Yet 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.”
Patricia 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.