Characters of Holby City

Characters of Holby City
A partially frosted window which reads 'Holby City NHS, NHS Trust'
The Holby City hospital set, at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.

Holby City is a British medical drama television series that premiered on 12 January 1999 on BBC One. The series was created by Tony McHale and Mal Young as a spin-off from the established BBC medical drama Casualty.[1] It is set in the same hospital as Casualty, Holby General, in the fictional city of Holby,[2] and features occasional crossovers of characters and plots with both Casualty (in episodes broadcast as Casualty@Holby City[3]) and the show's 2007 police procedural spin-off HolbyBlue.

Holby City follows the professional and personal lives of surgeons, nurses, other medical and ancillary staff and patients at Holby General. It features an ensemble cast of regular characters, and began with 11 main characters in its first series, all of whom have since left the show. New main characters have been both written in and out of the series since. In addition, Holby City features guest stars each week, as well as recurring guests that take part in story arcs that span a portion of a series. Occasionally, the recurring guest storylines will span multiple series. Many actors in the series have made prior, minor appearances as both patients and staff members in both Holby City and Casualty - in some instances crediting these former appearances for their later casting as main characters in Holby City.



In casting the first series of Holby City, Young selected actors who were already established names in the acting industry, primarily from a soap opera background. He cast Michael French as Nick Jordan, George Irving as Anton Meyer, Angela Griffin as Jasmine Hopkins, Lisa Faulkner as Victoria Merrick and Nicola Stephenson as Julie Bradford. Young explained: "Soap actors are the best actors. There's been so much snobbery before. The whole thing about typecasting was probably invented by actors who couldn't get other work. From day one I knew I wanted to put on screen people that viewers want to watch. There’s no downside to that."[4] This propensity for hiring established actors continued as the soap progressed, with later roles being awarded to comedian Adrian Edmondson, former film actress Patsy Kensit, and Jesus of Nazareth star Robert Powell.[5] When Jane Asher was cast in the recurring role of Lady Byrne in 2007, Inside Soap magazine asked series producer Diane Kyle whether the production team intentionally sought out "well-known-names", or whether roles simply went to the actor best-suited for the part. Kyle responded: "It's lovely when we have a new member of the cast come in and bring an audience with them. But we want the best actors, and the star names we cast are always the best - which is why we go for them."[6]

Many cast members who play main characters have made previous appearances in Holby City and Casualty in minor roles. Amanda Mealing, who plays cardiothoracic consultant Connie Beauchamp, appeared as the mother of a paediatric patient in the show's fourth series.[7] Luke Roberts, who plays registrar Joseph Byrne, appeared as the son of a medical professor in Holby City's seventh series,[8] Rosie Marcel, who plays registrar Jac Naylor appeared in both Holby City and Casualty as a patient on three occasions.[9] Stella Gonet, who plays CEO Jayne Grayson, had a minor role as an anaesthetist in Casualty,[10] while Hari Dhillon, who plays general surgical consultant Michael Spence, previously appeared as a recurring anaesthetist in Holby City.[11] In some instances, actors have stated that it was their guest appearances which lead to their casting in more permanent roles. Roberts believes that his single scene in series seven was enough for him to be called in for the part of Joseph,[12] explaining: "I hear it got the attention of the producers. Amanda Mealing put a good word in for me that day as well."[13] Conversely, Dhillon dismissed his minor role as Dr Sunil Gupta as a part he took immediately after leaving drama school, unable to even recall the year of his appearance.[11]

Main characters


Alex Adams

Jeremy Sheffield plays Alex Adams, a cardiothoracic registrar and a protege of Anton Meyer. He appears from series three, episode one until series five, episode 45. A romance with SHO Sam Kennedy almost ends his career, when Sam gets him drunk in an attempt to lure him into spending the night with her. Unaware he is over the speed limit, Alex causes the death of a young boy due to drink driving. He escapes a jail sentence, but departs for America when Meyer accepts a position overseas. He later returns and has a brief romance with Jess Griffin, as a result of which she becomes pregnant, but opts for an abortion. Alex goes on to suffer from the onset of Parkinson's disease, affecting his ability to work. He comes close to attempting suicide, but is talked out of it by Diane Lloyd, after which he leaves Holby for good.

Daisha Anderson

Rebecca Grant plays nurse Daisha Anderson, who first appears in the episode "Twelve Hour Nightmare", series ten, episode 24.[14] Daisha is described by the BBC as "a forthright and assertive Filipina with a highly tuned sense of right and wrong. She doesn't understand hierarchy or tact but is straightforward and honest and has a natural antenna when it comes to flirting."[15] Holby City was Grant's first television role. She explained of her introductory storyline: "Some characters get a huge introduction, but mine has a 'flow' to it."[16] Daisha's first appearance in Holby City explains that, although the character has been working at Holby City Hospital for some time in order to financially support her family in the Philippines, she has previously only worked on the Orthopedic ward - not one of the four wards the show focuses on.[14] Daisha forms a close friendship with nursing consultant Mark Williams (Robert Powell). She flirts with Mark in order to win a transfer to Darwin ward,[14] and moves in with him after breaking up with her boyfriend and being assaulted by her landlord, coming to rely on him yet further upon discovering herself to be pregnant.[17] Mark also aids Daisha in becoming ambassador of the Byrne Foundation for cardiothoracic care,[18] and promotes her to Sister of Keller ward, leading some to question the true nature of their relationship.[19]

Stan Ashleigh

Paul Shane plays Stan Ashleigh, a healthcare assistant who appears in Holby City from series three, episode one to series six, episode two.


Tash Bandara

Thusitha Jayasundera plays Tash Bandara, a general surgical registrar who appears from series two, episode five until series four, episode 37. Tash had a relationship with SHO Kirstie Collins prior to her arrival at Holby. She clashes with nurse practitioner Jasmine Hopkins, disparaging her position in the hospital. When Tash's father visits the hospital, she discovers he has Alzheimer's disease. She tells him she is a lesbian, and he refuses to accept her identity. When Tash's ex-girlfriend arrives, terminally ill from complications arising from AIDS, Tash decides to join her on a world tour, and departs from Holby.

Rachel Baptiste

Ayesha Antoine plays Rachel Baptiste, who appears from series eleven, episode six[20] as a staff nurse on the general surgery ward, Keller.[21] Antoine had formerly appeared in Holby City series seven, episode five, as Mel Allen, the relative of a patient.[22] She described her character upon her introduction as "quite nervous, but very excited",[23] expanding that: "She loves her job, caring for people and being helpful. She is at the beginning of a new stage in her life, and it's quite an upturn for her, and she's just very interested in getting to know everyone and is excited at being part of a group."[23] The BBC describe Rachel as: "warm and kind but perhaps a little too trusting. She's anxious to please. She loves nursing but her real passion is her boyfriend, Patrick."[24] Antoine received just a thumbnail sketch of Rachel's background, but commented that: "I love it. Give me a bit of spare time and I'll tell you what my character did age four and a half - whether it's a lot or a little, it's all good."[25] During Holby City's eleventh series, Rachel uncovers Daisha Anderson's post-natal depression and helps to support her, before being transferred to the hospital's geriatric ward. Executive producer Tony McHale commented on Rachel's transfer: "Although she is still working in the hospital, we are not likely to see her on our regular wards for some time."[26]

Mike Barratt

Clive Mantle plays Mike Barratt, a consultant general surgeon who previously appeared in Casualty practising emergency medicine. He appears in Holby City from series two, episode five until series three, episode 30, working on the hospital's Keller ward. At the end of the second series, Mike severely damages his leg after stepping on a poacher's trap and rolling hundreds of feet down a hill on a team building course. He recovers, and returns to work on crutches. At the end of the third series he is offered a job in New Zealand, which he refuses, although he does not return for the fourth series.

Connie Beauchamp

Amanda Mealing plays Connie Beauchamp, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon on Holby General's Darwin ward. Connie first appears in the series six episode "In at the Deep End",[27] She is initially portrayed as a married man-eater, engaging in extra-marital trysts with Ric Griffin and registrars Mubbs Hussein and Will Curtis, though goes on to become a loving mother to her daughter, Grace, fathered by surgical registrar Sam Strachan. Connie was briefly written out of the series in 2007 to allow Mealing time out to work on separate projects,[28] but returned to the show at the end of the year in the series ten episode "Elliot's Wonderful Life".[29] She departs the show in "Snow Queens". Holby City. BBC. BBC One. 2010-12-28. No. 11, season 13.

