A surprise comeback, scandals, secrets and a new romance - it's set to be an unforgettable spring on the wards of BBC1's hit medical drama Holby City...
Holby City is ramping up the drama in the coming months with the return of formidable neurosurgeon Guy Self, challenging times ahead for Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher – and could Jac Naylor FINALLY have found love?
Here, the show's stars Alex Walkinshaw, Rosie Marcel and John Michie reveal all about Holby City this spring…
‘Fletch is shocked, devastated and scared!’
Alex Walkinshaw, 45, on Fletch’s worrying diagnosis in Holby City…
We’ve seen a very stressed-out Fletch in recent weeks. How is he coping with the nursing crisis at Holby?
"I don’t think Fletch is a natural for the role of director of nursing but part of his charm is that, first and foremost, he’s a nurse. So dealing with a lack of funds and not being able to provide adequate patient care is stressful for him. Fletch takes everything to heart and thinks it’s his fault he can't find a way out of this mess."
When does stressed Fletch realise in Holby City there’s perhaps something more seriously wrong with his health?
"I think the fatigue, the stress and the anxiety he's feeling from the pressures of work are running parallel to the health issues he's got. Even though Fletch is a nurse, he still suffers from that often typical male mindset of thinking: ‘Oh, I’m just run down’. However, eventually he orders some tests."
The tests reveal Fletch has cancer. How does he react to the news?
"The way most people would react to it, he’s shocked, devastated and scared. You immediately think about the worst-case scenario, especially if you have kids and Fletch has four children under 16. Fletch loves them dearly – and knowing they’ve already lost one parent brings things into perspective."
Fletch’s friend and colleague Essie di Lucca (Kaye Wragg) is also dealing with her cancer returning. Are they able to support each other?
"They're there for support, conversation, normality and honesty. People can empathise but when you're both experiencing that same darkness, like Essie and Fletch are, you're there together. You’d be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t had a brush with cancer – this storyline is good, bad, happy and sad and it’s important we show all that."
‘Things get a little heated on Darwin!’
Rosie Marcel, 42, on how Jac mixes business with pleasure…
How is Jac coping following her mental breakdown?
"Jac’s coping pretty well with her mental health at the moment. On occasion, she feels vulnerable, as anyone with mental health problems does. But she’s back in the swing of things at work and trying to get Darwin back on top."
How would you describe Jac’s relationship with co-clinical lead Kian Madani (Ramin Karimloo) since she saved his life on the Black Mountains of Wales?
"Jac and Kian bonded in being physically stuck on a mountain and in that they were both struggling with their mental health. So they look out for one another now. They both need a friend and they’ve found that in each other."
When does Jac start looking at Kian in THAT way?
"I’m not sure how it happens that you start to look at someone in a different light. Jac and Kian are two lonely people who just want to feel normal again. It’s easy to become attracted to someone you already have a bond with."
In the coming weeks, Jac and Kian grow closer. Can you tease what happens?
"Let’s just say, it all becomes a little heated on Darwin. There’s a lot of hormones flying around and people are feeling pent up. Lines become blurred…"
Have you enjoyed the lighter touch of this storyline, given all the emotion you’ve had to play in Holby City?
"It’s certainly nice to have a break from all the emotional stuff. It was definitely a really tough time for me physically and mentally. But the reaction to the mental health storyline has been incredible – I had so many people contact me saying they’d decided to get help. The aim of agreeing to the storyline in the first place was to help people and I feel we achieved that."
‘He’s Guy Self by name, selfish by nature!’
John Michie, 63, on why Guy’s REALLY back at Holby…
Guy left Holby to get therapy for alcoholism. Is he in a good place now?
"Guy is trying to get on top of his demons but there’s always the chance of a relapse. When he came back to save Jac’s life in 2018, deep down, things were still not right. But because Guy’s so ambitious and got this massive ego, he’ll never be quite right, which makes him an interesting character to play."
When Guy returns in the coming weeks, he’s at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting… and acting CEO Max McGerry (Jo Martin) is there, too!
"Guy can really relate to what Max is going through. He understands the stresses and strains of being a hospital CEO and now Max is in exactly the position he was of being someone at the top of their game with an underlying problem… booze. They’ve got a lot in common."
Max soon offers Guy a job at Holby. Is it one he readily accepts?
"Oh yeah, Guy desperately NEEDS a job. He needs to get his life back on track so, more than anything, he needs to work. However, typical Guy, he’s also trying to introduce a private company to the hospital. So he’s trying to make money and spinning too many plates. Ultimately, you know one of them is gonna fall and smash."
So Guy’s not exactly a changed man then?
"Guy’s trying to slide back up the greasy pole and he needs a strong person to hold his hand while he’s doing it. There’s one person in life Guy really cares about. He’s Self by name, selfish by nature."
MORE BIG STORIES...
Registrar Xavier Duval (Marcus Griffiths) steps up his one-man vendetta to expose junior medic Cameron Dunn (Nic Jackman) for the fraud he is and vows to stop at nothing to bring Cameron down…
Mr Showbiz himself John Barrowman will be gracing the wards of Holby in the coming months. The Dancing on Ice judge appears as visiting consultant Drew Nicholson-Heath, a global recruiter who knows Ange Godard (Dawn Steele).
Credit: Photography Jonathan Ford; Styling Helen Ashley; Hair and make-up Nicky South.
Read more in the latest issue of TV Times, out now. Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.
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