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New 'Holby City' star Davood Ghadami: ‘Eli isn’t someone that can be bullied.’

Davood Ghadami as Eli in Holby City
Davood Ghadami as Eli in Holby City (Image credit: BBC)

Watch out, Holby City Hospital: There’s a new pioneering surgeon on Darwin Ward — and he’s bursting with ambitious ideas on how to improve things! 

Ambitious Clinical lead Eli Ebrahimi — played by former EastEnders favourite Davood Ghadami — arrives with another newbie, stern nurse Madge Britton (The Salisbury Poisonings star Clare Burt), and a very familiar face in their new role as an Improvement Director (sorry, we’ve been sworn to secrecy who it is!).

We caught up with Davood, 38, to find out more… 

Congratulations on your new Holby City role! How are you feeling?

Davood Ghadami: "I’m very excited. I’ve yet to get my head around the fact I’m in Holby! Just as the EastEnders’ door was closing, this door was opening. I feel very lucky to get my teeth into Eli so soon after saying goodbye to Kush."

What is Eli like?

DG: "He’s an incredibly talented cardiothoracic surgeon at the top of his game. He’s passionate about what he does and happiest in his work space. It’s almost his entire focus. 

"That can sometimes make him quite socially awkward! But he isn't someone that can be bullied and pushed around."

Can you reveal anything about his private life? 

DG: "We’ve shot some things, which will come out in a few months’ time. 

"Eli’s married to a lovely woman, Amelia (played by Lucy Briggs-Owen). 

"They complement each other well. But we’ll see they have struggles, which are medical in their underlying..."

Holby City's wards are rife with romance — could be he tempted to stray?

"I really want Eli and his wife to succeed. But with Holby you never know. It’s certainly not at the forefront of his mind, but never say never! 

"We’ve got a certain amount of time left to tell our Holby story [the BBC1 medical drama is set to end in March 2022]. 

"Hopefully it will be big, bold, brave and beyond anything we’ve seen. There’s a lot to come!"

The surgery scenes are impressively realistic. Are you squeamish?

DG: "I wasn’t, but when you see a beating heart in front of you it’s a shock! You learn quickly whether or not it’s for you. 

"There was an aortic dissection [scene] and blood flew everywhere. I’m quite pleased that I found it fascinating. Now it’s one of my favourite spaces to work!"

EastEnders and Holby are both filmed at Elstree Studios. Could we see any fun crossovers?

DG: "Absolutely! My friend James Bye (EastEnders’ Martin Fowler) jokingly said he wants to appear in the back of a shot or in theatre or something. So I'm going to have a word and see if we can get him to Holby!"

Davood makes his Holby City debut on Tuesday 27th July 2021 at 7.50pm on BBC1.

Elaine Reilly
Elaine Reilly

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) 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.