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Amanda Mealing details Charles Venn's passionate calls urging her to not to leave Casualty

Amanda Mealing’s alter ego Connie Beauchamp will exit Casualty tomorrow night. Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine today, the actress detailed how Charles Venn urged her to “reconsider” taking a break from the show.
The 53-year-old said the Jacob Masters actor, 47, organised a virtual goodbye party for her.

It came after his “passionate calls”, asking her to stay in the medical drama.

The small screen favourite has played Connie for 18 years and has no plans to return at the moment.

She first announced she was taking a break on March 1, saying it had been the “most remarkable privilege” to star in the show.

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In an interview with Lorraine Kelly, Amanda said Charles really did not want her to bid farewell.

Fans will know her character recently suffered the trauma of her break up with Jacob.

When asked about exiting quietly and telling very few about her decision, she said her on-screen ex made sure she had a good send off.

“Once he [Charles] knew, quite passionate calls from him, asking for me to stay and whatever, and reconsider,”(sic) she stated.

“An hour later they said, ‘And finally, there’s someone hear to say goodbye to you’, and it was Paul O’Grady.”

Amanda and comedian Paul, 65, are good friends, with the latter being godfather to her two sons.

She is mother to Milo, 22 and Otis, 18, who she shares with her husband of 23 years Richard Sainsbury.

Amanda first starred as Connie back in 2004, reprising the role on and off since then.

Speaking about her decision to take a break, she said it had been a “tough year” for her like many others.

Amanda stated: “I think being on the show for a long time and a character that is inevitably in every scene, the work schedule is quite gruelling.

“I direct as well and obviously with the schedule the way it is with Casualty I don’t have any time to do other things, so I can only do those when I have annual leave or anything like that.”

Casualty continues tomorrow at 8.20pm on BBC One, while Lorraine returns Monday at 9am on ITV.

Casualty legend Amanda Mealing secretly returned to BBC set to clear out dressing room

She added: “Life imitating art or art imitating life? I don’t know which. I just left.

“I didn’t tell anyone so I had a lot of frantic calls.”

Her departure from the popular BBC show comes after a “quite gruelling” five years, in which she used her time off to take on other projects, including focusing on her production company and attempted to finish a feature film.

Mealing told the PA news agency: “It has been a tough year, a tough year for everyone, and I think being on the show for a long time and a character that is inevitably in every scene, the work schedule is quite gruelling.”