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Holby City, styled as HOLBY CI+Y, is a BAFTA award winning medical drama television serial transmitted by BBC One in the United Kingdommarker. It is a spin-off from Casualty, and is set in the same hospital, with occasional crossovers of characters and plots. It follows the lives of surgeons, nurses, other medical and ancillary staff and patients at the fictional Holby City Hospital. The show has a number of writers, including the current Executive Producer, Tony McHale. McHale wrote the first ever episode and continued to write for the show for a number of years, until taking a break from the show and returning a few years later as the Producer. He co-created the series with Mal Young, however it was only in 2006 that he became the Executive Producer. Due to his commitments overseeing the show, he tends to only write episodes for special occasions, such as "Elliot's Wonderful Life" at Christmas in 2007 and "No Breaks on the Midnight Express: Parts 1 & 2" at the end of series ten.


Origins and development

Holby City began on 12 January 1999 as a spin-off from the long-running BBC medical drama Casualty and is named after the fictional Holby City Hospital in which both series are set. The show follows the lives and careers of staff and patients at the hospital and deals with a range of clinical and ethical issues. The regular characters are all staff, and patients are played by guest actors - which have included some famous names such as Eric Sykes, Phill Jupitus, Michael Jayston, Michele Dotrice, Ronni Ancona, Emma Samms, Lee Ryan, Nikki Sanderson and Johnny Briggs. Series creator Mal Young explained of the show's conception as a Casualty spin-off: "Like most people I’ve often wondered what happens next to those patients who come in after accidents. Where do they go when you see them disappearing upstairs on a trolley at the end of an episode? As I thought about this, it struck me – why start afresh when you’ve got the basis of a series already? People have busy lives and if they already follow a number of soaps, they take to a new drama series when they make sense quickly. This could be a way of helping that to happen."

Fictional location

Holby is in the fictional county of Wyvern, in the south-west of England, close to the Welsh border. The fictional city would effectively replace Bristol on the UK map - telephone numbers given on the show use the Bristol area code, and similarly addresses use the Bristol postcode. While its sister show Casualty is filmed in Bristol, Holby City is filmed in Hertfordshire at the BBC's Elstree Studiosmarker.. Over the years, the Holby City production team have filmed outdoor scenes in Bristol to link with Casualty, such as doctors or nurses driving to work over the Clifton Suspension Bridgemarker, which has featured in Casualty since the first episode.

Filming and on-screen output

Holby City is shot on videotape using the single-camera setup. The show is filmed at Neptune House, at the BBC Elstree Centremarker in Borehamwoodmarker, Hertfordshiremarker. This building contains the sets for the show, the production offices for a number of BBC shows, and editing facilities for EastEnders. As a result, the Holby City building can often be seen in the distance during episodes of EastEnders, although the latter is set in Londonmarker. Each episode of Holby City is shot approximately three months in advance of transmission on BBC One. When Holby City first began, episodes were shot much further in advance than they are today. Whilst one episode is being shot, the cast are also shooting the next episode. This results in the completion of two episodes in two weeks. During television and magazine interviews, some cast members have revealed that a typical working day on the set of Holby City is 12 hours long.

From July 2007 onwards, the show took on the filmizing technique, giving episodes the impression of having been shot on film. Series producer Diana Kyle said of the change: "We wanted to bring Holby City into the 21st century, and we've had a very positive response. But it can take time for long-term viewers to adjust, and there are a few who've found it difficult to get used to. I'm sure they'll grow to like it as much as we do, though!" Initially, the new output was quite jerky and many viewers did not like the change. The picture has been dramatically improved since the changes were made and any problems have now been ironed out.


The show's eleventh series saw musical montage or "songtage" segments become standard in each episode. Executive producer Tony McHale explained that he viewed the technique as a means of modernising or "dragging the show into the 21st century". Although McHale initially considered commissioning original pieces for use in the series, budgetary constraints limited choices to pre-existing tracks. Music is generally selected by each episode's scriptwriter. Although the prevalence of these musical montages has drawn comparisons to US medical dramas such as Grey's Anatomy who popularised the technique, McHale claims he was unaware of their use until Holby City had already adopted them. With regards to the continued use of "songtages", McHale states: "We'll certainly go on doing it. It seems to work for everyone involved."

