Holby City is celebrating it's 20th anniversary next week with a special crossover storyline, starting in its sister show Casualty, this Saturday. Holby's Bob Barrett reveals more...
How did you feel ahead of filming these special crossover episodes to mark Holby’s 20th anniversary?
"Filming the crossover was very exciting as, suddenly, everyone was on set. I saw Amanda Mealing, who plays Connie in Casualty, who I haven’t seen for ages. And Michael Stevenson, who plays Casualty paramedic Iain Dean was on-set too, so it really felt like something very exciting."
How is your character Sacha Levy involved in the crossover storyline?
"Well, initially the day starts fine. Sacha's out with his daughter Beka [played by Bob's real-life daughter Francesca] and they meet Darla, Ric's granddaughter. Sacha’s driving in the car with the two of them when a pregnancy test kit falls out of Beka’s bag. Sacha immediately thinks, as one would, that the test belongs to Beka and they have an argument...
What happens then?
"As they argue, Sacha takes his eye of the road… and that’s when another car hits us! The car rolls out of control and ends up upside down!"
Oh no! Is anyone badly hurt?
"Sacha manages to stagger out, Darla's fine but Beka has broken her leg. She's upside down in the car and is in extreme pain and discomfort. The Casualty team get Beka to the hospital and it looks like she’s going to lose her leg, it looks like it’s going to bleed out. She’s in real jeopardy."
Sacha must be really worried?
"He is but then it turns out that the person who has had the most life-threatening injury is Sacha, and he doesn’t know it! From the impact of the crash, Sacha has suffered a blood clot and, in Tuesday’s Holby, the blood clot moves, Sacha’s collapses and it’s a race to see who can save him!"
With the hospital in the grip of a cyber attack, plunged into darkness and with medical equipment malfunctioning everywhere, Sacha and Holby paramedic Iain are both in real jeopardy…
"That’s right. Basically, Iain’s in a life-threatening situation, so is Sacha but there’s only one theatre in operation. So the ED's Connie Beauchamp and Holby’s Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) argue over who should be saved. Connie’s saying: 'Well, I have to save Iain’ and Jac’s going: ‘Well, I’m saving my mate Sacha!’"
Sacha and Jac have been the best of friends for years, so it’s only fitting that she should be the one trying to save him…
"I know! I was thinking about it being 20 years of Holby and, what’s great about a show like this, if you look at Sacha’s friendship with Jac for instance, is that Rosie and I have known each other now for nearly 10 years, so that’s what we play on screen because we’re amazing friends. You have those genuine relationships that you’ve built over time and it’s all there on the screen."
How did you film the car crash?
"The stunt was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. This stunt guy, dressed as Sacha, got into the car, which hits this concrete wall and, because there’s a canon in the boot, the car flies over the concrete wall, turns twice in the air and then crashes! It looks absolutely amazing. The Casualty guys were so cool about it because they’re so used to stunts on that show. We don’t normally do stunts on Holby – someone slips over and that's a stunt!"
You been on Holby City since 2010. What's kept you on the show?
"When my daughter Francesca came onto Holby City, everything she said about why she loved it is why I’m still here. She said it’s an amazing place to work and it’s like a family. And it absolutely IS like a family; there’s something really unique about it. It’s not just that people get on but people somehow have an investment in the show. It’s really hard to do 52 hour-long shows a year but we all really strive to make Holby the best it can be. We’re such a disparate group yet we all look out for each other and root for each other. I live miles away from the studio but every time I come through those gates, I think to myself: ‘I’m just so happy here!’
Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.
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