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'Casualty’ exclusive with Olivia D’Lima on Fenisha’s tragic fate

Casualty tragedy. Ethan and Fenisha practise their first dance, unaware of what the future holds...
Casualty tragedy. Ethan and Fenisha practise their first dance, unaware of what the future holds... (Image credit: BBC)

Casualty’s final scenes had us in floods of tears tonight.

Warning: Spoilers below.

Fenisha Khatri and Ethan Hardy’s wedding day ended in double tragedy tonight. It followed last week’s cliffhanger, where Fenisha was trapped in Matthew Afolami’s car on railway tracks as a train approached and Lev Malinovsky waited at the barriers. 

[Seriously: Major Casualty spoilers below!]

Tonight (BBC1, 9.30pm. Saturday 7 August 2021. See our TV Guide for listings) in the second part of Casualty’s wedding special, viewers watched in horror as doctor Matthew (Osi Okerafor) and paramedic Lev Malinovsky (Uriel Emil) raced against time and a speeding train to free Fenisha by pushing the car off the tracks. 

At the very last second, Fenisha escaped to safety, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Only for Lev to be struck by a train coming in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, dazed Fenisha pulled a bit of shrapnel from her side and began to bleed to death...

Before the credits rolled both of these Casualty favourites had passed away, leaving their loved ones devastated and viewers reeling.

We caught up with Olivia D’Lima, who plays Fenisha, for an exclusive interview about her impactful Casualty exit… 

Tragedy struck in Casualty tonight. Olivia, has the outcome of Ethan and Fenisha’s tragic wedding day ending been a difficult secret to keep?

Olivia D’Lima: "The secret has been so difficult to keep! I can't believe we've managed to keep it for so long!"

How do you feel about the manner of Fenisha’s on-screen death?

Olivia: "We knew there were so many ways it could've ended and, when we arrived on this exit — as weird as it sounds — it felt right.

"It gives Fenisha the dramatic exit she deserves and, honestly; I think this is the coolest exit ever. It's absolutely heartbreaking, dramatic, and unforgettable. I don't know what more I could ask for as an actor. But as a person who loves Fenisha, I am mourning her death and will be for quite some time."

How does it feel to be part of such a massive, emotional and impactful Casualty storyline?

Olivia: "I am completely honoured to have played this role and told this story. When we decided on everything, I remember saying that it was the most generous exit I could ask for. 

"Casualty is a National Treasure; I have been so blessed to be able to tell Fenisha's story and be connected to such a legendary character as Ethan Hardy! (Don't tell George Rainsford I said that!). I hope it isn't too scarring because I know TV deaths can really hit you hard — trust me, I've been in mourning over some TV deaths before! — and I hope it touches people and takes them on an unforgettable rollercoaster ride."

Devastated Ethan Hardy after learning bride-to-be Fenisha had been killed.

Devastated Ethan Hardy after learning bride-to-be Fenisha had been killed. (Image credit: BBC)

What are you going to miss most about playing Fenisha and working on Casualty?

Olivia: "Ahh this question makes me want to cry! I miss her already! She was so feisty but also so wise. She had this ability to see life so clearly and I think that's incredible. 

"I have made friends for life at Casualty and I will miss how everyone picks you up if you ever feel down and the constant laughs."

What are you not going to miss at all! (Early starts, that kind of thing?)

Olivia [Laughing] "Hmm, that's a good question… I have to say, I'm not going to miss shooting in the freezing cold but having to pretend it's summer!"

What are your favourite memories from your time on the show? 

Olivia: "Ahh why are you trying to make me cry?! I loved shooting my first ep — being this mysterious, confident woman who confused the hell out of Ethan! 

"I'll never forget Fenisha giving birth in the middle of the woods and proposing to Ethan. Honestly, I can't list more otherwise I'll list every scene I've ever been in. I will look back and remember all of the laughs. Being in fits with George when we were dancing with no music on, giggling with the paramedics in the ambulance station, laughing in make-up when telling each other about our weird dreams… the list goes on."

What does your time on Casualty mean to you?

Olivia: "Casualty taught me so much about myself and allowed me to experience some things that I will never forget. I feel so blessed to be able to take what I have learned and spread my wings."

Casualty's closing scenes showed Fenisha and Ethan rehearsing their first dance.

Casualty's closing scenes showed Fenisha and Ethan rehearsing their first dance. (Image credit: BBC)

Did you manage to have a send-off or going away party?

Olivia: "No I didn't! I said some lovely goodbyes and wrote each member of the cast a 'thank you' card, which might as well have been individual love letters to be honest! I'm so sad that I didn't get to have a big send-off but I've been chatting to Will Beck (who plays Dylan Keogh) about getting us all together to have a big Covid-safe summer party, and I can't wait!"

Please post photos when that happens! Did you take a keepsake from the set?

Olivia: "A keepsake?! I took as many keepsakes as I could! I have half of Fenisha's wardrobe and any tiny keepsake I could, including her nose ring and elephant necklace which she wore everyday underneath her paramedic greens. If you haven't guessed yet, I'm incredibly sentimental! I even took panorama photos of my dressing room!"

Can you tell us what’s next for you?

Olivia: "I love variety and the unknown, that's part of why I love being an actor! I have some exciting things in the works, including writing a comedy series and getting a short film I wrote and starred in onto the festival circuit. I can't divulge too much detail but I definitely believe that variety is the spice of life."