Julie Bradford

Nicola Stephenson plays Julie Bradford, an original character who appears until series three, episode 29. Julie is a single mother with mounting debts. When she is passed over for promotion to deputy ward sister, she resorts to lap dancing at night to care for her daughter. Her alter ego Crystal is exposed when a member of the lap dancing club is admitted to Holby General as a patient and recognises her. Julie is reprimanded, but is given a temporary promotion to help with her financial circumstances. During series two, Julie embarks on a relationship with one of the builders renovating the hospital, but he breaks up with her when he learns she has a child. When her ex-husband Martin arrives and begs Julie to give their relationship another chance, she agrees. They remarry, and leave Holby to start a new life with their daughter in Brighton.

Joseph Byrne

Luke Roberts plays Joseph Byrne, a cardiothoracic surgical registrars introduced in the series eight episode "A Mother's Love".[30] Roberts had made a former appearance in the show's seventh series as a minor character, and attributes this prior role to his eventual casting as Joseph.[13] His major storylines have included an accidental drugs overdose,[31] a relationship with fellow surgical registrar Jac Naylor, who cheated on him with his own father,[32] and a relationship with the show's "black widow" character, Ward Sister Faye Morton. Roberts' portrayal of the role saw him longlisted for the "Most Popular Newcomer" award at the 2006 National Television Awards.[33]


Tom Campbell-Gore

Denis Lawson plays Tom Campbell-Gore, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon who appears between series four, episode 45 and series six, episode 33.

Dan Clifford

Peter Wingfield plays Dan Clifford, a general surgical consultant who first appears in series nine, episode seven, "It's Been a Long Day".[34] Dan is described as: "sexist, materialistic and egotistical but also incredibly charismatic",[35] and engages in several romantic relationships during his single season on the show. He arrives having left his third fiancé at the altar, and goes on to develop feelings for both SHO Maddy Young, and his sister-in-law Louise. Of Dan's relationship with Maddy, Wingfield explained: "There was a line in one of the last episodes, 'one of them seems perfect for you' and I always thought that summed it up. Dan and Maddy have always been incredibly close without becoming lovers, but it is obvious that they are great together, so when it happens it is effortless and joyous and has wonderful potential. But Dan's private demons prevent it from being allowed to live and grow. I always thought it might be great for him, if only he could have let it be."[36] Similarly, Nadine Lewington who plays Maddy assessed: "Dan loved Maddy sincerely which is why he didn't want to risk hurting her anymore than he already had. He was too messed up to be good for anyone and he knew it."[37]

Wingfield describes Dan as "decisive, quick-thinking and pragmatic", explaining that "he doesn't allow emotion to control his choices".[38] He says of his reception: "People really responded to the character. He had such a roguishness and a wildness and you never quite knew what he might do or say next and I think that was exciting for people."[36] Dan leaves Holby in series ten episode two "The Last Throw" to accept a prestigious job in France,[39] though reappears briefly in episode "Love Will Tear Us Apart", arranging a meeting with Maddy but ultimately standing her up.[40] He reappears again in Holby City's eleventh series,[41] and although Wingfield left the show in order to spend more time with his family in Los Angeles, he has stated that he would return again "in a heartbeat".[36] He explained: "The story would have to be good, but I don't have any doubts that there is much more to explore and more fun to be had with Dan."[36]

Kirstie Collins

Dawn McDaniel plays Kirstie Collins, an original character who appears until series three, episode six as a cardiology registrar. Kirstie flirts with many of the staff, including nurse Danny Shaughnessy. In the second series, it is revealed that Kirstie had previously had a lesbian relationship with registrar Tash Bandara. Kirstie's father, who she has been estranged from for six years, is admitted to the hospital with a damaged liver after years of alcohol abuse. Kirstie agrees to see him and urges him to seek help. She leaves the hospital after undertaking a dangerous rescue.

Linden Cullen

Duncan Pow plays Linden Cullen, the head of Holby General's Acute Assessment Unit, introduced in series ten, episode 14, "Stolen".[42] Linden is motivated by his strong Catholicism, admitting in confessional to feeling he has betrayed his dead wife Olivia by developing romantic feelings for Ward Sister Faye Morton, after he and registrar Joseph Byrne track her down in a special episode set on location in Cape Town.[43] He reveals that Olivia was killed in a car crash, for which he blames himself, and that he has a daughter, Holly, who reminds him of Olivia to the extent that he cannot bear to see her, so is being raised by Olivia's parents instead of him.[43] A long-running series ten plot strand sees Linden become deeply involved with the plight of a pair of Korean asylum seekers, one of whom is pregnant with conjoined twins. As the couple are Christian, he feels compelled by his faith to help them, and ensures that the hospital hosts the twins' separation operation, despite political red-tape.

Will Curtis

Noah Huntley plays Will Curtis, a cardiothoracic surgical registrar who appears between series five, episode 32 and series seven, episode 13.


Owen Davis

Mark Moraghan plays Owen Davis, a consultant obstetrician who appears between series four, episode three and series eight, episode ten.

Greg Douglas

Edward MacLiam plays Greg Douglas, a registrar in cardiothoracic surgery who first appears in series twelve, working for Connie Beauchamp in London. He follows her back to Holby and begins working on Darwin ward, mentoring F2 doctor Oliver Valentine.

Abra Durant

Adrian Edmonson plays Abra Durant, a consultant surgeon who first appears in the series seven episode "Tuesday's Child",[44] filmed entirely on location in Ghana as part of the BBC's "Africa Lives" season.[45] While the role was created for Edmondson as a one-off guest-appearance, he has since reprised the role of Abra six times, stating that he has loved the show since its 1999 conception.[46] Abra's initial role in the show is that of Third World rights champion and humorous surgical maverick, whose major storylines center around serious rule breaking, and his relationship with colleague Kyla Tyson. Upon returning to the show in series eleven, the character takes a darker turn, resorting to self harm as a symptom of post-traumatic stress, following a harrowing experience in the war torn Congo.[47] Abra returns to Africa after seeking psychiatric help, and makes his final appearance soon thereafter, returning briefly to Holby in an attempt to convince Kyla to move to Ghana with him.[48]


Liam Evans

Adrian Lewis Morgan plays nurse Liam Evans, who appears from series three, episode 15 until series four, episode 35. Liam originally works on Keller ward as an agency nurse. He plans to leave the hospital to get married and move to Australia, but when he is jilted on his wedding day, he applies for a permanent position. When Liam overhears his neighbours arguing, he intervenes in an instance of domestic violence and is pushed off a balcony. He is left paralysed from the waist down, and becomes depressed, feeling unable to cope. When his ex-fiancée returns to Holby, she and Liam reconcile and move to Australia.


Lisa Fox

Luisa Bradshaw-White plays Lisa Fox,[49] who first appears in Holby City in series four, episode 13, "Shadow of a Doubt (Part 1)", as a midwife on the hospital's maternity ward.[50] She later goes on to become sister of the Acute Assessment Unit,[51] then clinical matron of Keller, the hospital's general surgical ward.[52] Following her departure from the show, the official series website described Lisa as: "ambitious, highly capable at her job and didn't suffer fools gladly. However, she sometimes took herself too seriously and was afraid to let her hair down. She had a determined nature and while she could cause friction, she was genuine and honest."[49] Her major storylines revolve around her advancing career, an on-off relationship with colleague Mubbs Hussein, and her father's death by assisted suicide. Lisa also appears in the Casualty@Holby City interactive episode "Something We Can Do".[53] Upon announcing her forthcoming departure from the show on 8 June 2005, BBC Publicity commented: "The character of Lisa has been wonderful in the show and she has always had a huge sense of fun and adventure. So in the months to come we will see her unable to resist the challenge of working in a setting very different to Holby City Hospital."[54] In her final appearance, series 7, episode 48 "Great Expectations", Lisa decides to leave Holby with surgeon Abra Durant and relocate to work with him in Ghana.[55] Although the character had only recently embarked on a new relationship with Mubbs, Bradshaw-White explained: "When he does finally declare his undying love for her and asks to move in with him, Lisa realises it isn't what she wants at all."[56] She expanded that "Lisa's waited so long to hear those words, but she's annoyed to discover he assumed she'd jump at the chance [to move in with him]."[57] She stated that she was "pleased it's a positive ending for [Lisa] as she's been so miserable",[57] and explained that her motivation for leaving Holby City was "Purely because I've been in it four years. I've loved every second here and I probably stayed a year longer than I wanted to, just because I loved it so much."[57]

Kath Fox

Jan Pearson plays ward sister Kath Fox between series two episode five and series six episode 26. Kath is the mother of nurse Danny Shaughnessy, and during her early years on the show escapes a violent marriage marred by domestic abuse to Danny's father. Her Christian faith is a strong element of her character, and she struggles emotionally when the hospital's Father Michal develops romantic feelings towards her. She rejects his advances, and he responds by attempting suicide. Later, she falls in love with and marries Terry Fox, father of midwife Lisa Fox. Terry is suffering from cancer, and later takes his own life. Kath is accused of aiding him in euthanasia by Lisa, and is arrested and tried in court, eventually deemed to be innocent. She and Lisa do not reconcile until Kath departs from Holby, leaving the country with her most recent love interest.


