Holby City legend Hugh Quarshie has been cast in Stephen Lawrence drama

Hugh Quarshie plays Ric Griffin in Holby City
(Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron)

Hugh Quarshie has landed his first major role since leaving Holby City last year...

Hugh Quarshie, who left Holby City last year, will play a lead role in new ITV drama, Stephen, a three-part sequel to The Murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Hugh played Holby's Medical Director Ric Griffin for 19 years, with his last episode airing in November 2020.

Ric's emotional exit from Holby left fans in tears after he woke from brain surgery to find the hospital dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Holby City star Hugh Quarshie plays Ric Griffin

Hugh Quarshie's Holby character, Ric, woke from a coma last year to find the hospital in the midst of a pandemic (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC)

Despite falling victim to the virus, Ric thankfully recovered.

He eventually left the hospital with a newborn baby, determined to track down its family after the mother died.

More: Maddy Hill returns to EastEnders as Walford favourite Nancy Carter 

A new role 

Hugh will now be starring in Stephen as Stephen Lawrence's father Dr Neville Lawrence, along with Sharlene Whyte who will play Stephen's mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence.  

BAFTA award winning and Golden Globe nominated actor Steve Coogan will play the role of DCI Clive Driscoll, who led the investigation into the murder of the Lawrences’ beloved son, Stephen. 

Holby City Ric Griffin poor eyesight

Hugh will be appearing in new three-part ITV drama, Stephen (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC)

The new drama starts filming in London later this month and will also star Richie Campbell, Jordan Myrie, Sian Brooke and Adil Ray.

Campaigning for justice 

Stephen will portray events from 2006, thirteen years after Stephen’s death on the evening of 22 April 1993 in a racially motivated attack whilst waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham. 

Even though Doreen and Neville Lawrence knew the identity of their son’s killers, the original investigation had failed to convict those responsible.

Their extraordinary campaign for justice led to a public inquiry which branded Metropolitan Police institutionally racist and brought about sweeping changes in the law and transformed understanding of racial inequality in the UK.

Holby City BBC

Hugh's character Ric left Holby City in November last year (Picture: BBC)

Yet six years on from the inquiry no progress had been made into the case.

The drama tells the story of the ongoing struggle by Doreen and Neville Lawrence to achieve justice and how detective DCI Clive Driscoll worked closely with the Lawrences to secure the convictions of two gang members who committed the murder of Stephen more than 18 years after his death.

Who is involved?

Stephen will be directed by Alrick Riley and produced by Madonna Baptiste and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Joe Cottrell Boyce, with the full support of the Lawrence family.

Jimmy Mulville and Line of Duty creator, Jed Mercurio, are executive producers.

Producer Madonna Baptiste said: "The Lawrences’ campaign for justice totally transformed attitudes to race and equality in the UK and it’s an honour to be able to help tell what is an untold chapter in their story.

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"Current events only highlight how relevant and important Stephen’s case remains and it is such a privilege to work with Hattrick, Frank and Joe Cottrell-Boyce, Alrick Riley and our amazing cast to bring this important story to screen."

Alrick Riley, who will direct the three episodes added: "The case of Stephen Lawrence is a testament to the fortitude, persistence and determination of the Lawrence family.

"These films will chart the successes, disappointments and the emotional toll they endured. It’s also the story of Clive Driscoll, the lead detective, who managed to forge a friendship with the Lawrence’s over the years it took to achieve two convictions.

"It’s an honour to have the opportunity to tell their story."

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.