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'Holby City' star Vineeta Rishi: 'It’s an unimaginable situation for Lucky!'

Vineeta Rishi plays Lucky Simpson in Holby City
(Image credit: BBC)

Holby City’s resident mental health nurse Lucky Simpson has been on something of a rollercoaster ride since arriving at the hospital. 

Lucky has always tried her best to safeguard the welfare of others - but she has indirectly often made situations worse, whether that’s not reporting runaway Andrei Tarpov to social services or indeed micro-dosing surgeon Kian Madani, who ended up dying of a drug overdose.

Then, when Lucky recently dared to expose the dodgy dealings of Jeni Sinclaire, SHE came off worse when Jeni whacked her over the head, putting her in a coma.

As Lucky wakes following her emergency spinal surgery in next week’s Holby, her prognosis doesn’t look good, and neurosurgeon Max McGerry regretfully has to give Lucky the devastating news that she’s tetraplegic.

"Lucky goes through different stages of grief," says Vineeta Rishi, who plays her. "There’s shock, disbelief, self-pity and thinking: 'Why me?'"

Jo Martin plays Max McGerry in Holby City

Max is saddened to break the news to Lucky that she's paralysed from the neck down. (Image credit: BBC)

As Lucky struggles to process the awful news, we see her wrestling mentally with nurse ‘Cassie’, who doesn’t hold back in highlighting Lucky’s failings up to this point…

"Cassie is in fact a reflection of what’s going on in Lucky’s head; the insults Cassie throws at her, are thoughts she’s battling with," explains Vineeta. "Lucky’s always tried to help others but often couldn’t do right for doing wrong and, here, is very much punishing herself. Cassie’s brutal!"

Cassie Holby City

Cassie has some home truths for Lucky - and she doesn't hold back! (Image credit: BBC)

Lucky might be paralysed from the neck down but her mind is still sharp and, to distract herself, she decides to channel her energies into trying to reunite warring friends Fletch and Donna. 

"Lucky's still got the emotional skills she's always had and thinks she CAN make a difference to the pair," says Vineeta. "My husband thinks Lucky’s a busy-body - and that I’m a bit like her!"

Alex Walkinshaw plays Fletch in Holby City

Lucky works hard to try and help Fletch and Donna move on from Jeni. (Image credit: BBC)

Lucky’s encouraged by her good deed for the day but, later, Max delivers the devastating news that Lucky will never walk again. She tries to discuss a treatment plan but Lucky’s not interested. 

For Lucky, the future is bleak; as far as she’s concerned if this is what her life’s going to be like, she wants to end it... and she wants Max to help!

"Lucky doesn’t feel her existence has that purpose and meaning anymore and decides she wants to take her own life," reveals Vineeta. "It's an unimaginable situation."

Holby City continues Tuesdays at 7.50pm on BBC1.