Tag Archives: Holby City

In case you’re missing Holby

In the run up to the final Holby episode, my Metro colleagues and I were busy as bees with Holby interviews and articles. In case you missed anything or want to revisit, here’s a handy list of links.

Holby City stars reveal final episode ‘is really important’ to be a part of

Holby City story producer explains the challenges that came after show axe

Rosie Marcel is ‘upset’ Holby City was axed while it was beating EastEnders

Holby City star David Ames opens up about what he’s learnt playing Dom

Holby City stars discuss a Fletch and Donna spin-off after show ends

Holby City star Alex Walkinshaw on fans campaigning to try and save the show ‘It was delightful’

Holby City star David Ames says Dom’s journey helped some fans come out

Holby City stars Bob Barrett and Guy Henry reveal whether they’d reprise their roles in Casualty

Holby City stars Bob Barrett and Guy Henry reveal how they reacted to cancellation news ‘It’s like grief’

Holby City stars on Dom and Ange’s relationship after Carole’s death

Davood Ghadami felt he ‘didn’t have the right’ to be sad over Holby City axing

Holby City star Davood Ghadami says show axing made playing Eli ‘extra special’

Holby City star Davood Ghadami teases show finale ‘It left me emotionally exhausted!’

Holby City’s David Ames describes Dom, Digby & Zosia trio as a ‘golden era’

Holby City legends tease what’s ahead for the final episode

Former Holby City stars pay tribute ahead of final ever episode

Holby City fans in disbelief as final ever episode airs tomorrow.  

BBC confirmed to Holby City that axing it was ‘nothing to do with the show

Holby City stars share how they reacted to show’s cancellation

My review of the last episode.

Holby City story producer Ben Wadey reveals finale secrets and why Jac died

A Love Letter to Holby City as the show ends forever

Holby City fans hit out as axed soap gets BAFTA nomination the day after ending


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Holby City: It was home

(Series 23, ep. 50 by Joe Ainsworth 29.3.22) I’ve gone all tearful about this episode over at Metro so please go and have a look. But first…

I can’t really believe this is the end of Holby City. This programme has meant so much to so many people’s lives. For me it turned from just being my favourite TV show to being the best job I’ve ever had when I wrote the Holby book. The weeks that I spent at the studio researching the book and talking to all the incredibly talented, kind and lovely people who make the show are memories I’ll treasure forever.

I actually got a small pay cheque from the BBC when I was invited to a script conference for series 16, so I think I can actually lay claim to being part of the story team. For an hour.

Back to the actual episode. Line of the week, of the series, of the entire show: (Jac, obvs) ’This is what the NHS means to us. Not a badge on a cabinet minister’s lapel. Not a number down the side of a bus. It’s a nurse missing her break to sit with a lonely patient. A surgeon grinding out a 15 hour op. The sound of sirens coming to the rescue. Thursday night applause floating across the rooftops. It’s all of us doing the best we can in impossible circumstances. It’s something to believe in. It’s home.’

I loved that they took the chance to have one last go at the useless, lying, self-serving government, and praise the wonderful NHS, in such a beautiful and poetic way.

Line of the week 2: (Sacha) ‘You love me really’ (Jac) ‘You know I do.’ As last (living) words go, that was perfect.

Line of the week 3: (Nicky does well in surgery) ‘I can’t wait to tell Jac.’ That feeling that the person you want to share the highlights of your life with isn’t there any more.

These final episodes have been incredible and I’m just left gobsmacked once again at the skill and genius of the people who write this show. To be able to pivot from being a continuing drama to wrapping things up in a dramatically satisfying and emotionally truthful way takes such clever writing and they absolutely pulled it off.

In the end there was very little separation between what was going on in the story world – Jac’s death – and the real world – the cancellation of the show. Knowing that the actors and crew were in real life saying goodbye to something they loved made seeing them say goodbye to Jac even more heartbreaking.

