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John Barrowman joins Holby City… and other HUGE spoilers!

John Barrowman - Drew in Holby City

The Dancing on Ice judge will be doing a guest stint in the BBC1 medical drama this spring, when there's also the return of a familiar face and great hardship for two show favourites...

John Barrowman will soon be gracing the wards of Holby City, the BBC1 medical drama has revealed.

The Dancing on Ice judge is set to appear in one episode as visiting consultant Drew Nicholson-Heath, a renowned global recruiter who has some history with Ange Godard, played by Dawn Steele.

Knowing Drew’s always on the lookout for talented surgeons to poach, it’s not long before certain members of the team are doing all they can to impress the high flyer.

"Being part of another iconic BBC drama is just fabulous," enthuses Barrowman. "I was welcomed with open arms by the cast and crew and felt like part of the Holby City family right away. My character Drew brings a new flavour to the show and I look forward to his return soon. Surgery will never be the same again."

This big news was revealed as Holby City released its spring trailer, which also teased the return of a familiar face and suggested hard times ahead for two show favourites.

Guy Self is back in Holby City...

John Michie - Guy Self 1

Tormented neurosurgeon Guy Self (John Michie) returns to Holby - but is he a changed man?

John Michie will be returning as neurosurgeon Guy Self, who's set to really shake things up when he reappears at the hospital in a few weeks. With a few secrets up his sleeve, he soon gets under the skin of some of his old colleagues… namely Ric (Hugh Quarshie).

"It's always exciting to come back to Holby City and play Guy Self because he’s such a dangerous, egotistical character who’s constantly fighting his personal demons whilst always knowing that he’s a brilliant surgeon," Michie says of his return.

Essie and Fletch in turmoil...

Meanwhile, the lives of two of Holby’s most best-loved characters will be thrown in turmoil as Essie’s (Kaye Wragg) cancer returns and Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) also receives his own cancer diagnosis.

Alex Walkinshaw - Fletch

Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) is worried sick when he gets a shock cancer diagnosis. Can he and Essie support each other?

It looks set to be an incredibly tough couple of months ahead for the pair, as they each deal with life-threatening diagnoses. And a great strain is put on their nearest and dearest – namely Sacha and Ange respectively – as they try to support them.

"When initially considering cancer storylines for these two beloved characters, we first took the view that we couldn’t run both at the same time – but then realised that we actually could and should,” says Simon Harper, executive producer of both Holby City and its sister show Casualty.

“Statistically, cancer affects so many of us, that two work colleagues could well find themselves in Essie and Fletch’s situation, where they have this huge, bonding thing in common but such a different experience of it, so hopefully we will raise awareness this way.

Kaye Wragg - Essie

Essie (Kaye Wragg) learns her cancer has returned. Will her loved ones be there to support her?

"These two most caring nurses now have to care for each other in their fight, challenging their relationships with their partners Sacha and Ange and making both of them face their darkest fears.

"Kaye and Alex are just as wonderful as you would expect, with heartbreaking performances."

Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.