial story ideas to the finished article we watch every Tuesday evening. The lovely people at Holby (and they are lovely) are being brilliant about letting me poke about and ask them lots of (probably annoying) questions. I’m finding out some fascinating stuff about the massive amount of work that goes into each episode, from the scripts to the filming, the actors to post production, and loads of stuff I wouldn’t even have thought of.
The book will be published later this year. Get email updates about how it’s coming along by following this link.
There’s going to be an interesting new addition to the Holby City cast early in the new year. Jemma Redgrave will play general surgeon Bernie (Berenice) Wolfe. Executive Producer Oliver Kent says, “When we dreamed up the character of Bernie Wolfe, we immediately thought of Jemma Redgrave and we were utterly thrilled when she agreed to join the Holby Company.”
Jemma has extensive previous fictional medical experience – from 1995-89 she played Dr Eleanor Bramwell in the TV series Bramwell, which was set in the Victoria era, and more recently she was Dr Zoe Evans in Frankie. She’s looking forward to getting her hands on a scalpel: “It will be great to be practicing medicine again, on one of the BBC’s flagship dramas,” she says. “I am so happy to be joining the cast.”
Bernie Wolfe is described as being a feisty general surgeon with battlefield experience – which will obviously come in handy for all the various power struggles she’s bound to come across in Holby. Oliver Kent says, “Bernie Wolfe will be a force to be reckoned with and I can’t wait to see her locking horns with our established regulars on the wards.”
WARNING: This article contains spoilers which some readers may wish to avoid
It may be the last series of Waterloo Road (sob!) but there is going to be no let up in drama as the hit school based drama heads to its climax in coming weeks. In Monday’s episode, we see former shrinking violet turned outgoing fake tan-aholic Bonnie take centre stage as her desperate bid for attention backfires spectacularly. Continue reading
Very rarely in soap do you get what would be classed as a ‘golden couple’, that being a pair of characters that are so meant to be and have such on screen rapport and chemistry that they are clearly soulmates. With most pairings of soaps succumbing to affairs or killing each other within the year, it is a treat for viewers and fans to have that solid couple who, no matter what the writers would throw at them, their love would still remain.
Coronation Street’s Hayley and Roy Cropper and Vera and Jack Duckworth were prime examples of this. And so were the irreplaceable Jim Branning and his beloved Dorothy. As news reaches us that the fantastic actor behind the kindly and bumbling Queen Vic potman, John Bardon, has sadly passed away, I reflect on one of EastEnders’ most loved characters.
Jim ‘The Basher’ Branning entered the soap as a brash, cruel and violent character, portrayed convincingly by John, but it wasn’t long before the actor’s natural warmth meant that Jim could not always be written this way. John was an actor who conveyed the decency and humour that Jim became loved for, and it was only natural that the character’s progression would follow this. Continue reading
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS. Please do not read further if you prefer to avoid them.
The aroma of plump sausages sizzling on the barbie, the feel of sand trickling between your toes (and the crunch of it in your sandwiches) and the blazing heat of the one solitary warm day we had are all distant memories. Our thoughts are turning from foreign holidays and ice bucket challenges to how we are going to occupy the slowly darkening evenings.
Cue the ambitious soap producer, determined to reel their temporarily errant, sun worshipping fans back in with an action packed autumn of drama. And Coronation Street and EastEnders are both really going for it this year. Continue reading