When Rosie Marcel told me that Luke Roberts had promised her he would be involved in her exit storyline, I pictured that it would mean a rekindling of their romance and a happy ever after. That would have been the Hollywood ending, but it wouldn’t have been true to Jac’s story. I’m glad that in the end Joseph was the custodian of part of her legacy. The scenes with him and the other returning actors could have seemed a bit too contrived in less assured hands, but it was so sincerely done and carried such a strong message about organ donation that it fit perfectly with the tone of the story.

And those final scenes as the camera pulled back on all those people doing their jobs, carrying on as if it’ll all go on even when we’re not watching, that was just lovely. It was a thank you to the NHS, to the fans, and to every single person who’s ever come through those gates at Elstree to work on the show.

Goodbye, Holby City. You’ve been brilliant x


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Holby City: The penultimate

(Series 23, ep. 49 by Andy Bayliss 22.3.22) Pop over to Metro and see what I made of this week’s stunning episode. But before you go…

I can’t stop thinking about this episode, even a week after I first watched it. There was so much in it.

One thing that really haunts me is that Jac’s new flat had the view of the school playing field and the sound of children playing. Was she hoping Emma would go to that school one day? The juxtaposition of the sound and sight of the school kids all full of life, and knowing that Jac was facing her own death was almost unbearably sad.

And the song she’d been listening to – English Rose by the Jam. An echo of the rose that was named after her.

(We once had a plumber who had the lyrics to that song tattooed on his arm).

It was such a brilliant idea to bring Ken back. And Lexy.

That ending. Thinking Jac was dead, then seeing she was alive. Her optimism when she thought the surgery had worked and her utter despair when she discovered it hadn’t.

Jac saying sorry to Elliot for putting him in that position. That was why she didn’t ask Elliot to do the surgery first, in case that happened.

And now there’s only one episode to go. There’s still the slim hope that Jac’s life can be saved, but the stage is set for an absolutely unmissable, hugely emotional, final 40 minutes as Holby goes out at the top of its game.

And yes, you will need tissues, whatever happens. All the tissues.


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Holby City: Elliot prepares to freeze the Ice Queen

(Series 23, ep. 48 by Katie Douglas 15.3.22) Pop over to Metro for this week’s review. But first…

Only two more episodes to go. Two. More. Episodes. And they are both brilliant, which kind of makes it worse. Oh, BBC, what were you thinking cancelling this show?

But back to this week and – Elliot Hope. Of course it had to be Elliot. And of course he would eventually think of a way of doing Jac’s op that nobody has tried yet.

Somewhat ironic that the best chance of saving Jac’s life is to freeze her. She’s been called the Ice Queen so many times that you’d think she’d be cold enough already.

Essie, Digby and Jasmine at the beginning was a beautiful touch. I actually gasped out loud when Jasmine appeared, knowing how much Jac loved her and how Jasmine’s death had robbed her of the chance to tell her.

I loved that ghostly Essie was a bit miffed to hear that Sacha had moved on so quickly after her death (but only as far as Jodie, and what a huge mistake that was) but she was thrilled to hear how much he’d missed her.

This must mean she’s not haunting Sacha, otherwise she would already have known all this.

When Elliot said he had something that other heart surgeons don’t have (“They don’t love you [Jac] like I do,”) I would argue there are at least two other heart surgeons who do – Mo and Joseph.

Jac’s rules for nurses: “No talkers, no idiots and no one too young to remember the millennium.”

Kylie’s driving history: “I crashed a go kart once. People cried. There was blood.”

Donna arrived just in the nick of time and I’m pleased she got to do the ‘improvised chest drain scene’ before the show ended. It’s a classic. And of course she hates the private hospital. If you sliced Donna up she’d have NHS written right through her.

There was a classic Hanssen moment when he saw Kylie lurking outside his door.

Metro prefers to refer to him as Henrik, but he’ll always be Hanssen to me.

Only two more episodes to go. I know I already said that, but…


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Holby City: The rose has a leaf

(Series 23, ep. 47 by Katie Douglas 8.1.22) Kindly pop over to Metro where you’ll find a full review of this episode. But I have a couple of additional thoughts before you go…

Opening scene of the season: I loved that pre-title sequence with Hanssen making the sombre and stirring speech and then Jac cutting in with, ‘Goodness sake, Henrik, just read the bloody thing!’

