Jason Durr reveals why ‘no acting was required’ in Casualty!

Dialling up the drama! David is desperate to locate his son. Why isn't Ollie answering his phone?
(Image credit: BBC)

Casualty star Jason Durr reveals how his character David’s dramatic river rescue scenes were filmed for this week's episode of the medical drama.

Nurse David Hide’s (played by Jason Durr) personal life comes into sharp relief on this week's episode of Casualty (opens in new tab).

David risks life and limb when his young son Ollie (Harry Collett) gets into serious danger after running away.

Viewers will get a unique glimpse into the enigmatic nurse’s life when he gets a phone call from his ex wife Rosalene (Monarch of the Glen star Lorraine Pilkington) revealing Ollie’s run away after an argument with her new partner Mark.

David retraces Ollie’s steps and before long finds the unhappy teenager sitting on a bridge. Disaster strikes, however, when Ollie accidentally falls into the fast flowing river and David dives in after him!

We caught up with Jason Durr (opens in new tab), who plays the medic to find out more…

How scary was it filming David’s daring rescue of Ollie?

Jason Durr: "It was an ‘NRA’ moment – no acting required! When we filmed the river was freezing cold. I jumped in and was shot down like a leaf through the rapids. It’s was a heck of an experience and probably looks as scary as it was!"

Was it difficult to film?

JD: "When we fell into the river there was a sudden sharpening of the senses as you really feel the water around you. We were aided and abetted by the freezing cold weather! We filmed it for a good couple of days. Because of all the health and safety aspects and the dangerous elements involved, it couldn’t be rushed. You have to take your time, you’ve got to get it right, and hopefully we did. We had the most amazing team of people there."

Are you a good swimmer?

JD: "I was born in Singapore and grew up in Hong Kong for 17 years of my life, so I used to swim every day and its one of the things I really enjoy doing. But nothing quite prepares you for the shock of the cold water as you’re getting catapulted down the river and you’re banging on the rocks, have to dodge low hanging branches from trees, and then dive down under the water… That wakes you up! There’s swimming and then there’s survival, and this erred more on the side of survival. A basic instinct kicks in and you want to get to the end of the journey as quickly as you can in one piece…"

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Have you enjoyed working with Harry Collett (opens in new tab), who plays Ollie, on this dramatic story?

JD: "Harry who plays Ollie is absolutely fantastic. He really is a lovely young lad and a fine young actor. He’s got a great career ahead of him. We were able to talk to each other and work out what we wanted to do. And there was never any problem or issue, he always goes for it! He had to go down the river as well, and that can’t be an easy thing to do at such a young age. He really does throw himself in at the deep end, no pun intended!"

After David pulls Ollie to safety, paramedics Iain Dean and Ruby Sparks whisk him off to the ED where Dylan has bad news… Can the Holby medics save Ollie give David a second chance at fatherhood?

JD: "David and Ollie have had their issues in the past. The fact Ollie lived in Spain with his mum means David’s missed a lot of his childhood. They love each other but it’s never easy to heal those wounds. Hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel…"

Read more about this week's Casualty here

Find out in Casualty this Saturday 31st August at 9.20pm on BBC One

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and (opens in new tab)www.whattowatch.com (opens in new tab) covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.