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Casualty's Sunetra Sarker: ‘It’s time for Zoe to leave’

Disillusioned with turning 40, the stresses of work, and her secret romance with hospital porter, Max, Holby consultant Zoe Hanna decides to hand in her notice in Saturday’s Casualty.

In an interview with What’s on TV Sunetra Sarker, who’s played feisty Zoe Hanna since 2007, explained what lies behind her alter ego’s decision to quit: “In this episode Zoe’s at a crossroads, but doesn’t realise it. On the day she turns 40 it all catches up with her as the day unfolds, and she’s forced to recognise she’s in trouble!”

A routine check-up starts the alarm bells ringing for the stressed-out doctor. Later, numerous colleagues suggest she needs a holiday. And even a patient – recovering alcoholic Mollie, played by Tracie Bennett – recommends she take stock.

The icing on the cake is her co-workers’ attempt at a birthday surprise, which backfires spectacularly when everyone overhears Zoe slagging them off! With plenty of humble pie on the table, Zoe realises she needs to drastically rethink her entire life…

Sunetra said: “Her doctor tells her she smokes and drinks too much. Clinical lead Connie wants her to take a holiday. And resident tramp Mollie tells her she needs to assess her life.

“Zoe’s exhausted and everything’s pointing her in the direction of the door! She’s just about mature enough to read the signs and realises it’s time for her to leave!”

To find out how Zoe’s secret lover Max reacts, watch Casualty on BBC1, Saturday August 23.