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7 things you didn't know about Casualty legend Cathy Shipton, aka Duffy

Cathy Shipton as Duffy in Casualty. Smiling and looking directly at camera
(Image credit: BBC)

From running marathons to working with the Spice Girls, there are lots to know about Casualty legend Cathy Shipton, who has played nurse Duffy on and off for more than three decades...

Casualty legend Cathy Shipton - better known to TV fans as nurse Duffy - is about to make her heartbreaking exit from the show, 33 years after her first appearance.

In fact Duffy is such a Casualty institution that she was even in the Saturday night drama's pilot episode back in 1986, and despite dipping in and out of the show over the last three decades, she has firmly cemented her place in the nation's heart.

But there's more to Cathy Shipton than playing Duffy and wearing her iconic blue nurses' uniform. Here are 7 things you might not know about the Casualty legend...

1. She met her other half on Casualty 

Cathy-Shipton, Casualty, Duffy

Cathy met her partner while working on Casualty (Picture: BBC)

Cathy and her partner Chris Guard met on set while she was playing Duffy and he had taken on the role as nurse Ken Hodges.

2. She runs marathons 

Cathy is a keen supporter of the British Heart Foundation after she lost her father in 1985 and after she started running with partner Chris Guard she discovered a new love for long-distance running. She told The Mirror "The charity had an allocation of tickets and they asked me if I'd run. I started training in December and it was just awful. I ached everywhere, but we did it."

3. She has written a book about running

After discovering a love for running Cathy decided there was a gap in the market for a book written for ordinary people and she wrote a book called Marathon Manual... "All the books were written by world-class athletes, nothing for housewives and plumbers and people like me," she told The Mirror.

4. Tarot cards predicted her role in Casualty

Charlie and Duffy having a heart-to-heart in the car

(Image credit: BBC)

More then three decades ago Cathy had her tarot cards read at a summer fete, which told her that the next 12 months would be important. Weeks later her agent put her forward for the role as Susie the receptionist in Casualty, but Cathy wanted to play a nurse, and the rest, as they say, is history.

5. She is a trained aerobics teacher 

Cathy might be best know as being an actress, but she also has many other strings to her bow, including being an aerobics instructor!

She told the BBC: "My parents were flabbergasted at my decision to become an actor, but I also trained as an aerobics teacher and as this was around the time of the Jane Fonda craze I did well financially!"

6. Cathy Shipton appeared in Spice World the movie 

Spice world: The Spice Girls in Madrid, Spain on December 18th, 1997.

Cathy appeared in Spice World the movie as a midwife! (Picture: Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) (Image credit: Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

It's not just Casualty that Cathy has starred in over the years, she has also been in The Bill, One Foot in the Grave, Doctors, Taggart, Holby City and even Spice World! She played a midwife in the 1997 film and starred along side the Spice Girls themselves.

7. She kept a secret diary as a teenager 

While writing her autobiography, Cathy looked back over her old diaries that she kept as a teenager, hoping it would give her ideas for her book. The only problem was she had written them in code so that her mum couldn't read them, but she then forgot the code and now she can't read them, either!

Casualty airs Saturday night at 9.10pm on BBC One.