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Casualty star Derek Thompson: Charlie is a BROKEN man after Duffy death

Charlie in tears on the day of Duffy's funeral in Casualty
(Image credit: BBC)

Charlie Fairhead is in crisis following Duffy’s shock death. Casualty figurehead Derek Thompson reveals more…

Casualty fans hopefully got a BOGOF on tissues last week for Cathy Shipton’s final episode as Duffy… because, frankly, they’ll be needed this week.

This Saturday’s episode of Casualty marks the day of Duffy’s funeral and everyone’s in pieces – Connie Beauchamp, who betrayed her, close nursing pals Robyn, David and Jacob, and her many colleagues at Holby ED…

But it’s a particularly devastating day for Duffy’s husband Charlie Fairhead. Overcome with grief, it looks doubtful that distraught Charlie will make it to the church for his wife’s funeral.

Here Casualty legend Derek Thompson, who plays Charlie, reveals more…

How is Charlie following Duffy’s shock death last week in Casualty?

Derek Thompson: "It’s an awful, shocking and painful situation. There are deep, difficult and tough emotions. There’s anger and devastation, and all the stages that go with grief."

Did you think Duffy’s final episode was a fitting tribute?

DT: "Yes, it was well measured in the way it underscored what Charlie and Duffy are losing. It was beautifully written and well put together – Cathy thinks that it was a fitting tribute to Duffy too."

Casualty legend Duffy smiling broadly in her dark navy nurses uniform

Last look... Our final glimpse of Duffy in Cathy Shipton's emotional exit episode (Image credit: BBC)

When did you find out Cathy was leaving the show?

DT: "Oh, that was quite some time ago. Both Cath and I thought it was a really worthwhile story. She’s left before but this time she can only come back as her long lost twin, or the ghost of cubicle 13!"

This week it’s Duffy’s funeral. How was that to film?

DT: "One of the awkward things about our business is that often you’re filming things wildly out of sequence. We actually filmed this week’s funeral episode before we filmed Duffy’s death episode. It was to do with the availability of locations. It was a weird experience having to film the funeral before we’d actually filmed the event we’re grieving over."

This is unchartered emotional territory for Charlie…

Charlie in a funeral suit standing alone at the bottom of the stairs in the home he shared with Duffy

Charlie cuts a lonely figure in the home he shared with Duffy (Image credit: BBC)

DT: "Living with Duffy’s dementia has been devastating for all concerned. It’s an issue that touches so many families and I think we’ve managed to represent that in a truthful way. Charlie’s used to dealing with other people’s pain and suffering in his job, but he doesn’t have the mechanisms to manage his own grief…"

It sounds like Charlie is in for a terribly tough time in Casualty?

DT: "Yes, he’s been the voice of reason, calm, and order for so long, but even though he’s a highly experienced nurse, it’s shocking when it’s so personal. That’s where all the pain after Duffy’s death comes from. We’re breaking all the Charlie rules, which is interesting to play. He’s a broken man. I think he needs to find his way back. Robyn (Amanda Henderson) is the only one who can get through…"

Interview by Hannah Davies

MORE: Everything we know about tragic Duffy's funeral episode

This landmark episode of Casualty airs on BBC1, Saturday 8 February at 8.55pm.