Jess Griffin

Verona Joseph plays Jess Griffin, the daughter of consultant general surgeon Ric Griffin. Jess first appears in series 4, episode 15, becoming the personal assistant of Owen Davis. She goes on to become a nurse, and departs from the show in series 9, episode 29. She reappeared in series 13, episode 3 on 2 November 2010, married to a man named David and 18 weeks pregnant, and again in series 13, episode 21 on 8 March 2011.

Lola Griffin

Sharon D. Clarke plays Lola Griffin, introduced in Holby City's seventh series as the two-time ex-wife of Ric Griffin, and a cardiothoracic registrar. She is quickly promoted to critical care consultant and head of the hospital's Acute Assessment Unit. However, the fast pace of the AAU combined with her "feisty, controlling"[58] nature culminates in her being fired from the hospital and suffering a heart attack on the same day.[59] Lola recovers following surgery, and is re-employed by the hospital, switching roles once again to become a post=operative care consultant. It has been announced that the character will depart from the show later in 2008, to allow Clarke to return to musical theatre.[60] When Holby General's CEO Jayne Grayson is forced to make a consultant redundant, Lola is top of the list. She leaves the hospital to work as medical officer at a private psychiatric clinic. With the help of Ric, she manages to fool Jayne into doubling her redundancy package even though she has a better job to go to. On her first day, she is reunited with former colleague Abra Durant who is being treated for post traumatic stress syndrome following his time in Africa. When Abra discharges himself and decides to return to Ghana, Lola realises that the new job isn't right for her, so hands in her resignation and leaves with Abra.

Ric Griffin

Hugh Quarshie plays Ric Griffin, the hospital's Head of general surgery. He is portrayed as "stubborn, impulsive and self-destructive," but at the same time "noble and righteous", unafraid to fight for his principles and medical ethics.[61] His major storylines concentrate on his gambling addiction, and his inability to find the right woman. Ric has been married six times (twice to fellow Holby doctor Lola Griffin), and has eight children and two grandchildren, both of whom died. He is the second longest serving character on the show, having arrived at the start of Holby City's fourth series.[62] The character was briefly written out in 2006 to allow Quarshie time off to film two episodes of BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, but returned again to the serial in 2007.[63]


Dan Hamilton

Adam Astill plays Dan Hamilton, a Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who first appears in the episode titled "Blue Valentine" of the thirteenth series.[64] Astill had wanted a role in the series for some time prior to his casting.[65] Billed as charming and sometimes lacking courage,[66] Dan begins a relationship with ward sister Chrissie Williams. However his rivalry with registrar Antoine Malick develops into something more.[67]

Henrik Hanssen

Guy Henry plays Henrik Hanssen, a consultant general surgeon and joint Director of Surgery at Holby General, who first appears in the premiere episode of the thirteenth series, "Shifts". Hanssen was sent to the hospital by the Department of Health to make budget cuts.[68] He is presented as "punctilious, pedantic and passionate about his work", but with a dry sense of humour.[69]

Sandy Harper

From December 2000 to September 2003, staff nurse Sandy Harper was played by Laura Sadler. The actress became the centre of extensive media attention when on 15 June 2003, she fell 40 ft (12 m) from the balcony of her boyfriend's second floor flat, suffering serious head injuries.[70] Sadler was taken off life support and died one day later, in Charing Cross Hospital.[71] Eight further Holby City episodes featuring Sadler as Sandy had already been filmed, and were aired as scheduled posthumously. BBC scriptwriters consulted Sadler's mother, Sonja Sadler, when devising the character's exit storyline. Mal Young said: "I went there thinking we were all going to be in tears and it turned into an unofficial storyline conference. I said we would find a way of explaining Laura's absence and her mum came up with an idea we all liked."[72] Sandy's farewell episode, "A Friend in Need", revealed that the character had won £150,000 on the lottery, and left for Australia to follow former love interest Danny Shaugnessy. After discovering various amounts of money she had left behind for her friends at Holby City Hospital, the characters gathered together in the hospital bar at the end of the episode, and raised a toast "To the one and only Sandy!"[73]

Mickie Hendrie

Kelly Adams plays Mickie Hendrie, a midwife who first appears in series six, episode 24. Mickie goes on to become a staff nurse, before departing in series eight, episode 47 to attend medical school to become a doctor.

Elliot Hope

Paul Bradley plays Elliot Hope, who first appears in the episode "More Equal Than Others" - series eight, episode four of the programme. Elliot is introduced as a consultant surgeon and Clinical Lead on Holby General's cardiothoracic surgery ward. His storylines see his wife Gina, a Motor Neurone Disease-sufferer, commit assisted suicide, and his relationship with his children subsequently deteriorate. Elliot considers suicide himself, before reconciling with his family. He ends a brief romance with colleague Lady Anne-Marie Byrne as he is still mourning Gina, and later shares a kiss with his old friend Tara Sodi. Bradley was cast in the role after originally auditioning for a more minor part, and impressing executive producer Richard Stokes. He observed real heart surgery being performed in preparation for the role, and bases his portrayal of Elliot on his own father, who was a doctor.[74] Elliot is portrayed as "a disorganised genius",[75] and "a medical Columbo".[74] He was the focus of Holby City's 2007 Christimas episode, based on the 1964 film It's a Wonderful Life.[76] The assisted suicide storyline proved controversial, though the Elliot-centric Christmas episode was generally well-received by critics. The Times's David Chater called it "highly effective in what it sets out to do",[77] though Robert Hanks of The Independent deemed it "incompetent to the point of sacrilege".[78]

Jasmine Hopkins

Angela Griffin plays nurse Jasmine Hopkins, a nurse who appears from Holby City's first episode until the end of series three. Jasmine begins the serial as a staff nurse on the cardiothoracic surgery ward, Darwin. She is promoted to ward sister, causing tension with her best friend Julie Fitzjohn, who also applied for the position. Jasmine is engaged to Carl, an IT user support technician at the hospital. They argue when he decides to set a date for their wedding without consulting Jasmine about it. When Carl hits Jasmine, she breaks off their engagement. Jasmine walks in on a group of youths stealing from the ward drug store, and is stabbed. Nick Jordan repairs damage to her heart, and as she is stabilised, it is discovered that Jasmine is pregnant. Upon recovering, she plans to have an abortion. Carl threatens to get an injunction to stop her, but Jasmine miscarries. Following the opening of the general surgery ward, Keller, Jasmine becomes a nurse practitioner. During series three, with the introduction of the children's ward, Otter, Jasmine often works with Otter nurse Steve Waring. They fall in love, and sleep together while Steve is still married to his wife, Emma. Steve's son Robbie discovers the affair and threatens to reveal it. Jasmine breaks up with Steve and departs from the hospital.

Mubbs Hussein

Ian Aspinall plays Mubbs Hussein, an obstetrics registrar who appears from series four, episode eight until series seven, episode 52.


Donna Jackson

Jaye Jacobs plays Ward Sister Donna Jackson. Since her first appearance in Holby City in the series six episode "Baptism of Fire",[79] Donna has become more serious about her work, despite her "chaotic" personal life.[80] Jacobs was cast in the role of Donna alongside fellow series six newcomer Kelly Adams, as midwife Mickie Hendrie. The pair's arrival in the show was heavily publicized, and subject of a documentary entitled "Making It at Holby", chronicling their casting process.[81] The two characters embarked on a brief lesbian liaison, however caused the BBC to ban its actresses from appearing in raunchy photo-shoots, after being photographed cuddling and kissing while dressed in nurse's uniforms for various 'lads mags'.[82]

Nick Jordan

Michael French plays Nick Jordan, who appears from the first episode of Holby City as a registrar on the show's cardiothoracic ward. He later returns as a general surgical consultant, before transferring to sister show Casualty to run the Emergency Department.[83] Following Nick's 2006 departure from Holby City, the series' official website described him as: "decisive, confident, charismatic and passionate. He was constantly striving for the top and wanted to emulate Meyer."[84] During his time on Holby City, Nick has several romantic interests, including ex-wife and ward sister Karen Newburn, theatre sister Ellie Sharpe, SHO Kirstie Collins, and registrars Diane Lloyd and Jac Naylor.[84] The series homepage assesses that: "He had tremendous pulling power with women, but commitment was not his strong point."[84] Michael French, discussing his character shortly after the show's 1999 conception, asserted that: "Like most blokes, he sometimes treats women as playthings – if they're willing. A little bit of hanky panky is part of the human condition, after all!"[85] Of his decision to transfer to Casualty, French explained: "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."[86] French was nominated for the "'Most Popular Actor" award in the 2006 National Television Awards for his portrayal of Nick.[87] Both The Guardian and the Sunday Mirror have likened the character to George Clooney's ER character Doug Ross - "the one everyone fancies",[88][89] but while Andrew Billen for the New Statesman agrees that Nick is "good-looking", he suggests French's playing another "love rat" character after his EastEnders role as David Wicks to be typecasting.[90]


Ed Keating

Rocky Marshall plays Ed Keating, a cardiothoracic registrar who appears from series four, episode 45 until series six, episode 33, working under Tom Campbell-Gore.