Broadcast history

Holby City was originally commissioned as a series to be shown as part of the BBC's winter line-up. As years have passed, Holby City has become a permanent fixture in BBC One's weekly schedule. Since the start of the fourth series (9 October 2001) the programme is broadcast all year round, with 52 episodes per series, on Tuesday nights at 8.00pm on BBC1. The only exception to this was Series 10, which contained 52 episodes with a 'standalone' episode, totaling 53 episodes in all.

Originally, Holby City was broadcast on Tuesday nights at 8.10pm, until a switch to Thursdays at 8.00pm occurred for the second series, broadcast in the Autumn of 1999. Halfway through the third series in 2001, Holby reverted back to its original Tuesday night slot, but now at 8.00pm. On 1 May 2007, the show was moved to its original slot on Thursdays to make way for HolbyBlue, but reverted to its Tuesday slot on 3 July 2007 once the eight-part HolbyBlue spin-off had concluded. Upon Holby's return to its usual Tuesday night slot, the show was broadcast with revamped opening titles, featuring clips of various cast members interspersed with the original credits, the third variation of the title sequence since the show began. When a character departs, they are replaced by a general hospital themed image such as surgical equipment until a replacement cast member is added to the sequence.

Holby City aired as a drama series for its first three series, before becoming a serial drama in 2001. During the year-round series, the cross over from one season to the next occurs in October. The show's first series aired as seven 50-minute episodes and two 60-minute episodes - with each episode remaining 60 minutes in length from this point onwards. Its second series ran for 16 episodes, and its third for 30. Mal Young explained of the increase in series length: "Longer runs allow you to develop really strong storylines for the regular characters. As long as you do volume with passion, it’ll work." Each subsequent series has aired for exactly 52 episodes, one for each week of the year. Some fairly major and other more minor changes to the series format and content have occurred since the show's conception. The second series introduced for the first time Keller Ward - a General Surgical counter-part to the existing Cardiothoracic ward, Darwin. Likewise, series three saw the introduction of Otter Ward, a Pediatric unit - which in series four was replaced by a Maternity ward and an Acute Assessment Unit. The Maternity ward was phased out during the show's eighth series, with all of its staff either departing from the show or being absorbed into new roles on other wards. During the tenth series, a private ward known as HolbyCare was introduced, while the AAU became a Surgical Admissions Unit. Young commented at the time of the series four expansion: "Each series of Holby City has seen a huge increase in the number of episodes as it’s been such a success. We had to add new characters/ wards, in order that we could rotate casts/sets. We now have two shoots filming at the same time."

