Doctors star Lorna Laidlaw, aka Mrs Tembe, lands new soap role

Doctors, Mrs Tembe
(Image credit: BBC)

It’s bye bye Letherbridge, hello Ambridge…

Doctors star Lorna Laidlaw has landed a new soap job, after calling time on her role as The Mill’s practice manager, Mrs Tembe.

The actress is to guest star in The Archers, in an episode that will transmit on 13th February. Bosses of the Radio 4 drama are keeping tight-lipped about the character Lorna will play, and the storyline that she will be involved in.

Coincidentally, that’s the same day that Lorna will make her final appearance as Mrs Tembe. But fans needn’t worry about the shows clashing. As Doctors viewers well know, the soap goes out at 1.45pm, while The Archers isn’t broadcast until 7pm.

Doctors Mrs Tembe

Doctors fans will soon be saying an emotional farewell to Mrs Tembe

It was announced last month that Lorna Laidlaw had decided to quit Doctors after eight years in the BBC1 show. Her alter-ego will leave Letherbridge to start a new life in Newcastle with her fiancé, the Reverend Gordon Clement. Former Hollyoaks star Ali Bastian has been signed up to play Mrs Tembe’s replacement, Becky Clarke.

Speaking of her departure, Lorna says: “Mrs Tembe has been such an amazing woman to play, and she’s developed and grown so much, and been involved in some great storylines. She came in as a receptionist and she’s leaving as practice manager, and that’s a massive progression for a character in a show like this.

“They (Doctors bosses) have been really generous with me and allowed me to go off every year and do other projects. I’ve been to Korea to work with the Korean National Theatre, I’ve done Brecht, and I’ve worked with community projects, which is really important to me. But the more I did it, the more I wanted more of it.”

Asked about her future plans, she adds: “All I want is to do is good, interesting work. I don’t care how big or small it is, it just needs to be interesting.”

Doctors continues on BBC1.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.