Maria Kendall

Phoebe Thomas plays Maria Kendall, who arrives in Holby City's ninth series as a student nurse, later qualifying as a staff nurse. Although the character did not make her Holby City debut until 28 November 2006, Thomas appeared as Maria on the 17 November 2006 Children in Need charity telethon appeal - which included a segment featuring the Holby City cast performing a version of Hung Up by Madonna.[91]

Sam Kennedy

Collette Brown plays Sam Kennedy, an SHO who appears from series three, episode 19 until series four, episode 44. Sam meets registrar Alex Adams in the hospital bar. They sleep together, and the next morning discover they are colleagues. They begin a relationship, but Sam leaves Alex for consultant Ric Griffin, who she later leaves at the altar. Sam tells the parents of a young boy that the operation he is due to have is unsafe. The parents remove their child from the hospital and his condition worsens. He is re-admitted and taken to theatre, but dies. When Anton Meyer discovers Sam advised the parents to withdraw their son, she is forced to leave the hospital, but exacts her revenge by telling the press about Meyer's "unsafe" operations.

Zubin Khan

Art Malik plays Zubin Khan, a consultant anaesthetist and the head of the hospital's intensive care unit, who appears from series five, episode 37 until series seven, episode 51.


Sacha Levy

Bob Barrett plays Sacha Levy, a general surgical registrar who arrives in series twelve. Sacha is the father of Chrissie's son, Daniel, and has un-reciprocated feelings for Chrissie.

Diane Lloyd

Patricia Potter plays Diane Lloyd, a general surgical registrar who appears between series four, episode 39 and series nine, episode 38. Diane has a disastrous love life, dating a number of hospital staff and marrying consultant obstetrician Owen Davies, who has an affair with his former lover, sister Chrissie Williams. Diane's storylines include a fling with nurse Danny Shaugnessy, aborting the child of Steve Waring and miscarrying Owen's child, the death of her sister, and facing an old medical schools teacher of hers who raped her. She also has an on/off relationship with Ric Griffin, who proposed marriage to her before her arrival in the serial, only to be turned down. Diane is promoted to locum general surgical consultant following the departure of Abra Durant. When the stress of the job becomes too much for her and Diane feels betrayed by Ric, she hands in her resignation. Consultant Elliot Hope suggests she take a sabbatical and lends her his car and a cottage to house-sit for a few months. Diane accepts the offer, but that evening parks the car on train tracks and commits suicide.


Antoine Malick

Jimmy Akingbola plays surgical registrar Antoine Malick. Akingbola had previously appeared in Holby City as a guest star, and impressed the producers to the extent that he was cast in a permanent role. Executive producer Belinda Campbell described Malick as "a complex character who completely divides opinion amongst his Holby colleagues", explaining: "He absolutely refuses to play the political game and his bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. However, there is no doubt he excels at his job and what would overwhelm other medics is like nectar to Malick."[92] Akingbola deemed his character "an alpha male who doesn't suffer fools gladly".[92] He explained that Malick aims to become a consultant, but has been held back from promotion due to his inability to engage in hospital politics. Akingbola stated that Malick has "a lot of dark layers", but will become calmer as the series goes on.[93]

Stuart McElroy

Conor Mullen plays locum cardiothoracic consultant Stuart McElroy, who first appears in "The Apprentice" - series 10, episode 4 of the programme.[94] Mullen was contracted for a period of 3–4 months.[95] Upon assuming the role, Mullen said of his character: "As a locum, Stuart knows he's not going to be at Holby for ever, so he doesn't care about hospital politics. Stuart also gets the nurses' back up a bit by making changes. The man's a bit of a renegade!"[96] The BBC described Stuart following his departure as "a people person full of Irish charm. But he was also a deeply jealous alcoholic and needed to control the person he saw as 'his'."[97] Stuart's time on the show sees him embark on a romantic relationship with sister Chrissie Williams. His jealous nature causes problems between them, and during a drunken row, he slashes her face with a scalpel. Hobley, who plays Chrissie, described the scene as "shocking" and "hard to film", revealing that she was three months pregnant at the time, but had not told anyone on set apart from Mullen "so he knew not to be too rough".[98] Stuart is subsequently arrested, and makes his final appearance in series ten, episode 18, "The Extra Mile".

Keri McGrath

Anna Mountford plays pediatric outreach nurse Keri McGrath, who appears from series three, episode two until series four, episode 41. Keri likes to party hard and often turns up to work with a hangover. Some of the children pick up on Keri's youthful attitude and run rings around her thinking she is a soft touch. At the start of series four, she gets drunk at a party and sleeps with Liam Evans. The next morning, Keri leaves the flat in tears and reports Liam for rape. The claim is eventually dropped and Liam's name is cleared. Keri leaves the show when Otter ward is written out of the serial.

Muriel McKendrick

Phyllis Logan plays original character Muriel McKendrick, who appears in Holby City's first nine episodes. Muriel is frequently at odds with Anton Meyer over beds on the wards. Muriel goes to the board and obtains four of Meyer's beds behind his back, and when he finds out he is furious. Muriel has a good working relationship with most of the staff, but is noted for her strict ways and no-nonsense personality.

Victoria Merrick

Lisa Faulkner plays PRHO Victoria Merrick, who appears from Holby City's first episode until series three, episode 26. Victoria is a surgeon who had a good grasp of the human anatomy but struggles to cope under the intense pressure of operations. Her father, Sir Charles Merrick, is an eminent surgeon and she struggles with his high expectations. Her boss, Anton Meyer, considers her an intelligent young women with a lot of potential, but did not consider her to be suitable material for a surgeon and transfers her to the paedatric wing to work as a doctor. Victoria tries to convince him to reinstate her as a surgeon, but he insists the experience will be good for her. Victoria begins an operation on a young girl, which she decides to terminate. The girl's father cannot accept the decision, and stabs Victoria to death. He confesses to Meyer whilst they are trapped in a lift, before taking an overdose. Meyer is outraged and attempted to revive the man so that he can be brought to trial and punished for Victoria's murder, but is hampered by the lack of equipment available to him in the lift.

Anton Meyer

George Irving plays cardiothoracic consultant Anton Meyer from Holby City's first episode until series four, episode 46. Irving had considerable input in creating the character, who was initially envisioned by the series producers as an Iranian surgeon named Hussein. At Irving's suggestion, Meyer became Hungarian, an emigrant to Britain following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Little of the backstory created for Meyer was ever revealed on-screen, as part of a deliberate bid to present the character as enigmatic, allowing viewers to project their own imagination onto him.[99] Meyer is a sarcastic, arrogant surgeon, with high expectations of his colleagues.[100] His major storylines see him operate on his own sister, fear that he may have Motor Neurone Disease, lose his spleen after being shot in a road rage incident, and ultimately depart from Holby for Michigan when the hospital Board make impositions on his autonomy. Irving made the decision to leave the series as he struggled to set the character aside outside of work, which had a negative impact on his personal life.[101] He has ruled out the possibility of returning to Holby City in future, preferring his memory of Meyer to remain untarnished.[102]

Meyer proved popular with viewers and critics. Following the series launch, he was described by Jaci Steph of the Daily Mail as the series' "only distinctive character".[103] Peter Paterson, also of the Daily Mail, has deemed Meyer an asset to the show, which he finds "feeble" in Meyer's absence.[104] Jim Shelley of The Mirror has described Meyer as "one of the best chatacters on television in recent years".[105] Meyer was particularly well-received by female fans, attaining sex-symbol status, described by journalist Lynda Lee-Potter as "the kind of domineering, unsmiling hero who made Mills & Boon heroines swoon."[106]

Faye Morton

Patsy Kensit plays ward sister Faye Morton. The character's introductory storyline, shot on location in Dubai, sees Faye leave her third husband for dead after a violent row.[107] The fate of her previous husbands, and her intentions towards on-screen lover Joseph Byrne, later unravel in another special episode, this set on location in South Africa. Kensit was short-listed for the "Best Actress" award at the 2007 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards for her portrayal of Faye, within three months of arriving on the show.[108] However, the dramaticism of the character's storylines and the manner in which they reflect upon real NHS nurses has come under criticism.[109]


Jac Naylor

Rosie Marcel plays registrar Jac Naylor. Her storylines focus on her attempts to gain promotion, going as far as to sleep with her boyfriend's influential father, and switch specialties from general to cardiothoracic surgery. She appears in a crossover episode with HolbyBlue, when she is arrested for the attempted murder of a patient.[14][110] After being cleared of the attack, Jac briefly becomes softer in her outlook, attempting to make amends with colleagues and dabbling with Catholicism.

