Brace yourselves... fiery Holby City surgeon Jac Naylor is returning! It soon transpires Jac's returned for one thing... but it ain't Fletch! Rosie Marcel reveals more...
Rosie Marcel on Jac's shock Holby City comeback - and why the formidable surgeon has REALLY returned...
As Jac returns to Holby this week, why is Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) so surprised to see her?
"Jac's been away a lot longer than expected, so it's definitely a surprise to him that she’s back. Fletch suffers her and she knows he suffers her, that’s why they’ve grown close. It's obvious he's missed her and that's sweet."
It no doubt comes as a shock, too, because Jac’s got new hair!
"My hair's been long and straight since I was 16 and I needed a change so, during my time away, I cut loads off. Hopefully, Holby fans won’t be too upset that I’ve completely changed my image. It is in the midst of growing back though, so it won't be long before I look like the same old Jac again!"
Surgeon Jac and director of nursing Fletch have grown close in recent months as he's helped her through her struggles...
We soon discover that Jac hasn’t just come back to see Fletch, though, has she? What’s the real reason for her return?
"Jac's suffering from troublesome scar tissue following the initial surgery on her spine [following last year's shooting] and it's got to the point where she can't cope anymore, so she wants Professor Gaskell [Paul McGann] to operate. Jac's certain he’s the only person who can get her back to work pain-free."
Fletch doesn't think it’s a good idea, though, and tries talk her out of it…
"He does. But, for Jac, it's either end up paralysed from her injuries or try something experimental. She believes Gaskell's her last option."
Is Professor Gaskell (Paul McGann) the man to help Jac get her life back?
Later, Jac confides in Fletch about her future…
"Jac's worried she won't have one. Jac's life is her child and her work and if she can't run around after her daughter Emma or perform complicated surgeries, then she really doesn't have much else in her life."
So what did you do during your time off from Holby?
"I just had two and half months off with my daughter, which was lovely. It was the first voluntary break I'd taken in my 12 years on the show, other than the time I took off to have her. So I took her to New Orleans to see my sister and it's also the first year I've actually spent her birthday with her, so it was really nice. I've actually been back at work a few months now, so it feels like forever ago!"
What do you still most enjoy about playing Jac?
"I’m never disappointed with the great storylines I get or with the fantastic lines I'm given to say. As Jac, I get to say things that everybody thinks but nobody ever says. The lack of internal dialogue that Jac has is astounding! That's why I love playing her – and while there's stuff still to do and stories still to play, I'll stay."
Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.
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