Holby City's Marcus Griffiths on Xavier's SHOCK exit: 'I've loved getting to know him!'

Marcus Griffiths plays Xavier Duval in Holby City
(Image credit: BBC)

Holby City fans were left stunned on Tuesday night as medic Xavier 'Zav' Duval met a tragic end as he tried to expose his nemesis Cameron Dunn. Marcus Griffiths reveals all about Zav's demise...

The rivalry between Holby City registrar Xavier 'Zav' Duval and medic Cameron Dunn has been simmering for weeks now and in Tuesday night's episode events took an unexpected and very tragic turn.

Having gathered the evidence he needed to prove that Cameron (Nic Jackman) had left Chloe Godard's husband Evan Crowhurst to die, Zav was hot-footing it to the police station to report the crime, when he was hit by a bicycle crossing the road and thrown in the air before hitting his head on the kerb, sustaining a serious brain injury.

Zav was rushed back to Holby where medics battled hard to save their friend and colleague. But, tragically, Zav was soon pronounced dead.

Xavier suspicious Cameron

Xavier (Marcus Griffiths) vowed to expose Cameron (Nic Jackman) - and clear his name...

The news sent shockwaves around the hospital and while Zav's girlfriend Donna (Jaye Jacobs) and pal Nicky McKendrick (Belinda Owusu) were understandably devastated, there were few tears from Cameron, who seemed safe in the knowledge that his secret was still safe... for now.

In an exclusive interview with whatsontv.co.uk, Marcus Griffiths reveals all about Zav's shock Holby City exit...

Wow, Marcus! That was quite an episode of Holby City…

"I know, ha ha. Xavier’s demise came about because the storyline needed a boost and I was happy to take on the mantle. I thought: ‘If you’re gonna go out, go out with a bang.’ But I do realise it’ll be a huge shock to the system for Holby fans."

Holby Xavier spys on Cameron

Xavier wastes no time digging for whatever dirt he can find on Cameron in Holby City...

Facing a disciplinary hearing, in tonight's episode, we saw Xavier determined to expose Cameron - and clear his name...

"Exactly. Here, Zav feels he’s got nothing to lose. He’s been suspended, he’s facing possibly having his medical licence revoked, he’s split from Donna and everything’s crumbling. So he goes for broke, puts on his Sherlock Holmes hat and tries to uncover the secrets he’s sure Cameron’s burying. Zav goes behind enemy lines and goes all out to bring Cameron down. Holby City turns spy thriller like The Bourne Identity!

"Unfortunately, Cameron reaches a whole new level of deception. Through calculated plans and sheer luck, he manages to orchestrate Zav’s downfall."

Holby City Xavier hits kerb

Just as Xavier was on his way to expose Cameron he was hit crossing the road and couldn't be saved...

So, it looks like Cameron’s got what he always wanted - to get Xavier out of the way…

"Well, he has… for now. I don’t know how Cameron’s fate turns out but I would hope that, whatever Zav has uncovered and whatever information he’s been able to leave behind for others to pick up, it WILL bring about the eventual downfall of Cameron Dunn."

What have you enjoyed most about playing Zav in the two years you’ve been on Holby City?

"I think the best thing about playing Zav is that I never knew where he was heading from one minute to the next. I remember when Zav and Donna (played by Jaye Jacobs) first got together and I thought: ‘Oh, now his character is going to evolve in a completely different way’. I’d like to think Zav’s changed a great deal since he started. I'd say the best thing about playing Zav has been growing with him – I’ve just loved getting to know him."

Holby City fans really bought into Zav and Donna’s relationship…

"The best thing to happen to Zav, in my two years on the show, was Donna. If Zav’s to leave a legacy on this show it’s that Donna really was his lighthouse; his calm within the storm. He had a lot of personal demons, involving his family, but she was the vessel that carried him through all that and really taught him how to love and be himself and not be guarded. She brought him out of his shell. That relationship really grounded him and made him grow up… not bad, considering at first she couldn’t stand the sight of him!"


Happier times! It wasn't love at first sight for Xavier and Donna (Jaye Jacobs). But romance soon blossomed...

Actors tend to come and go from Holby. Are you sad that your exit is so final? It IS final, isn’t it? I mean, Zav doesn’t come back and haunt Cameron or anything?

"Well, he might. Holby has done that before. I remember chatting to Jaye on my final day of filming, we were both quite emotional, and I said: ‘Don’t worry, if push comes to shove I can probably have a word with the writers and there’s a chance I can come back and be your guardian angel. Or come back and haunt Cameron!’"

MORE: All the SHOCKS and SCANDALS coming up in Holby City

So have you enjoyed your time on the show?

"To say I’ve enjoyed my two years on the show would be an understatement. To come in and work with both new, young actors and also with people who’ve been on the show for years like Hugh Quarshie and Rosie Marcel, it’s been such a great journey. I come from theatre, so joining a long-running TV show was a different world to me – and Holby has been just perfect."

Will you stay in touch with the Holby City cast?

"Absolutely. Obviously, I love Jaye and also Belinda Owusu, who plays Dr Nicky McKendrick. I’m also very good friends with Nic, who plays Cam, despite us being adversaries in the show."

Holby Xavier confronts Cameron

Best of frenemies: Marcus says he and Nic are great mates - despite playing arch-rivals on screen...

Does being such good friends make it easier or harder to play two guys who really hate each other?

"That’s a good question. No, not really. Nic’s such a sweetheart and it’s testament to how good an actor he is, the way he can just click into playing that kind of character. We can literally be joking on set five seconds before they shout ‘action’. And then Nic’s suddenly all up in my face, as Cameron, being all sinister. I can’t praise Nic highly enough because he can really turn into a nasty piece of work in the blink of an eye. I think we’ve both thrown everything and the kitchen sink at Zav and Cameron’s rivalry."

Sounds intriguing… So, what’s next for you?

"Well, there are a couple of things on the horizon that I can’t really speak about yet; possibly international work, possibly domestic and I’m really excited. I don’t have a second skill, I’m not Daniel Day Lewis, I can’t just go to Italy and be a cobbler! So, yeah, you’ll hopefully see me on stage or screen at some point in the near future."

Holby City is now taking a break. It will return to BBC1 later this year.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and WhatToWatch.com

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!