The list of people who’d won the Junior Doctor Prize and then died was both amusing and sad, being a poignant reminder of all those beloved characters – as Sacha said, ‘Tara Lo, Jasmine Burrows, Arthur Digby. Cameron Dunn won it twice in a row but he almost definitely cheated.’ Plus a mention later from Lexy the Holby vicar of Penny Valentine.

I seem to remember but can’t be bothered to look, that Lexy was an early recipient of one of Elliot Hope’s experimental artificial hearts. Was it the Herzig or the Kibo? I think Oliver Valentine got one too, at one point.

Fletch still loves Jac, doesn’t he? She probably loves him too but she hasn’t got time for All That because she’s too busy trying not to die.

But Joseph though (I feel disloyal if I don’t mention him at least once).

It’s always lovely to see Selfie. I know he’s an awful person who’s done terrible things, but he’s a great character and John Michie is, frankly, a legend.

Fletch carrying Jac to Darwin after she collapsed reminded me of when her sister Jasmine died and Dr Damon Ford carried her to AAU.

Hanssen being cruel to be kind to Russ was well-intentioned but also misguided. But obviously there’s a part of Hanssen that’s terrified of what being in a relationship with Russ would mean to someone with his famously guarded personality. Leeds isn’t far away from fictional Holby, though, so I don’t think Russ will give up. Billie will make sure he doesn’t.

Hurrah for Madge and Kylie trapping that hideous Regina woman.

Jac’s rose had a new leaf on it. For anyone who remembers Hanssen nursing the symbolic/actual bird back to life, that’s got to be A Sign.

So who did Fletch ring at the end of the episode? I know but I’m not telling.


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Holby City: Holby’s home, to me.

(Series 23, ep. 46 by Sophia Leonie 28.2.22) Please pop over to Metro for this week’s review. But before you do that…

This long goodbye from Holby is just too sad. We’ve got lots of interview stuff coming up on Metro with Guy Henry, Bob Barrett, Alex Walkinshaw, Jaye Jacobs, Dawn Steele and David Ames, so keep a look out for that from my brilliant colleague Calli Kitson.

Back to this episode and – Michael Spence! How glorious to see him back, albeit far too briefly. 

Will Donna return to Holby (the hospital, as opposed to the show) for one last time, I wonder? I hope so.

I don’t usually like place names as first names for people, but Denver is quite adorable.

And I love how Max supports Billie. You can see that it’s helping Max, too, because she wasn’t there for Louis when he needed her.

Line of the week: (Max) ’A gerbil wouldn’t prepare you for motherhood Billie.’ And neither would a cat. I know this from experience.

That Sacha and Dom scene was ridiculously moving. I love Bob and David so much. I can’t believe I won’t be seeing Sacha and Dom every week soon. 


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Holby City: Hospital terrorised by baking powder

(Series 23, ep. 45 by Ciara Conway 22.2.22) Pop over to Metro to see what I made of this episode. But before you do that…

I loved the scene between Fletch and Jac, where he was turning detective to catch the mole and said it was like the TV show ‘Moonlighting’ – Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd, unresolved sexual tension. ‘And you’d be Bruce Willis in this scenario?’ said Jac.

Lockdown situations are great for characters getting right to the heart of their problems, aren’t they? Who could forget that episode with Jac and Joseph trapped in an operating theatre? Obviously not me, but then in my dreams Joseph has never left Holby.

I’m wondering now whether, rather than Joseph coming back for Jac in the final episode, they’re setting the scene for a Fletch/Jac reunion? There was that scene already mentioned, and then Fletch’s face when he discovered that Jac was in the middle of the ‘anthrax’ incident. He still loves her.

But he’ll only ever be a super-sub in my eyes.

Jac’s love for Emma is fierce and wonderful.

Line of the week: (Billie is a fan of the Hanssen/Russ combo)  ‘I’ve been totally shipping you guys.’ (Hanssen) ’Have you? Shipping? What is it?’

But Russ turning against Hanssen when he found out he’d been keeping Billie’s pregnancy a secret was far too predictable and boring.