Karen Newburn

Sarah Preston plays ward sister Karen Newburn, who appears from series one, episode three until series two, episode 16. Karen has a good rapport with most of the staff, but puts them in their place if they do something she disagrees with. Karen is the ex-wife of registrar Nick Jordan. She agrees to give their relationship a second chance, but when their attempt at reconciliation fails, Nick leaves Holby, and Karen does likewise.


Matt Parker

Adam Best plays medical student Matt Parker. He appears from series seven, episode 29, until series nine, episode 24.

Frieda Petrenko

Olga Fedori portrays ward sister Frieda Petrenko. Introduced as the cardiothoracic surgery ward's night shift sister, Frieda transfers to day shifts on the Acute Assessment Unit to cover the maternity leave of sister Chrissie Williams (Tina Hobley). Frieda has an initially antagonistic relationship with F2 doctor Penny Valentine (Emma Catherwood). When Penny learns that Frieda was a qualified doctor in her home country, Ukraine, she encourages her to retrain in the UK. Frieda resists the suggestion, but after being made redundant and having her diagnostic ability challenged by registrar Antoine Malick (Jimmy Akingbola), decides to apply for an F1 position, which she achieves early in 2011.

From the Ukraine, Frieda is a sardonic goth. She's as cynical as she is honest. Happy to take the night shift to avoid the politics and people that make life too complicated. She won't indulge egos and her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired, but beneath it all, she does have a real compassion and vulnerability. She's unlikely to forge friendships with ease but when she does it's likely to be one she'll fight tooth and nail for.

BBC Online[111]

The official Holby City website describes Frieda as "sincere, compassionate, supportive [and] honest", but "self conscious, emotionally closed [and] sarcastic."[111] In 2011, Fedori was short-listed for the "Best Newcomer" award at the National Television Awards for her performance as Frieda.[112] The award was ultimately won by EastEnders's Ricky Norwood. Ian Cullen of Monsters and Critics lamented Fedori's loss, opining that her performance in Holby City is hilarious.[113] Frieda has received critical acclaim, with the Daily Mirror's Jim Shelley naming her the "best character on television".[114] Shelley has included several of her one-liners in his regular "Soundbites of the Week" column, including her excuse: "I saw it in one of your Carry On films. I thought he might like it", delivered after inserting a sunflower into the rectum of a racist patient.[115][116] Fellow Mirror critic Jane Simon has also praised Frieda, deeming her one of the series' most interesting characters. Simon describes her as a "fearless, straight talking [...] super-nurse",[117] enjoying her ability to "liven up the place with her unlikely combination of ghoulish demeanour and slapstick sense of humour."[118] When a 2011 storyline featured Frieda facing redundancy, Simon commented, "we would be gutted if she left. Her friendly scowl is one of the best things about the show."[119]


Paul Ripley

Luke Mably plays ward clerk Paul Ripley, who appears in the first three episodes of Holby City. Paul is ordered to leave the hospital after he is seen kissing an unconscious girl in the high dependency unit.


Rosie Sattar

Kim Vithana plays midwife Rosie Sattar, who appears from series five, episode 32 until series seven, episode 13.

Sahira Shah

Laila Rouass will appear as surgeon Sahira Shah from February 2011. Announcing her casting, Daniel Kilkelly of media entertainment website Digital Spy described Sahira as a rival for Jac and love interest for Greg, who shares a "dark history" with Hanssen. Rouass was able to relate to the role as, like herself, Sahira is a mother attempting to balance her personal and professional lives. Executive producer Belinda Campbell stated that Rouass brought a "fresh new energy" to the series and that Sahira had been a "joy to create", commenting on the character: "While on the surface she appears to be cool and calm, underneath it all, she is kicking madly just to keep afloat. It will be fascinating to explore what is really going on underneath the façade of perfection Sahira has created for herself. I'm sure her character will be someone a lot of viewers will recognise in themselves."[120]

Ben Saunders

David Paisley plays midwife Ben Saunders, appearing between series four, episode 17 and series five, episode 29. Ben is the first regular male homosexual character in the show. He has a crossover romance, with Tony Vincent from Casualty. The pair's frequent clashes and Ben's cheating with another man lead to a violent dock-side fight, as a result of which Tony suffers serious kidney damage. The two break up, and are unable to reconcile. Ben struggles with coming out as gay to his parents, and at one stage enlists the help of fellow midwife and good friend Lisa Fox. When Ben's car is stolen by the teenage son of colleague Steve Waring, a car chase ensues, resulting in a crash which traps both Ben and Steve inside Steve's car. Ben dies within minutes of being cut out of the vehicle.

Ellie Sharpe

Julie Saunders appears in the first nine episodes of Holby City as theatre sister Ellie Sharpe. Ellie has an affair with Nick Jordan. When her boyfriend finds out, he turns up at the hospital and he attacks Nick in the lift, leaving him with a split lip and damaged pride.

Danny Shaughnessy

Jeremy Edwards plays healthcare assistant Danny Shaugnessy, who appears from series two, episode one until series five, episode 31. Danny works alongside his mother, ward sister Kath. he has relationships with Victoria Merrick and Diane Lloyd, and later trains as a student nurse on Otter ward. He eventually leaves to start a new life in Australia.

Michael Spence

Hari Dhillon plays consultant general surgeon Michael Spence, who first appears in the episode "Unfinished Symphony" - series ten, episode six of the programme.[121] Dhillon describes his character as: "kind of the counterpoint to Ric Griffin. So he's just a little bit lippy; if he's thinking it, it's out of his mouth, and a total straight shooter, very direct."[11] Michael is married to anaesthetist Annalese Carson.[122] His storylines see him cheat on his wife with nurse Donna Jackson,[123] with Dhillon explaining: "(H)e's kind of a serial womaniser.[11] [...] The trouble is, Michael had an affair at another hospital. He left because he wanted a clean slate. Essentially he wants to flirt - it's in his nature.[124] With the introduction of the character, a new private ward was annexed to the hospital, known as HolbyCare.[42]

Sam Strachan

Tom Chambers plays cardiothoracic registrar Sam Strachan. Chambers was cast as Sam after auditioning for the smaller role of an American doctor, and impressing casting director Julie Harkin so much that he was invited back to audition for the bigger role.[125] The character takes a more serious turn after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a storyline for which Tom Chambers actually shaved his own hair for realism.[126] Sam has proved highly popular amongst fans of the show, voted in the 2007 fan awards "Favourite All-Time Male" character.[127] However, he also attracted controversy when a scene in which he was depicted binge drinking caused drinks regulatory body the Portman Group to lodge an official complaint with OFCOM, for what they deemed a "highly irresponsible portrayal of excessive and rapid drinking".[128]

Ray Sykes

Ian Curtis plays staff nurse Ray Sykes, who appears from the first episode of Holby City until series two, episode 16. Ray is Darwin ward's comedian. He often engages in jokes with patients and enjoys match-making and gossiping. Ray is unsure of his sexuality and starts dating a former patient, Damien. When he tells Damien he wants to break up, Damien takes it badly and has another heart attack. Ray calls an ambulance and Kirstie Collins arrives, but is unable to save Damien, leaving Ray devastated.


Elizabeth Tait

La Charné Jolly plays Elizabeth Tait, a staff nurse who first appears in series twelve. Elizabeth is a recent university graduate, who worries she will be made unemployed when redundancies are made within the hospital.

Alistair Taylor

Dominic Jephcott plays Alistair Taylor, a cardiothoracic consultant who appears from series four, episode 45 until series six, episode 33. Alistair has an unstable marriage with his wife and colleague Janice, with whom he has a daughter, Flora. The relationship collapses after he pursues an affair with ward sister Chrissie Williams. Alistair is killed off in the 2004 Casualty@Holby City crossover after escaping a fire by jumping out of a window.

Janice Taylor

Siobhan Redmond plays consultant paediatrician Janice Taylor, who appears from series three, episode two until series four, episode 44. Janice is married to Alistair, who works at Holby on a locum basis on Darwin ward. She is initially oblivious to the fact that her husband has been having an affair with ward sister Chrissie Williams, until she finds out she is pregnant. Janice decides to keep the baby but move away from Alistair. Her last episode sees her have an emergency caesarean. Her baby, Flora, needs a heart operation which Alistair carries out. Flora survives, Janice thanks him, then departs from the series.

