Jan Jenning has always been a tower of strength in Casualty (BBC1, 8.45pm, Saturday 14 August 2021 — see our TV Guide for listings). Yet in this Saturday's anniversary episode viewers the paramedic boss is deeply distressed in the wake of the tragic deaths of Fenisha Khatri and Lev Malinovsky.
Di Botcher, who has played Jan since 2018, reveals this is the start of a difficult period for the grieving paramedic, involving her nephew Teddy (newcomer Milo Clarke) and her wife Ffion Morgan (Stirling Gallacher).
Here Di, 62, tells us more...
How is Jan Jenning coping with the loss of Lev and Fenisha?
Di Botcher: "Jan’s doing what Jan always does, trying to bury her feelings. She feels guilty because she believes it’s her job to protect her co-workers.
"The idea that good people can lose their lives trying to do the right thing haunts her and will have repercussions."
What’s new paramedic Teddy like?
DB: "Teddy is Jan’s nephew. His mother and Jan are sisters. He’s young, friendly and eager – and the last person she wants on her team! Her fear that something terrible could happen to one of her workforce means that she’d rather pack Teddy off home to stay safe and sound.
"As usual, she doesn’t explain herself to anyone, she just shouts at Teddy – or Theodore as she insists on calling him!"
Do you have a favourite storyline to date?
DB: "Smuggling drugs into prison! I enjoyed the dilemma Jan had to deal with - and is still going through - trying to protect her son and her relationship with her wife Ffion.
"No good came out of the experience and it looks like neither of them will ever be in her life again. Jan has to live with the consequences of her actions..."
How are things at home for Jan now?
DB: "Pretty shoddy! She’s such a private person and Teddy is going to discover the truth and bring her misery to the surface."
Can you share any teasers on upcoming plots?
DB: "I’m pleased to report Teddy wins his Aunty Jan over, eventually! They team up in the ambulance and have a little, um, adventure that significantly deepens their relationship.
"And I’m thrilled to say that Ffion, played by Stirling Gallacher, is coming back into Jan’s life. A happy ending? I think we’ve got a few more mountains to climb first!"
Do you have any favourite memories of watching Casualty?
DB: "I’ve always watched and enjoyed Casualty, but a very strong memory for me is playing a patient in it many moons ago when the programme was filmed in Bristol. The cast and crew were very welcoming and friendly then, just as our lot are nowadays!"
Finally, who is your all-time favourite character?
DB: "Can I have two, please? Charlie and Duffy forever!"
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