And the mention of Elliot Hope! Either that’s the reddest of herrings or Prof. Hope is currently dusting the doughnut crumbs off his shirt ready to come to the aid of his good friend Jac. Hurrah! (If it happens).


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Holby City: Be more Max

(Series 23, ep.44 by Isla Gray 15.2.22) Please have a look at my review over at Metro. But before you wander off…

Line of the week: (Eli) ‘Remind me why we signed up to this?’ (Madge) ‘Well I don’t know about you, but I’d probably had a drink.’

Hurrah for Max for giving creepy Mr Forbes both barrels. ‘I accept that it’s unrealistic to expect people with your kind of attitude to be decent human beings, but as your boss I expect you to at least pretend to be decent while in the workplace.’ We should all be ‘a bit more Max McGerry.’

Hanssen and Russ are going to be lovely granddads to Billie’s baby. I think they should get their own spin-off show.

It was very amusing that the erstwhile King of the Loom, Henrik Hanssen, was caught out by Russ looming behind him while he was texting him.


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Holby City: Have-a-go Tuesday

(Series 23, ep. 43 by Michelle Lipton 8.2.22) Take a look at my review of this episode over at Metro (I write about Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders on Metro these days too). But before you go…

That was a brilliant speech by Donna. It’s clear where she lays the blame for the problems in the NHS and why she thinks nothing is going to get better in the next couple of years. Maybe not until a general election, in fact.

Naylor’s Rose – what an adorable idea, that the rose grower would name a rose after the woman who’d saved his life. And that it’s quite a ‘spiky little thing’ is very appropriate.

But how sad that, unless/until the miracle I’m confidently expecting happens, she may not be around to see the rose bloom.

It was lovely to see Bernie and Serena back as a couple.

And Serena instantly spotted there was something between Hanssen and Russ. She even managed to convince me that there was something between Hanssen and Russ. Then of course there’s Guy Henry’s magnificent range of micro-expressions doing their best to convince me too.

Line of the week: (Jac – trying to stop Nicky doing surgery that’s out of her league) ‘It’s not have-a-go Tuesday.’ Oh but it is, though.

If The Radiant Donna has left Holby I will be very upset. I need to see her radiance for as long as possible.

Parenting critique of the week: (Nicky has some blunt words for Bernie) ‘I’m not going to create some messed up little kid so desperate for my attention they turn out like Cameron.’

Line of the week 2: (Russ) ‘You’ve gone all awkward.’ (Hanssen) ‘I think you’ll find I’m always awkward.’


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Holby City: The murder capital of the county

(Series 23, ep. 42 by Ed Sellek and Jayshree Patel 1.2.22) Please have a look at my review for Metro. But before you head off…

Line of the week: (Jac seeks to allay Patricia Cole and Nicky’s fears) ‘Cameron blew himself up, thankfully, so she doesn’t have anything to worry about and neither do you.’

Line of the week 2: (Patricia’s not convinced) ‘This is the murder capital of the county.’ Never a truer word.

As good as Nicky is, I don’t think I’d be trusting her with delicate surgery on my delicate self. Even at the best of times she’s a bit volatile and excitable. If I was Jac I’d be sending begging letters to Elliot Hope, Joseph Byrne, Connie Beauchamp, Mo Effanga… Even Sam Strachan. Seriously. There’s a long list of fictional surgeons we’d love to see back and having a go at Jac’s inoperable operation.

I love the banter between Max and Ange. It’s funny and rude and real.

How lovely is Jeong-Soo for saving a doughnut for Donna?

Speaking of JS, I was listening to the episode through headphones thanks to having builders smashing a wall down right over my head (there was a ceiling in the way, I wasn’t in the middle of cascading lumps of concrete like the average Casualty episode). Chan Woo Lim’s voice is quite amazing through headphones – more like the gently purring engine of a Rolls Royce than an actual person speaking.

Though I think I’ve only been in a Rolls Royce once. My friend once gave me a lift to the wool shop (now sadly closed) in Borehamwood in one.

But back to Donna. I imagine her experience of being brilliant but under-appreciated resonated with a lot of nurses, who do a huge amount for very little credit – and chuff all pay.

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