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Holby City stars past and present have said an emotional goodbye to the BBC medical drama, as it came to end after 23 years on Tuesday night.
The final episode saw the death of surgeon Jac Naylor, played by Rosie Marcel since 2005, following a long-running storyline about the effects of a brain tumour.
It also featured the reappearance of past characters including Ric Griffin (Hugh Quarshie) and Mo Effanga (Chizzy Akudolu), as Jac’s organs were donated to people around the country.
Actor Rosie Marcel ended the series with a poignant monologue about the NHS, before pictures of previous cast members flashed up on screen as the credits rolled.
After the show aired, Chizzy tweeted: “This is actually breaking my heart. Holby meant so much to so many people, including me. I’m in bits. Didn’t think it would affect me like this…”
She added: “Thank you Holby City for changing my life.”
Hugh Quarshie – the show’s longest-serving cast member, who appeared in Holby City between 2001 and 2020 – praised the drama for “going out gracefully” as he shared a review of the final episode.
David Ames, who played consultant Dominic Copeland, said his heart was “bursting with sadness, love and pride” as the episode aired.
“Thank you to everyone who helped make this incredible show. Thank you adopting me into the family. I will forever be grateful,” he said.
“Thank you all for watching us. And thank you to our NHS. It’s been an absolute honour.”
Catherine Russell, who reprised her role as Serena Campbell, tweeted a series of photos from her time on the show, adding: “It really was like family.”
Meanwhile, Dawn Steele, who portrayed Ange Godard, tweeted: “Thank you, what an amazing job it was. So sad. What a message though – thank you NHS.”
Lucinda Dryzek, who played Jac Naylor’s sister Jasmine Burrows, posted: “To all the Holby family, you really were the best. And you will be truly missed. And I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Belinda Owusu, who portrayed surgeon Nicky McKendrick, said: “Beyond grateful to have been a part of the magic.”
Former EastEnders star Davood Ghadami, who joined Holby last year as Eli Ebrahimi, said it was the “end of an era”.
He added: “I was just getting in the warm glow of the brilliant people who had been working on that show for all those years. They are the best in the business.
“Goodbye Holby City and thank you.”
Patsy Kensit, who played Faye Morton, tweeted a photo of herself in the show and said she was “so sad” it was ending: “I had an amazing four and a half years on the show and I loved it.”
Another former show regular Tina Hobley, who portrayed Chrissie Williams, also shared an image of herself in her nurse’s uniform on the show.
Original cast member Jeremy Edwards, whose character was Danny Shaughnessy, praised the show’s creator Mal Young for having “the foresight to create such a groundbreaking show which became a hotbed for talent which will live on”.
Fellow original star Angela Griffin, who played Jasmine Hopkins, said she was “very emotional” watching the finale.
Holby City was conceived as a spin-off from Casualty, and debuted in 1999.
The episodes were set in the same hospital despite Casualty being filmed in Bristol, and later Cardiff, while Holby was shot in Elstree in Hertfordshire.
The BBC announced Holby would be ending last year in order to “reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country”.
It stated that this was to help “make room for new opportunities” as part of the broadcaster’s “commitment to make more programmes across the UK”.
The BBC has since announced the return of school-based drama Waterloo Road, which will return to filming in Greater Manchester.
Source: DUK News