Doctors star Lorna Laidlaw: I’m going back to the soap!

Doctors Mrs Tembe
(Image credit: BBC)

But unfortunately it’s not as her famous character…

Doctors star Lorna Laidlaw bows out of the soap next week as practice manager, Mrs Tembe. But actress Lorna Laidlaw has confirmed that she’ll soon be back on set.

Unfortunately for Mrs Tembe fans, however, the character isn’t about to have a change of heart about leaving Letherbridge. Actress Lorna is in fact returning for a stint behind the camera; directing three episodes that are due to air at the end of May.

It’s not her first time in the director’s chair. Lorna previously directed three episodes back in 2016.

She tells us: “I’m going back to Doctors to direct, and I’m going to be in the building when my last episode as Mrs Tembe airs, on 13th February. That, in itself, is going to be really emotional.

“I’m really glad, because I don’t want to lose contact with my people. I’ve spent more time with them in the last eight years than I have with my own family, so it’s a massive wrench to leave them. I know so many of them personally.

“Hopefully, I’ll get to direct regularly, and they’re going to keep dragging me back. But it’s also about what other work you get, and whether you can fit it all in.”

In what are set to be emotional scenes, Mrs Tembe will bid farewell to her colleagues next week, when she and fiancé Gordon head to Newcastle. It means the fan favourite, who was receptionist when she first joined The Mill in 2011, will finally get her happy ending.

Adds Lorna: “I think the audience wanted her to marry that man four years ago, so will be absolutely on board with her going away. She’s allowing herself to be happy, because she fights happiness and doesn’t think she deserves it.

“In the very last scene, Mrs Tembe gives advice to everybody, and it took every bit of strength I had not to burst out crying. I really didn’t want to cry because it’s a positive thing that she was going to, and it wasn’t sadness for her but excitement. But when they said ‘cut’ I just blubbed for about half an hour!”

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.