'Holby City’ exclusive: Jemma Redgrave on Bernie Wolfe’s return

'Holby City' favourites Bernie and Serena in happier times.
'Holby City' favourites Bernie and Serena in happier times. (Image credit: BBC)

Holby City star Jemma Redgrave makes an impromptu visit to Holby this week as iconic surgeon Bernie Wolfe. It’s a welcome return of a fan favourite, but how will the medics of Holby receive her? After all, they’re still dealing with the fallout caused by her serial killer son Cameron Dunn!

We caught up with Jemma Redgrave, 57, who plays Bernie Wolfe, to find out more…

'Holby City' exclusive: It’s lovely to see you back…

Jemma Redgrave: "After successive lockdowns it was very welcome, quite simply, to be working!"

What brings Bernie to Holby?

JR: "Jason - Jules Robertson’s character - is in the hospital and it has created the need for Bernie to visit and help him with his family."

Is it difficult for Bernie to be there, after everything that’s happened?

JR: "It’s very apparent that she feels the heat of everyone's eyes on her. There’s a terrible guilt as the mother of a young man who caused such terror and death in a place she loved among people who are very dear to her."

Nic Jacman as killer doctor Cameron Dunn in 'Holby City'.

The memory of killer doctor Cameron Dunn (Nic Jackman) hangs over Holby like a spectre. (Image credit: BBC)

How does she deal with it? 

JR: "I find it hard to imagine entirely what Bernie goes through. The character has been pushed to such extremities of trauma and grief and guilt. I guess she has to find a way to protect herself by cutting off from the worst of it."

What is the reaction of other characters towards her?

JR: "Although it is very clear that people are pointing her out and talking - or certainly Bernie feels that - she is received with unbelievable generosity by her ex-colleagues and old friends."

What does playing Bernie mean to you?

JR: "I loved playing Bernie Wolfe. I had a tremendously happy 18 months at Elstree working with wonderful actors and a great production team and crew."

Did anything surprise you when you joined 'Holby City'?

JR: "I don’t think I expected it to be such a creative experience because of the pressure of making 52 episodes a year. But I was given a lot of freedom to create and shape the character. And the company of actors and standby artists on the AAU set, where most of my storylines were… well, I loved them. So returning for a last episode was a no-brainer!"

The status of Bernie’s on-off relationship with Serena Campbell (Catherine Russell) is under wraps until the episode airs. What would you like the future to hold for them?

JR: "We all love a happy ending, don’t we? I would like for them to have the future that viewers would wish for them."

Not everyone is happy to see Bernie back. Nicky McKendrick has a few choice words for her!

Not everyone is happy to see Bernie back. Nicky McKendrick has a few choice words for her! (Image credit: BBC)

Find out what’s next for Bernie Wolfe and Serena Campbell when this episode of Holby City airs on Tuesday, Feb. 8 2022 at 7.50pm on BBC1. It will be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards.

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 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.