Former Eastenders and Death In Paradise star joins the cast of Casualty, revealing personal connection to the NHS

Casualty: Kellie Shirley as psych nurse Sophia Peters.
(Image credit: BBC Studios)

Casualty viewers have said hello to a new face on the Holby ED - and it's one that soap fans are likely to recognise.

Eastenders legend Kellie Shirlie has joined the cast as a new nurse - Psych Liaison Nurse Sophia Peters - as the medical drama begins a huge new storyline called 'Storm Damage'. 

Viewers may also recognise Kellie from her role in Death In Paradise as Pamela Bellman. With such impressive credentials under her belt, it will be exciting to see how Kellie shakes things up at Holby in her ongoing role. 

The actor also has also shared how she has some personal experience of the NHS, bringing her personal knowledge to the role. 

She revealed in an interview with The Express, "My mum worked for the NHS for 30 years. My grandma worked to the end for the NHS. My mother-in-law worked for the NHS... It feels like a really perfect fit to play a part that I can bring a tiny bit of authenticity to. 

Kellie Shirley: 'I wanted a Wicks' suicide pact'

(Image credit: BBC)

"And also, in between acting jobs, I worked at King's in London and Lewisham hospital neuro wards, and so I could try to feed in a little bit of my work downtime as an actor so that's been quite nice."

Fans of the BBC medical drama were quick to notice the new face, with one writing before the show aired, 'KELLIE SHIRLEY So proud of you joining the cast of my favourite show I cannot wait to watch you on tonight. Everyone make sure you tune in tonight (15th June) at 8.20pm on BBC Two.'

While another asked, 'So is Sophia now a permanent character?'

Kellie has been working on the show for some time now, though her first scenes aired last night. She's kept her role under wraps previously but does admit that she did go to her mum for some advice. 

Kellie told The Express, "I tell my mum everything and also because she works as a nurse herself, I have a few times gone to her with some words in the script [asking] 'mum, how do I say this? What does this mean? What happened?'

"She's kind of been a bit like a mentor to me I suppose, and I wanted to get authenticity as much as possible because it's really important for me to do research and look like I'm doing the job that I'm actually doing and that I don't look out of my depth."

Tune in next week on Saturday 22nd June to find out what's next in store for the residents of Holby ED.

Casualty airs on BBC One — check out our guide to every episode for all the latest news and spoilers.

Viewers can also now tune into Casualty at 6 am on the day the show airs on BBC iPlayer.

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