Adaptations and other appearances

Casualty@Holby City

Casualty@Holby City credits
Reflecting Holby City's origins as a spin-off from ''Casualty'' and the closely-related premises of the two programmes, the BBC has screened occasional crossover mini-dramas entitled ''Casualty@Holby City'' and featuring a number of characters from each of the two casts. Mervyn Watson, [[Executive Producer]] of ''Casualty'', has commented on the origins of the idea to fully cross the two sister shows over for the first time: "I think the idea came from somebody in the comedy department, who casually said to the Controller of Drama "Wouldn't it be a good idea if...." The Controller did think it was a good idea, spoke to myself and Holby's Executive Producer, got it commissioned by the Head of [[BBC One]] and the rest is history."{{cite web|url=|title=Crossover Interview|publisher=[[]]|month=December | year=2004|accessdate=2007-09-14}} Filming of ''Casualty@Holby City'' episodes is usually divided between ''Casualty'''s Bristol set, and ''Holby City'''s Elstree studios, although a large proportion of the [[Casualty@Holby City Christmas 2005|Christmas 2005]] crossover was also filmed on location in a road tunnel in [[Caernarfon]], [[Wales]].{{Citation | last= | first= | author-link= | publication-date=23 December 2005 | date= | year= | title= TV drama in North Wales tunnel | periodical=[[Liverpool Daily Post|The Daily Post]] | publication-place=[[Liverpool]], [[England]] | place= | publisher= | volume= | issue= | pages= | url= | doi= | oclc= | accessdate=}} The theme tune used for crossover ''Casualty@Holby City'' episodes consists of a shortened version of both the ''Casualty'' and ''Holby City'' theme tunes, played over one another in sync, critizised by [[Daily Mirror]] for being "basically both theme tunes played at once."{{cite web|url=|title=Jim Shelley Goes For The Jugular 03/01/2006|publisher=[[The Daily Mirror]]|date=3 January 2006|accessdate=2007-09-10}} There have been four crossovers to date involving both casts: *The [[Casualty@Holby City Christmas 2004|Christmas 2004]] crossover featured a fuel [[tank truck|tanker lorry]] crashing into the Accident & Emergency department of [[Holby City Hospital]]. ''Casualty'' character [[List of characters in Casualty#Former cast|Jim Brodie]] died rescuing his colleagues from the burning hospital building.{{cite episode |title=Casualty@Holby City (Parts One and Two) |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Christmas_2004 |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=[[BBC]] |airdate= 2004-12-26}} *In August 2005, an [[Casualty@Holby City Interactive|Interactive]] episode was screened as part of the [[BBC]]'s DoNation season, raising the profile of [[organ donation]] issues. Viewers voted for one of two patients to receive an organ donation during the show. The plot was designed to raise awareness of the scarcity of organs and encourage viewers to consider joining the [[National Health Service|NHS]] Donor Register.{{cite episode |title=Something We Can Do |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Interactive |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=[[BBC]] |airdate= 2005-08-27}} *A third crossover was produced for [[Casualty@Holby City Halloween 2005|Halloween 2005]]. This four episode special focused on issues around youth violence, featuring an ambulance hijack and an assault on character [[List of characters in Casualty#Former cast|Comfort Newton]] by pupils at a failing [[secondary school]].{{cite episode |title=Teacher's Pet, Crash and Burn, Test Your Metal, A Great Leap Forward|episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Halloween_2005 |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=[[BBC]] |airdate= 2005-10-24}} *The last crossover to date aired at [[Casualty@Holby City Christmas 2005|Christmas 2005]] and saw a group of staff involved in a road collision when a tunnel collapsed en-route to the hospital Christmas party. Former character [[Nick Jordan]] returned, and [[Paramedic]] [[Paul "Woody" Joyner|Woody Joyner]] died saving the life of a baby.{{cite episode |title=Deny Thy Father (Parts 1 and 2) |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Christmas_2005|series=Casualty@Holby City|serieslink=Casualty@Holby City|network=[[BBC]] |airdate= 2005-12-24}} Interviewed prior to broadcast of the Christmas 2005 crossover, [[Executive Producer]] Mervyn Watson commented on the future of ''Casualty@Holby City'': "We can't guarantee any crossovers for next year, but the audience likes them. And as long as the Controller of BBC One wants them, then we'll be happy to oblige."