Leslie Ash has revealed she will take on her first TV role in five years when she joins Holby City. The Men Behaving Badly star, who uses walking sticks after contracting a hospital superbug, said the role was the 'the last piece of the jigsaw in my recovery'. She will play scheming executive Vanessa Lyton, a friend of Hari Dhillon's character Michael Spence. Ash, 49, said: "It has taken a long, long time and I'm not perfect, but I'm ready to be back at work. I am so pleased and happy they've given me this chance. "I hadn't been to an audition since I was 19 - I was scared! But I feel ready and I feel strong. "Disability is misrepresented on television and it's really fantastic that it did not worry the production team I was disabled. "I could have sat myself down in a wheelchair and just gone through life, but there was this defining moment when you say to yourself 'I am going to get up, I am going to work hard', and you put one foot in front of the other. "I can't wait to be back on set. It's the last piece of the jigsaw in my recovery. I'm finally back to where I was." Ash will begin filming with the Holby City team in June and will be on screen from October. Her "meaty" role will not hide the fact she walks with sticks.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.