How did you react when you learned about medic Josh Hudson's bulimia storyline in 'Holby City'?
"I was honoured to have the opportunity to unpack such an important storyline. I knew this story would come with its challenges, but I felt passionately about exploring bulimia through a different lens. What initially attracted me to acting was the ability to tell new stories. I feel that bulimia, especially amongst men, isn’t discussed enough so I jumped at the opportunity."
After Josh recently sought therapy for his bulimia, this week, his partner Ange (Dawn Steele) finds him chatting to young, fellow therapy-goer Claudia (Lottie Tolhurst), and wonders if their relationship might be in trouble. Can Josh and Ange move forward together?
"I think, in any relationship, communication is key. Josh’s initial fears over opening up to Ange about his bulimia came from an insecurity of their age difference, something Josh has always felt he needs to overcompensate for. However, Josh and Ange are able to move forward together, side by side, faults and all. Ange acknowledges Josh’s courage in being transparent about his demons, which takes their relationship to a whole other level."
What research did you do to prepare for this storyline?
"I didn’t know much about bulimia prior to tackling this storyline. I was surprised and terribly saddened to learn that bulimia is one of the deadliest mental illnesses, which impacts a third of people’s lives. I watched Freddie Flintoff's documentary ‘Living with Bulimia’ many times. It pained me to see how deeply he was affected by this illness, and how difficult it was for him to even address. I also had multiple conversations with people in my personal life, who've battled with bulimia."
What do you hope viewers take away from the storyline?
"I want people, especially those struggling with bulimia or any other mental health condition, to know that there is hope. No matter how dark it may be at times, better days will come. I promise. Reach out to those around you; family, friends, even a colleague you trust. Reach out to someone, and have a conversation. There are always people willing to help."
What do you most enjoy about playing Josh? Do you like how his character has evolved since he first arrived at Holby last year?
"I love playing Josh. We’ve laughed with him, cried with him, cringed with him, and struggled with him. I love Josh’s heart. He’s unafraid to stand up for what he believes in, knowing this usually gets him into a bit of a pickle. I respect him for that. He’s also great at his job, funny, caring, and thoughtful... all the qualities of a fine young man."
Holby City continues Tuesdays at 7.50pm on BBC1.
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