{{cite web|url=|title=Crossover Interview|publisher=[[]]|month=December | year=2005|accessdate=2007-09-14}} In November 2007, ''Holby City'' producer Diana Kyle added: "We like to do crossovers whenever we can, but it's tricky because both ''Holby City'' and ''Casualty'' film for 52 weeks a year, so the actors on each show have to work flat-out on their own programmes. We are trying to create more opportunities where the two dramas can merge, though."{{Citation | last= | first= | author-link= | publication-date=November 2007 | date= | year= | title=Ask the BOSS! | periodical=[[Inside Soap]] | publication-place=[[England]] | place= | publisher= | volume= | issue= | pages=40 | url= | doi= | oclc= | accessdate=}} A new crossover is planned for three episodes in early 2010. The episodes will show an important member of the Casualty staff being treated on the Holby City wards.{{cite web|last= Green|first= Kris|title= 'Casualty', 'Holby City' crossover planned|publisher= [[Digital Spy]]|date= 2009-06-05|url=|accessdate= 2009-07-08}} ===HolbyBlue=== {{Main|HolbyBlue}} [[Image:HolbyBlue titles.png|right|thumb|175px|''HolbyBlue'' title credits]] In April 2006, the BBC announced that a spin-off drama from the show, to be named ''[[HolbyBlue]]'', was in early stages of production.{{cite news|author=John Plunkett|url=|title=Holby City walks the thin blue line|publisher=[[The Guardian]]|date=27 April 2006|accessdate=2007-11-18}} The series focuses on the police service of Holby South, and aired for the duration of its first series on [[BBC One]] on Tuesday nights, with ''Holby City'' switching back to its former Thursday night slot at 20:00. Despite Holby Blue being billed as a spin-off from Holby City, the first series saw no crossovers between characters from either show. Long running ''Casualty'' character [[Charlie Fairhead]] appeared in ''HolbyBlue'''s first episode, and a full two part crossover episode with ''Holby City'' is currently being developed for the beginning of the show's second series, set to broadcast in 2008.{{cite news|author=Kris Green|url=|title= 'HolbyBlue' returns with crossover ep|publisher=[[Digital Spy]]|date=14 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-18}} The BBC's Controller of Continuing Drama Series, John Yorke, said of the crossover: "Loads of questions are asked in the Holby City episode that are answered in the [[HolbyBlue]] episode. That is exciting. It is something the Americans have done for years with shows like CSI and I really like it. You really believe it’s a world."{{cite news|author=Matthew Hemley|url=|title=Tony Jordan returns to write for EastEnders|publisher=[[The Stage]]|date=14 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-18}} The crossover episodes will be co-written by ''Holby City'' creator Tony McHale, and ''HolbyBlue'' creator Tony Jordan. On 6 August 2008, the BBC announced that Holby Blue has been axed and will not be returning for a third series.[ BBC axes police drama Holby Blue] [[BBC News]]. 6 August 2008 ===Children in Need=== The 17 November 2006 ''[[Children in Need]]'' [[Charitable organisation|charity]] [[telethon]] included a segment featuring the ''Holby City'' cast performing a comical version of ''[[Hung Up]]'' by [[Madonna (entertainer)|Madonna]].{{cite news|url=|title=Stars line up for Children In Need|publisher=[[Metro (Associated Metro Limited)|]]|date=17 November 2006|accessdate=2007-08-31}} The segment saw the characters dressed in [[lycra]] costumes, singing and dancing around the hospital's Darwin ward. The cast members who took part were [[Paul Bradley (actor)|Paul Bradley]] as [[Elliot Hope]], [[Rosie Marcel]] as [[Jac Naylor]], [[Patricia Potter]] as [[Diane Lloyd (fictional character)|Diane Lloyd]], [[Adam Best]] as Matt Parker, [[Nadine Lewington]] as [[Maddy Young]], [[Robert Powell]] as [[Mark Williams (fictional character)|Mark Williams]], [[Martin Hancock]] as Reg Lund, [[Rakie Ayola]] as [[Kyla Tyson]], [[Peter Wingfield]] as [[Daniel Clifford]], [[Phoebe Thomas]] as [[Maria Kendall]] and [[Paul Henshall]] as Dean West.{{cite news|url=,17840,|title=Children in Need| Database|date=7 November 2006|accessdate=2007-08-31}} Characters Maddy Young, Daniel Clifford and Maria Kendall had not yet arrived on the show itself at this time. Maria and Daniel both appeared from 28 November 2006,{{cite news|url=|title=Episode Update Tuesday 28 November|publisher=[[]]|date=28 November 2006|accessdate=2007-08-29}} and Maddy Young from 16 January 2007.