Casualty star Charlotte Salt reveals filming for Casualty’s 'Year of the Paramedic' is well and truly under way…
It was a tough shift for paramedics Sam Nicholls and Iain Dean in Casualty last week. In fact it was just as tough for many viewers to watch when former doctor Sam amputated a teenage boy’s foot, in order to save his life!
Naturally there were questions to be answered back at Holby ED, where viewers finally found out if new paramedic boss Jan Jenning (Di Botcher) would support Sam and Iain after the traumatic rescue. And Jan didn’t disappoint with her mix of tough love, compassion and fantastic one-liners! But what does Jan’s arrival at the ED mean for Iain and Sam and Casualty in general?
Earlier this year Producer Lucy Rafferty exclusively told Emma Bullimore at TV Times that Series 33 of Casualty would be ‘The Year of the Paramedic’. With that in mind, we talked to Charlotte Salt about Casualty’s introduction of Jan Jenning and how the series is preparing to put paramedic stories at front and centre of the medical drama…
Di Botcher has now been introduced as Casualty’s new paramedic boss…
"Yes and she’s amazing. Although she’s not enjoying the night shoots at the moment! There are two types of people on set. People like Michael Stevenson, who plays Iain, who’s so excited by the night shoots - he just loves them! Then there’s the rest of us thinking ‘I’m working from 6 o’clock [in the evening] until 7.30am!"
Are these night shoots for the next series - Casualty’s ‘year of the paramedic’?
"Yes, it’s for the first episode of the new season, which is a big dramatic episode. It kicks off with a massive accident with all the paramedics out there doing their thing. We’ve filmed two weeks of night shoots and there’s a certain buzz in the air…"
Di joined in last week’s storm drain rescue episode. What did you think when she was cast as Jan?
"I am a big fan of Di’s from Stella so when they told us she was playing Jan the paramedic boss we just knew it would be fantastic. Di’s absolutely lovely and she’s got such natural comedy, it’s just the comic relief that Casualty really needs and viewers enjoy."
So Jan’s a good fit into the team?
"Definitely, Jan is the third point to the triangle. It’s a really nice balance."
You recently said the current paramedic cases seem more like ‘old-school Casualty’. Are you squeamish when filming gory scenes?
"I kind of enjoy it. It’s quite fascinating, especially when you see some random fingers lying around in make-up. We’re used to a whole room of prosthetics so [have] become a bit immune to it!"
Sam and Iain often find the comedy in most situations. Is that important for those characters?
"Yes definitely. They try and keep it light. A lot of the paramedics we meet in real life and on set are always joking and laughing. You have to be so upbeat to deal with all the awful stuff they deal with every day. If you didn’t, you’d just cry. Just between takes hearing their stories is always awe-inspiring – here we are pretending and this is what they do!"
Casualty returns this Saturday when Sam and Iain transport a confused lady with a nasty head injury to the ED - opening wounds for clinical lead Connie Beauchamp in the process…
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With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com 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.