Sean Thompson

Chinna Wodu plays Sean Thompson, a Senior house officer who appears in series seven from episode six until episode 43. Sean is a love interest of nurse Jess Griffin. He initially believes he is the father of her baby, but even after she revealed the child is anaesthetist Zubin Khan's, he continues to support her. After Jess leaves him for Zubin, he transfers quietly to neighbouring hospital St. James'.

Kyla Tyson

Rakie Ayola plays nurse Kyla Tyson, who first appears in the series eight episode "I'll Be Back".[129] Ayola had made a former minor appearance in the show several years prior to being cast as Kyla,[130] and was asked to return in a more permanent role three years later.[131] The character is the focus of a number of hard hitting plot strands, including being subjected to domestic abuse, having her son taken into foster care, and battling resultant alcoholism. In August 2006, Ayola was shortlisted for the "Female Performance in TV" award at the fourth Screen Nation Awards for her portrayal of the character, and was granted "Honourable Mention" in the same category the following year.[132] Ayola chose not to renew her Holby City contract, in order to have a second child. She makes her final appearance in series eleven, when she decides between moving to Rotterdam with her son, or to Ghana with lover Abra Durant.[48]


Oliver Valentine

James Anderson plays Oliver Valentine, who first appears in series eleven, along with his sister, Penny, as a Foundation House Officer. Registrar Jac Naylor originally dislikes Oliver, but later realises that not only is he a good doctor, but he also tries to understand the patients, and has him transferred to the Acute Assessment Unit. On AAU, Oliver becomes friends with Chrissie Williams. They sleep together, and Chrissie becomes pregnant, but goes on to miscarry. Oliver is transferred to the general surgery ward, Keller, after annoying AAU lead Linden Cullen. Oliver works alongside Jac on Keller ward, and the two share a kiss, which Penny photographs and posts throughout the hospital. Oliver attempts to hide the photos from ward sister Daisha Anderson, who he is casually dating. When Daisha discovers the photos, she slaps him and ends their relationship. Oliver caused friction on Darwin when he treated a patient that nearly killed him and lied to Connie that Greg left him unsupervised to save his own skin. Greg however found out and got his own back at him by setting him up with a prostitute. On 1st March 2011, Oliver landed himself in hot water when the patient he made a mistake when closing him up a while ago was brought back on AAU. Under stress that the mistake would make him repeat his F2 year, tried to persuade Penny to take the blame. With an enquiry looming, Oliver snuck into Michael Spence's files and deleted his name from the list, trying to put Penny's name instead thus jeopardising her own career which had gone from strength to strength. However, he was eventually caught out by registrar Antoine Malick and was reported. When Penny found out what he tried to do, she said what he did was unforgivable and said he was "Toxic". It was then revealed that Oliver is actually practicing illegally, as he stole his sister's papers and passed them off as his own. Penny told him to admit it all to Michael Spence or she will, and gave him a deadline. Although the results showed that Oliver was innocent, he somewhat started to spiral out of control and breaks down in front of Penny when he confesses that he cheated on their final exams before starting work at Holby, passing her exam off as his, therefore not legally qualified to work as a Doctor. Penny was furious for what he did and told him that he has to confess his bombshell by the time she returns from annual leave, or she will. On the episode broadcast on 12th April 2011, Penny was killed saving a patient at the wreckage of train crash, leaving Oliver to identify the body. He plans tells the truth to Mallick, who convinces him not to tell anyone, saying that this conversation NEVER HAPPENED. Oliver is last seen in this episode sitting on a bench with Penny's belongings.

Penny Valentine

Emma Catherwood played Penny Valentine, who first appears in series eleven, along with her brother, Oliver, as a Foundation House Officer. Catherwood sat in on several bypass operations as preparation for the role.[133] She also dyed her hair red, commenting: "I think it suits Penny. She's quite feisty and ambitious and enjoys a friendly rivalry with her brother Oliver".[133] On her first day at the hospital, Penny proves herself confident but averse to becoming close to patients. Registrar Jac Naylor takes an instant dislike to her, and ignores her request to be transferred to AAU, instead placing her on Keller ward. After improving herself as a doctor on Keller, Penny is transferred to Darwin with Elliot Hope as her mentor. While working on Darwin, Penny secretly starts a relationship with patient Scott James, who requires a heart transplant. Elliot realises what has transpired between doctor and patient, and is disappointed with Penny. Disillusioned with her career, Penny decides to move to Spain with Scott, however Scott ends their relationship on Oliver's advice. Penny occasionally smokes, much to the disdain of her brother. Penny's full name is revealed to be Persephone, not, as might be supposed, Penelope. She died in the episode broadcast on 12 April 2011 after an accident at a train crash, her body was identified by her brother, Oliver.


Steve Waring

Peter de Jersey plays charge nurse Steve Waring, who appears from series three, episode two until series five, episode 31. Steve falls in love with nurse practitioner Jasmine Hopkins, and has an affair ith her. His son, Robbie, finds out about the affair, but decides not to tell his mother. The relationship between Steve and Jasmine falls apart. Steve later has a relationship with registrar Diane Lloyd, and takes a new job working on AAU. When Robbie joyrides in a colleague's car, Steve chases him and is involved in a car accident, later dying from his injuries.

Dean West

Paul Henshall plays Dean West, a fourth year medical student who appears in Holby City from series seven, episode 29 until series nine, episode 24. The character has cerebral palsy and was introduced to the show as part of the BBC's commitment to diversity on television, with series producer Emma Turner explaining: "The BBC aims to make Holby City truly representative of its audience and Paul is an essential ingredient of that."[134] Henshall, who became the first disabled actor to feature permanently in a TV series,[135] was cast after applying for the BBC's Talent Scheme, which also won him a role in the eighteenth series of sister show Casualty.[134] The role of Dean was created specifically for Henshall, who describes the character as: "cheeky but kind hearted. He's probably not really as confident as he appears."[136] Dean's storylines concentrate on his attempts to progress in his career despite his disability, and his friendship with fellow medical student Matt Parker. After falling out with Matt, Dean leaves to pursue a career opportunity in psychiatry. While Henshall stated: "I never attempt to play Dean as a 'disabled character'. I just try to make him as real as I can as a person",[136] upon his departure from the series, he commented: "I would have liked to see Dean doing more on the show and not always making mistakes and being a scapegoat. I wasn't happy that I'd seen myself described as being 'brought in to honour the BBC's commitment to disabled actors'; if Dean had done more on the show, they would have been able to talk about my storylines."[137] With regards to public reception of the character, Henshall stated: "I get a lot of positive responses about Dean. Some are from disabled people who see Dean as an inspiration and some from people who just think he's a great character."[137]

Chrissie Williams

Tina Hobley plays ward sister Chrissie Williams, the longest serving main character to date, having appeared in the programme since its third series.[138] Chrissie is presented as a classic "maneater",[139] with major storylines focusing around her affairs with colleagues Alistair Taylor, Owen Davis, Ed Keating, Mubbs Hussein, Michael Beauchamp and Sam Strachan. The character was written out of the series for a month in 2006, when Hobley was suspended for breaking her contractual agreement with the BBC not to appear on any other shows whilst starring in Holby City.[140] She returned in 2007, though was again temporarily written out whilst Hobley took maternity leave following the birth of her second daughter.[141] Chrissie returned briefly in October 2008, before returning again in the February 2009 episode "Take Her Breath Away".

Mark Williams

Robert Powell plays consultant nurse Mark Williams, who arrives in Holby City in the series seven episode "Stick or Twist",[142] as an addition to the series' existing Williams family, consisting of his daughter, Chrissie and wife Tricia. Powell commented that he took the role of Mark as: "I've never done a drama series of this kind before. It's great fun being allowed to develop a character over years rather than weeks."[143] Mark's major storylines center around his relationship with his family, having to deal with Tricia's breast cancer, the revelation that Chrissie is not his biological daughter, and Tricia's death in a road traffic accident. In the aftermath of Tricia's death, Mark is seen to battle a cocaine addiction - a storyline criticised by the media for its surrealism.[144] Mark is now the CEO of the hospital after being involved in a new relationship with Judith Marchant.

Tricia Williams

Sharon Maughan plays Tricia Williams, a staff nurse and the mother of ward sister Chrissie Williams, who appears from series five, episode 27 until series nine, episode six.


Nic Yorke

Liam Garrigan plays healthcare assistant Nic Yorke, who appears from series five, episode 36 until series six, episode 13. Nic is the brother of "Keller Killer" Kelly Yorke. Unaware that his sister is responsible for numerous patient deaths, he has a brief romance with staff nurse Sandy Harper, and is disappointed when she left Holby for Australia, to be with her old flame Danny Shaugnessy. Nic is accidentally killed when his sister causes a gas explosion.

