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Where Holby City cast are now from TV chef to Downton's top star


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Holby city is sadly coming to an end after two decades of the hit BBC show.

After 23 years of births, deaths and nail-biting operations, the hospital crew and patients will no longer appear on our screens.

Loyal viewers have been left devastated after the BBC announced they have axed the popular medical drama.

The final ever episode will air in March 2022.

In a statement, the BBC said: “We are incredibly proud of Holby City but it’s with great sadness that we are announcing that after 23 years, the show will end on screen in March of next year.

“We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC’s commitment to make more programmes across the UK.”

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The show was created by Tony McHale and Mal Young
The show was created by Tony McHale and Mal Young

They continued: “We have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

“Holby has been a stalwart with audiences, delighting millions of viewers each week and winning hundreds of awards with a compelling mix of cutting edge medical stories and explosive personal stories.

“We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high.”

When Holby started in 1999, it pulled in impressive average audiences of 9million but ratings started to decline as the original cast started to leave the hospital.

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The drama started with a core cast of 11 characters but slowly expanded to have as many as 20 in future series.

Those casting Holby decided to go for actors who were already established names – with many having previously worked in British soaps such as EastEnders, Coronation Street and Brookside.

Since leaving the show, many of the cast have had great success, from winning MasterChef and finding a husband to becoming a Hollywood film star.

Here is a look at what happened next for the Holby City cast.

Lisa Faulkner – Victoria Merrick

Lisa Faulkner, Holby City

After finding fame in Brookside, Lisa Faulkner was cast as house officer Victoria Merrik in Holby City.

The surgeon had huge potential but struggled under the pressure of operations and was transferred to work as a doctor on the paediatric wing.

Victoria had an incredibly grisly end, as she was stabbed to death by an angry father who blamed her for his daughter’s death.

It was actually Lisa who requested to have her character killed off with a “gruesome death” after two years and 45 episodes in the show.

Holby City was cancelled earlier this year

She later confessed: “It’s only afterwards that you really realise it means you can never come back, even if you wanted to.”

Lisa went on to star in Spooks and had an ever more horrifying death – with her character Helen Flynn having her head and face burnt in a deep fat fryer before being shot in the head.

As well as winning Celebrity MasterChef in 2010, Lisa started a relationship with judge John Torode and the pair are now married.

They hosted their own ITV cooking show on Sunday mornings and Lisa played Fi Browning in EastEnders in 2017.

In 2019, Lisa appeared on Celebrity Gogglebox with fellow Holby City co-star Nicola Stephenson.

Michael French – Nick Jordan

Michael French went back for a special appearance in Holby

There is a lot of crossover between Holby and EastEnders – and no one epitomises that more than Michael French.

After three years in Albert Square playing David Wicks, he left to play cardiothoracic surgical registrar Nick Jordan in Holby City.

Nick was a ladies man who mixed work with pleasure, having several love interests, but was passionate about saving lives.

Michael left the role after two years, but returned briefly in 2006 before being convinced to transfer over to sister show Casualty in 2008.

Explaining his decision to move, he said: “The BBC came up with the idea. At first, I wasn’t sure about him moving away from heart surgery, but we soon thrashed some ideas around and I realised it would work. It’s certainly great to play Nick again and I’m having a fantastic time on the show.”

Michael starred in Casualty from 2008 to 2013 but did make an appearance back on Holby in 2010.

He also reprised his role as David on EastEnders when on-screen mum Pat Butcher died in 2012, then came back again between 2013 and 2014.

His last known role was in The Sound of Music musical in 2014.

Angela Griffin – Jasmine Hopkins

Angela Griffin as Jasmine Hopkins December 1998

Popular actress Angela Griffin started her career in a small role in Emmerdale before really finding fame as hairdresser Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street.

Then in 1999 she took on the role of Jasmine Hopkins, who quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to ward sister.

Jasmine was engaged to IT support technician Carl until he hit her, then she nearly died after being stabbed by youths stealing from the drug store and had to be saved by Nick Jordan.

She started a relationship with a married nurse but stopped the affair once his son found out and left the hospital.

Angela decided to leave Holby after the third series in 2001 as the following one was set to be longer and require more filming time.

The actress went on to appear in BBC dramas Cutting It and Down to Earth, then played teacher Kim Campbell in Waterloo Road.

Angela is the go-to for any TV drama nowadays, having roles in Hustle, Mount Pleasant, Ordinary Lies, Midsomer Murders and most recently in Netflix series White Lines.

George Irving – Anton Meyer

George Irving was Anton Meyer

George Irving was one of the longest-standing members of the original Holby City cast – staying on the show until 2002.

He played cardiothoracic consultant Anton Meyer and had considerable input into the creation of his character.

Producers originally wanted him to be an Iranian surgeon but George suggested making him a Hungarian who emigrated to the UK.

The sarcastic, arrogant surgeon was a popular character involved in many explosive storylines, including operating on his own sister and losing his spleen after being shot in a road rage accident.

George decided that he wanted to leave the show because he struggled to leave the character at work and it was impacting his personal life.

The actor has also stated that he will never return to Holby because he wants the memory of Meyer to remain untarnished.

He went on to star in a BAFTA winning short film named Antonio’s breakfast and has also appeared in The Sweeney, The Bill, Inspector Morse, Doctors and EastEnders.

Phyllis Logan – Muriel McKendrick

Phyllis Logan plays Mrs Hughes in Downton

Phyllis Logan played Muriel McKendrick, who only appeared in the first nine episodes.

Her strict, no-nonsense character was frequently at odds with Anton Meyer and went behind his back to get things done.

Phyllis is best known for playing Mrs Hughes – Downton Abbey’s strict housekeeper who also isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

The actress, who won the BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer in 1983 film Another Time, Another Place, appeared in every series of Downton – where she was voted the best character of all times in a Radio Times poll – and the film.

She went on to appear in Doctor Who, ITV drama Girlfriends and play Maggie Smart in The Good Karma Hospital.

Phyllis will be returning to Downton for the second movie.

Luke Mably – Paul Ripley

Paul Ripley’s time on Holby City was exceptionally brief – as he only appeared in the first three episodes.

He was part of the first major storyline, where his character Paul Ripley was caught kissing an unconscious girl in the high dependency unit.

The ward clerk was fired for misconduct and ordered to leave the hospital immediately.

Actor Luke Mably went on to have roles in EastEnders, NCIS: New Orleans and the zombie film 28 Days Later.

Nicola Stephenson – Julie Bradford

Holby City television programme with Nicola Stephenson 1999

A single mum with mounting debts, Julie Bradford was overlooked for promotion so resorted to lap dancing at night to care for her daughter.

She was exposed when a member of the club was admitted into hospital and she was reprimanded.

But it all worked out well in the end when her ex-husband came back begging for another chance, so they remarried and left to start a new life with their daughter.

Actress Nicola Stephenson was already famous for being part of the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on British TV when her character snogged Anna Friel’s.

After two years on Holby, alongside some guest appearances in Casualty, she went on to star in Hotel Babylon, Emmerdale and Waterloo Road.

She appeared with former co-star Lisa Faulkner in Celebrity Gogglebox in 2019. She is also a recognised and widely used voice over artist appearing in ads for Nytol and on TV shows including the Blue Planet and Sun Sea Sex and Suspicious Parents.

Author: [email protected] (Kyle O’Sullivan, Lucy Marshall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV


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