Ethan Hardy has only gone and made Fenisha Khatri the happiest medic in Holby-land by accepting her shock proposal in Casualty.
To the outside world paramedic Fenisha (Olivia D’Lima) and doctor Ethan already seemed like a loved-up couple. After all, they have a baby together, live together, work together and get on like a house on fire. And, as viewers know only too well, Fenisha and Ethan have been secretly in love with each other forever!
Tragically, however, ill Ethan has been pushing Fenisha to date her ex-fiance, Matthew Afolami (Osi Okerafor), because his Huntington’s disease is progressing…
Happily tonight in the BBC1 medical drama, Fenisha decided enough was enough! She dumped poor Matthew and proposed to the good doctor with the help of some Doctor Who props.
Here George Rainsford, 38, who plays Ethan Hardy, tells us there’s a lot more in store for the Casualty couple...
On Ethan Hardy’s rejection of Fenisha Khatri...
George Rainsford: "Ethan’s been trying to do the honourable thing. He wanted to make sure Fenisha and their son Bodhi are set up for the future, so was being very Ethan-y and pursuing this idea that she'd be better with somebody else.
"He was actively trying to put her with Matthew because he sees that Matthew, on paper, would be perfect for her — and a good father figure for Bodhi."
Is Ethan certain his Huntington’s is progressing?
George: "Ethan doesn't know exactly how long he has, but he must have read and seen evidence of people starting to get the symptoms, and then quite quickly being incapacitated and not able to work.
"Now that he’s starting to get the actual symptoms, he thinks he needs to set things up for the future. It’s really sad."
On becoming a patron for the Huntington's Disease Association...
"Speaking to people and hearing their first-hand stories about how they've coped —some people on the call have had family members who've had it… it's an incredibly tragic, difficult thing to be dealing with. But they’re also very inspiring. A lot of them are really living life to the full. So it was helpful and invaluable for Casualty, but moreover, it was a really affecting experience."
On Ethan’s thought process in initially rejecting Fenisha in this episode...
George: "He doesn't think they have long-term prospects. He would love to be with her, but he thinks he's doing the right thing because he won't be around forever.
"Ethan thinks if they don’t start something now, she will be less upset in the future…."
George: "Fenisha’s response has always been, even when she learned about his Huntington’s, to help him address that life is for living now. She's really the one who convinces him in this episode that they need to make sure that they enjoy each other. That you can't put things off because you're worrying about the future."
Her grand gesture is very touching…
George: "Yes! Fenisha sets up a secret walled garden, adorned with lanterns, lights, and Daleks!
"I think the big Dalek that Fenisha gets in this episode was probably borrowed from down the corridor. We have one in the foyer. They probably just nicked it!
"I love this big gesture moment where Fenisha manages to set it all up in about an hour!"
We see them share a kiss. How was that filmed?
George: "The kiss scene was with Olivia’s boyfriend. I imagine he was quite nervous It’s a strange experience for someone who isn’t an actor to run in and kiss his girlfriend in front of a crew of people watching!"
Do you share Ethan’s love of Doctor Who?
George: "I started getting into Doctor Who when a friend, who I did national youth theatre with, Matt Smith, became the Doctor!
"Matt was actually still filming Doctor Who when I first did Casualty so I was bumping into him in the studios for a while before he finished. I watched all his Doctors and got really into it.
"I’ve watched it since and I really enjoy it. But Ethan's a traditionalist. He likes the old ones. He's really into the Fourth Doctor!"
Why does Ethan say ‘yes’ to Fenisha’s proposal?
George: "Fenisha very articulately points out that you're denying yourself, that life is for living now, and he can't tell her how to feel.
"She points out quite simply really that they love each other. That’s enough for him."
Please tell us there’s a Doctor Who themed wedding?
George: [Laughing] "That would be nice! I was hoping for a stag do… Charlie’s stag do was one of my favourite ever episodes. But no — we get the wedding quite soon!"
So we don't have long to wait until the big day?
George: "No! It’s a double episode as well. I think the plan is to show it over two weeks, though I’m not quite sure how the schedules work at the moment."
Can you tease anything more?
George: "There's some stuff to deal with, for sure... There's a lot going on and, obviously, there are some accidents, as you can imagine."
WTW: Of course, this is Casualty after all. Thanks for the lovely interview Mr George Rainsford. We’re planning what to wear already!
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