Kelly Yorke

Rachel Leskovac plays staff nurse Kelly Yorke, who appears from series five, episode 39, until series six, episode 17. Kelly is revealed to be a serial killer, responsible for multiple deaths on Keller ward. She kills herself after causing her brother Nic's death in an explosion.

Maddy Young

Nadine Lewington plays SHO Maddy Young, introduced in the series nine episode "Face Value",[145] as a sidekick to, and old friend of established character Dan Clifford.[146] The character's storylines see her embark on a short-lived romance with Dan, and address hidden family secrets, including treating her escaped convict father, and attempting to help her heroin addict twin sister cover up the death of her daughter from a methadone overdose. The character proved popular with fans, and was long-listed for the "Most Popular Newcomer" award at the 2007 National Television Awards,[147] as well as voted Holby City fans' "Favourite Newcomer" of series nine.[127] However, in October 2007, the character came under criticism from drinks industry body the Portman Group, resulting from an incident of on-screen binge drinking, which the group lambasted as "highly irresponsible."[128] Maddy departs from the serial in series eleven after being stabbed to death by one of her sister's prison enemies.

Recurring characters

Thandie Abebe-Griffin

Ginny Holder plays general surgical registrar Thandie-Abebe Griffin. She first appears in the series 9 episode "Stargazer" as the new fiancé of consultant Ric Griffin (Hugh Quarshie), having become engaged to him during his sabbatical in Uganda. Thandie struggles as a doctor, and has Ric write her a reference when her real one proves uncomplimentary. She accuses cardiothoracic consultant Elliot Hope (Paul Bradley) of racial discrimination when he comments on her poor performance. On her wedding day, it is revealed that Thandie never actually qualified as a doctor, and Ric breaks up with her, escorting her back to Uganda.

Thandie returns in series 12, hired as a locum cardiothoracic registrar.[148] She makes amends with Elliot, though clashes with Ric, who files for divorce. Ric attempts to stop Thandie from being hired at the hospital on a permanent basis, however when she is investigated by the Home Office, he realises he still has feelings for her. Quarshie explained that upon Thandie's return, Ric initially believes her to be a "terrible person", however ultimately realises that he has been allowing his emotions to interfere with his work, and when Thandie correctly diagnoses a patient, he is impressed to realise that he has underestimated her medical ability.[149] He and Thandie renew their relationship, until Thandie's terminally ill brother arrives and requests that Thandie euthanise him. Holder has commented that Thandie is "horrified" by his request, but ultimately complies out of mercy. Thandie's decision ends her relationship with Ric, as her husband is: "a man of principle" who "doesn't agree with what she's done, but he does understand." Thandie then hands in her resignation and returns to Uganda with her brother's body. Holder has stated that there is a possibility Thandie may return in the future, revealing that she did not expect to return for the show's twelfth series, so could be invited back again.[150]

Michael Beauchamp

Anthony Calf plays Michael Beauchamp, chairman of the hospital board and husband of cardiothoracic consultant Connie Beauchamp. He has a marked ruthless streak, on one occasion having his own wife removed from duty to cover up his negligence. He has an affair with ward sister Chrissie Williams, promoting her to matron because of their relationship. His corruption ultimately leads to his downfall. He covers up an outbreak of VRSA, which causes the death of several patients. Connie forces him to unwittingly confess, and Michael is arrested for manslaughter. He spends ten months in prison then is released on appeal.

Lord Byrne

Ronald Pickup plays Lord Charles Byrne, a cardiothoracic consultant and the father of registrar Joseph Byrne. He works at Holby General's neighbouring hospital St. Luke's, and holds positions of power within the local medical sphere, including a role on the board of Holby's Trust. He has close ties to the Durant family, and is an old friend of the father of Abra Durant, for whom he finds research work after a brief spell at Holby General. He manipulates Connie Beauchamp to secure Joseph's position at the hospital, and constantly pushes his son to advance his career. His younger son, Harry, attempted suicide whilst a student at medical school, and is in a comatose state for several series before dying. Charles initially encourages the developing relationship between Joseph and general surgical registrar Jac Naylor, however after a hospital night out, he sleeps with Jac himself and begins an affair. When his wife, Anne-Marie, learns of his infidelity, she ends their marriage. Charles suffers a heart attack during series nine, and dies following surgery.

Lady Byrne

Jane Asher plays Lady Anne-Marie Byrne,[151] the wife of consultant Lord Charles Byrne, and the mother of registrar Joseph Byrne. Anne-Marie first appears in the series nine episode "After the Fall".[152] After making several guest appearances throughout series nine and ten, Asher signed a three month contract to become a series regular from May 2008 onwards,[153] for a period of 10 episodes.[154] Her initial storyline saw her son's girlfriend, Jac Naylor, embark on an affair with Anne-Marie's own husband - eventually culminating in his death, and leaving the character a widow.[155] Upon her return to Holby City, she takes over Charles' position as Executive Chairman of the Byrne Foundation - a charity committed to research into Cardiac Valve Disease. She also begins a relationship with Joseph's mentor, Elliot Hope, which ends as he is still mourning his deceased wife Gina.

Annalese Carson

Anna-Louise Plowman plays Annalese Carson, a locum consultant anaesthetist and the wife of general surgeon Michael Spence. Annalese arrives in series 11, discovering that her husband has had an affair with nurse Donna Jackson. Hari Dhillon has revealed of his character's relationship with his wife: "I think Michael and Annalese are complements to each other. They are certainly very different to each other, but they understand one another, and have a deep, loving relationship. I'm starting to realize that Annalese is the one person in the world - along with his children - that Michael truly loves. [...] It would be unimaginable to Michael to envision a world without his wife. He certainly would never try to hurt Annalese deliberately, but he just loves attention from women."[156]

After confronting Michael about his affair, Annalese loses concentration during an operation, leading to the death of a patient. Michael attempts to cover up for her mistake, but in a random breathalyser test, Annalese tests positive for alcohol consumption. When cardiothoracic surgeon Connie Beauchamp discovers the result of the test, she has CEO Jayne Grayson admit Annalese's negligence to the patient's relatives, and Annalese is charged with manslaughter. Although she is acquitted of the charge, she is suspended from work and leaves the hospital, after telling Michael she is pregnant with their fourth child, but is leaving him over his infidelity. Annalese returns briefly in series eleven, when her daughter is admitted to hospital after falling down the stairs. After Michael and colleague Ric Griffin save her life, Annalese and Michael renew their relationship. She later gives birth to a son, Charlie. When Michael announces that Annalese has given birth, he jokingly tells his colleagues that the baby's name is Brock.

A year later, Michael and Annalese are seeing a marriage counsellor, who, during their last session, collapses, having suffered a cardiac arrest. They get him to the hospital, though Annalese does not turn up to meet Michael after he comes out of surgery. She then throws him out of their home. A few weeks later, having left Michael several messages on his answering machine, Annalese arrives at the hospital and tells him that she wants a divorce. She later begins a relationship with Ric. Annalese later finds out Ric has Cancer.

Carlos Fashola

David Bedella plays Carlos Fashola, a plastic surgeon who appears between series six, episode 42 and series seven, episode 34.

Justin Fuller

Ben Richards plays physiotherapist Justin Fuller in series eight, from episode 23 to 37.

Jayne Grayson

Stella Gonet plays CEO Jayne Grayson, who first appears in the series nine episode "Under the Radar".[157] Gonet's casting as Jayne was announced on 15 June 2007,[158] when Gonet said of joining the cast of Holby City: "I am absolutely delighted to be hiring and firing at Holby."[159] The BBC describe Jayne as "a witty and ambitious go-getter who strives relentlessly to achieve her aims",[160] but who "thinks of herself as Solomon."[158] Jayne's first official act as Holby City Hospital's new CEO is to investigate a fabricated racial discrimination allegation made against consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Elliot Hope by staff surgeon Thandie Abebe - making her immediately unpopular amongst the staff.[157] In episode "The Q Word", it is revealed that prior to arriving at Holby, Jayne worked as a management consultant, and that when asked for help by her own father with his struggling business, she dismissed him from his position and took control of the company herself in a hostile takeover. In episode "Temporary Insanity", Jayne furthers her growing unpopularity amongst the staff by again turning down Abra Durant and Ric Griffin's proposals for charity operations at night. In July 2008, Jayne convinces the hospital's Board of Directors to create a Director of Surgery post. She has Connie Beauchamp and Ric Griffin apply for the job, secretly pitting them against each other by professing to support each of them. However, Jayne is successful in keeping the immigrant Tan family at Holby to have their baby rather than being deported back to a nation where they would be killed.

