Casualty's Charles Venn: 'Derek Thompson, the Guv, gave me the thumbs up!'

(Image credit: BBC/Alistair Heap)

It's not easy joining an established show, never mind the world's longest running medical drama, as it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary...

Casualty newcomer and former EastEnders star Charles Venn has spoken about his pre-filming nerves and how he breathed a sigh of relief when Casualty legend Derek Thompson, who plays respected nurse Charlie Fairhead, gave him his seal of approval while shooting his opening scenes.

Talking to What’s on TV about his new role as nurse Jacob Masters in Casualty, Charles said: "Joining Casualty's been amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better team. There are no airs and graces and they gave me a wonderful warm welcome when I first started filming."

Charles, also known as Chucky, is best known as Bianca Butcher’s ex-boyfriend, Ray Dixon, in EastEnders. So he's no stranger to joining a major UK show.

"Joining a long-running show is like jumping on a huge moving train! You don't know what you're going to get. So, first and foremost, you have to do your job well and somehow fit in. Then anything else is a bonus!"

He added: "I like roles that keep me on my toes and, in my first Casualty scenes, there's a big scene in the ED's resus where I'm having to use medial jargon as if it's my every day vernacular. Naturally I was very nervous about delivering those lines but Derek Thompson, the governor, gave me a big thumbs up. And I knew if I was getting a thumbs up from Mr Thompson - the Guv - I was on the right track!"

Charles, 42, joins Casualty this Saturday on BBC1 when viewers will see Jacob Masters burst into Holby City ED in a frenzy of activity, as he demands someone treat his ill friend.

For more from Charles, who also starred in Dream Team, Footballers’ Wives and Hollywood blockbuster The Bourne Ultimatum, check out our full interview with the star.

Read our big reveal on Charles’ opening episode here


Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.