BBC One medical drama Casualty is to mark three decades on air with a feature-length movie-esq instalment on Saturday the 27th August.
“From day one of filming Casualty in 1986, I’ve been so proud of it’s true to life storytelling, representing everything the NHS stands for. I’ve been a part of a few anniversaries over the years, but this really feels like a significant moment in British television history.” – Derek Thompson
In the action-packed instalment, key characters will find themselves in peril as a result of some huge stunts while well-loved faces from the programme’s past put in appearances and the team pull together through a time of turmoil. Holby City’s Jac (Rosie Marcel), Hanssen (Guy Henry), and Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) will also have key roles to play in the drama in a crossover between the two dramas.
The beating heart of Holby’s ED, Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson) will also be celebrated as he reaches 30 years of service to the NHS. He’s the lynchpin of the department and leads the team in a diplomatic and indispensable way, but for this special episode, the shift won’t be a smooth ride for Charlie and his colleagues.
Casualty is the longest-running emergency medical drama series in the world, and Derek Thompson has played the role of Charlie since the series’ inception in 1986. He is the only continuous original cast member. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be recording a special soundtrack for the film at their home in Cardiff Bay, BBC Hoddinott Hall. Composed and conducted by Jeremy Holland-Smith, this will be the first time Casualty has collaborated with the orchestra.
The beeb also recently announced the return of actress Cathy Shipton who had played Lisa Duffin nicknamed ‘Duffy’ in the medical saga originally from episode one in 1986 through to 1993, reprising her role in 1998 for a further five years. She returned once again for two brief returns in 2006 and 2015 and last weekend featured in the 1000th episode. ‘Duffy’ will be welcomed back to the show permanently in August.
With a series consolidated average of 5.35 million viewers every Saturday night, Casualty, airing all year round, has featured many future stars including some of the world’s best known Hollywood actors – Orlando Bloom, Daisy Ridley, Kate Winslet, Tom Hiddleston, David Walliams, Sue Perkins, Martin Freeman, Danny Dyer, Sadie Frost, Nicholas Hoult, McFly, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Minnie Driver, among others.
The production is made by BBC Studios Wales for BBC One and is filmed at the Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff. The series was originally produced in Bristol but re-arrangement of beeb departments saw the saga move to Wales in 2012 although no location change has been made on-screen. Sister show Holby City, which is fictionally set at the same hospital is recorded at the BBC Elstree studios in Borehamwood.