Keith Greene

Alex Macqueen plays Keith Greene, a consultant anaesthetist who is constantly maligned within the show for his poor sense of humour and irritable temper. He has featured in Holby City since its seventh series, becoming the show's Head of Anaesthetics following the departure of Zubin Khan. In episode "The Key Is Fear", Keith is verbally abused by a drunken Stuart McElroy, who surmises him to be an "obsequious, supercilious, insipid four-eyed toss-pot."[161] In the episode "Breathe Deeply", Greene collapses during surgery after becoming contaminated by a toxin from a patient. It causes him to stop breathing; resulting in him being intubated, though he goes on the make a full recovery. He tells Joseph Byrne that he was formerly married but Mrs. Greene divorced him. Greene applies for the Director of Surgery job, clashing with Connie Beauchamp, however neither of them get the position - which instead goes to general surgical consultant Michael Spence.

Macqueen is set to depart the show in the near future to concentrate on other acting projects.[162]

Gina Hope

Gillian Bevan plays Gina Hope, the wife of cardiothoracic consultant Elliot Hope, and mother of James and Martha Hope. Gina has Motor Neurone Disease, and as her condition deteriorates, she becomes increasingly bleak in her outlook - at one point having a DNR put on her records, which Elliot directly defies. When she collapses at home, he enlists Martha and registrar Joseph Byrne to aid him in fitting Gina with a tracheotomy against her express wishes. Although Gina thanks him for saving her, she soon returns to losing the will to continue. She refuses experimental treatment in Singapore, and after befriending Connie Beauchamp, goes away to Switzerland to commit assisted suicide. She changes her mind about not telling Elliot at the last minute, and he flies to Switzerland to join her as she ends her life. Gina's death occurs in series eight, episode 52, though the character reappears in series ten in a fantasy sequence in the episode Elliot's Wonderful Life.

Martha Hope

Holly Lucas plays Martha Hope, the daughter and youngest child of Gina and Elliot Hope, and sister of James Hope. She first appears in Holby City in the episode "Quality Time", when she discovers her mother has Motor Neurone Disease. When Gina goes into respiratory arrest, she assists her father and Joseph Byrne in resuscitating her and surgically fitting a tracheotomy, against Gina's express wishes. After her mother's suicide, Martha relies heavily on Joseph, developing a crush on him much to the irritation of his girlfriend, Jac Naylor. She begins working in the hospital as a Healthcare Assistant, supporting her father through his grief. However, Elliot succeeds in convincing his daughter to return to university in the episode "Can't Buy Me Love". In series ten, episode nine, Martha is shot in the arm by STI nurse Tim, and is trapped in a lift with Chrissie when they try to escape. She survives, however, and returns in the eleventh series, having married in Las Vegas in secret.

Bradley Hume

Scott Adkins plays Bradley Hume, the Assistant General Manager of the Holby City Hospital PCT, who appears in series eight from episode 32 to 52.

Ed Loftwood

Graeme Garden plays recurring character Ed Loftwood, a cardiothoracic consultant and Clinical Lead at the hospital. He encourages Alex Adams to return to the hospital following his departure, and also has lab technician Reg Lund on his firm for a time. He opposes Connie Beauchamp's planned expansion of Darwin ward, however still recommends that she apply for his Clinical Lead position upon his retirement. Loftwood steps down from the position, but remains at the hospital in a surgical capacity.

Reg Lund

Martin Hancock plays Reg Lund, a medical researcher and registrar who appears from series seven, episode 37 until series eight, episode 32. He works in the hospital lab alongside Diane Lloyd, and explains to her that while he had been technically competent as a registrar, he found it hard to summon the people skills to work with patients, resulting in a number of fatalities. However, on several occasions he is able to aid both Diane and Abra Durant in emergency operations, and eventually moves to work on the Acute Assessment Unit. While there, he develops a crush on nurse Donna Jackson which goes unreciprocated. He confesses his love to her and attempts to convince her that her boyfriend, manager Bradley Hume does not really care for her. Although Donna eventually breaks up with Bradley, she explains to Reg that she values him as a friend and nothing more.

Vanessa Lytton

Leslie Ash plays CEO Vanessa Lytton. Vanessa arrives in the episode "The Spirit Dancing" - series eleven, episode 52 of the programme, replacing former CEO Jayne Grayson.[163] Ash was cast in the role after a five-year break from acting, due to complications arising from MSSA.[164] As Ash is disabled, Vanessa walks with the aid of a walking stick.[165] Ash has praised Holby City producers for their willingness to cast a disabled actress, though faced some media criticism for accepting the role, as she had previously received £5 million compensation for loss of earnings from the hospital at which she contracted MSSA.[166] Vanessa is a "scheming",[167] "conniving and calculated"[165] executive, whose storylines see her clash with several members of the hospital's senior staff.

Judith Marchant

Shelagh McLeod plays clinical matron Judith Marchant. She initially clashes with consultant nurse Mark Williams, though they become closer when Mark supports her during a hard day. Mark's daughter Chrissie starts dislikes Judith when she discovers she suggested Mark be made redundant and they later clash when Chrissie accuses her of embarrassing her in front of her nurses. When Judith's son Connor is admitted to the hospital with alcohol poisoning, her ex-husband Paul arrives and blames Judith for not informing him sooner. Mark is hostile towards him and annoys Judith by interfering, so Mark then talks to Paul and they reach a truce, and Judith and Mark are friends again and decide to meet up on boxing day. Judith and Mark begin a romantic relationship. She loses her job when CEO Vanessa Lytton requires a scapegoat for a hospital scandal, and Judith decides to move to Manchester, where Paul is moving with Connor. She later returned in March to get a reference from Vanessa for another job. The reference is useless and Mark has been preoccupied with Daisha and hasn't taken the time to talk to Vanessa as he promised Judith he was. After a small confrontation they agree to meet in the cafe. When Mark doesn't turn up because he is with Daisha, Judith leaves a voicemail telling him it's over between them; she can't be second best again, and leaves for Manchester that night.

Tom O'Dowd

Jalaal Hartley appears in Holby City series ten and eleven as Tom O'Dowd, a friend of Leo Griffin, Ric's son. He is a heroin addict who dropped out of medical school, but re-enrols after Leo dies from an overdose. He works at Holby General as a student doctor, but begins using drugs again. Ric tells his father about his drug abuse, and Tom is disinherited in his will. When his father dies, Tom departs from the hospital.

Paul Rose

Andrew Lewis plays recurring anaesthetist Paul Rose, the longest serving recurring character in Holby City to date. He first appears in series three, episode three. For his early appearances, Paul uses a wheelchair, however later returns able-bodied. The character's recovery mirrored the Lewis's real-life paralysis, which saw him able to regain the use of his legs after four years of physiotherapy, following a motorbike accident.[168] Although Paul's disability and subsequent recovery are never directly addressed on screen, Lewis has revealed that the writers originally intended to cover it in depth, and idea which was later discarded so as not to "trivialise the subject for those viewers who spend their whole lives in wheelchairs".[169]

Tara Sodi

Meera Syal plays Tara Sodia, a cardiothoracic consultant who first appears in the series eleven episode "Attachments".[170] She is an old university friend of Elliot Hope's, with whom she co-created a pioneering medical technique which resulted in the death of a child.[171] Tara is described as "a prickly character" who rubs other doctors up the wrong way.[172] She was created to add a comedic presence to the series following the departure of Adrian Edmondson as Abra Durant.[173] In preparation for the role, Syal observed real surgeons performing several operations.[174] Tara arrives in Holby as a surprise for Elliot, who is celebrating his 50th birthday. She convinces him to attempt to repeat their pioneering medical technique on another child. Elliot initially refuses, but later changes his mind. The operation is successful, and, impressed with Tara's experience and commitment to work, Jayne Grayson offers her a full-time contract. When Tara refuses to respect a patient's DNR order, she re-considers her future at the hospital, but is convinced to stay by Elliot, with whom she shares a kiss.

Christopher Sutherland

Patrick Toomey plays recurring character Christopher Sutherland, who holds a managerial position at the hospital. He offers a consultancy position to Abra Durant, which he almost immediately revokes when Abra proved uncompliant with the will of the board - opposing Sutherland's plans to reserve one operating theatre for emergency cases only. He is instrumental in Abra's departure - hiring Dan Clifford to uncover the corruption he suspects within the general surgery department. He also convinces Connie Beauchamp not to leave Holby for Sweden by securing extra funding for the cardiothoracic department. He is seen to pit rival surgeons Dan Clifford and Ric Griffin against one another upon Ric's return from a sabbatical in Uganda. Towards the end of his tenure, he fires Lola Griffin after she proves resistant to hectic AAU workloads and attempts to cause drama in the local press about departmental overcrowding. When Sutherland refuses to pay for agency nurses, leading to a work to rule day amongst the nursing staff, Elliot Hope calls a vote of no confidence against him, and he is subsequently dismissed and replaced by Jayne Grayson.


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