{{cite web|url=|title=Episode Update Tuesday 16 January|publisher=[[]]|date=16 January 2007|accessdate=2007-08-29}} The 16 November 2007 ''[[Children in Need]]'' appeal again contained a musical performance from Holby City cast members. [[Sharon D Clarke]], backed by Nadine Lewington, Rakie Ayola and Phoebe Thomas performed a soul version of [[Aretha Franklin|Aretha Franklin's]] signature song, [[Respect (song)|Respect]].{{cite web|url=|title=Record-breaking £19m raised by BBC Children in Need so far...|publisher=[[]]|date=17 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-17}} ==Characters== {{Main|List of characters in Holby City}} {| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center;" ! '''Character''' ! '''Actor''' ! '''Role''' ! colspan="2" | '''First appearance''' |- | '''[[Chrissie Williams]]''' | [[Tina Hobley]] | [[Nurse|Ward Sister]], [[Acute Assessment Unit|Surgical Admissions Unit]] | 3x30, 2001 | style="background: #00BB66;" | |- | '''[[Ric Griffin]]''' | [[Hugh Quarshie]] | Head of General Surgery; [[Consultant (medicine)|Senior Consultant]] [[General surgery|General Surgeon]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Keller]] | 4x01, 2001 | style="background: #0066FF;" | |- | '''[[Donna Jackson]]''' | [[Jaye Jacobs]] | [[Nurse|Staff Nurse]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Keller]] | 6x24, 2004 | style="background: #FF0088;" | |- | '''[[Connie Beauchamp]]''' | [[Amanda Mealing]] | Director of Robotics; Clinical Lead; [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[Cardiothoracic surgery|Cardiothoracic Surgeon]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Darwin]] | 6x35, 2004 | style="background: #FF0088;" | |- | '''[[Mark Williams (fictional character)|Mark Williams]]''' | [[Robert Powell]] | [[Nurse|Nursing]] Consultant, [[Acute Assessment Unit|Surgical Admissions Unit]] | 7x18, 2005 | style="background: #CC5500;" | |- | '''[[Elliot Hope]]''' | [[Paul Bradley (actor)|Paul Bradley]] | [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[Cardiothoracic surgery|Cardiothoracic Surgeon]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Darwin]] | 8x04, 2005 | style="background: #88BB33;" | |- | '''[[Jac Naylor]]''' | [[Rosie Marcel]] | Acting [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[General surgery|General Surgeon]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Keller]] (prev. [[Cardiothoracic surgery|Cardiothoracic]] [[Specialist registrar|Surgical Registrar]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Darwin]]) | 8x06, 2005 | style="background: #88BB33;" | |- | '''[[Joseph Byrne]]''' | [[Luke Roberts (actor)|Luke Roberts]] | Acting [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[Cardiothoracic surgery|Cardiothoracic Surgeon]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Darwin]] (prev. [[Specialist registrar|Surgical Registrar]]) | 8x12, 2006 | style="background: #88BB33;" | |- | '''[[Maria Kendall]]''' | [[Phoebe Thomas]] | [[Nurse|Staff Nurse]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Keller]] | 9x07, 2006 | style="background: #0088AA;" | |- | '''[[Faye Byrne]]''' | [[Patsy Kensit|Patsy Kensit Healy]] | [[Nurse|Ward Sister]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Darwin]] | 9x17, 2007 | style="background: #0088AA;" | |- | '''[[Michael Spence (fictional character)|Michael Spence]]''' | [[Hari Dhillon]] | Director of Surgery; [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[General Surgery|General Surgeon]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Keller]] & HolbyCare | 10x06, 2007 | style="background: #332288;" | |- | '''[[Linden Cullen]]''' | [[Duncan Pow]] | Head of Surgical Admissions Unit; [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant General Surgeon]] | 10x14, 2008 | style="background: #332288;" | |- | '''[[Daisha Anderson]]''' | [[Rebecca Grant (actress)|Rebecca Grant]] | [[Nurse|Ward Sister]], [[Holby#Wards and departments|Keller]] | 10x24, 2008 | style="background: #332288" | |- | '''Penny Valentine''' | Emma Catherwood | [[Foundation House Officer]] Year 1, Cardiothoracic Surgery, [[Holby#Wards and departments|Darwin]] | 11x34, 2009 | style="background: #661166;" | |- | '''Oliver Valentine''' | [[James Anderson (actor)|James Anderson]] | [[Foundation House Officer]] Year 1, General Surgery, Keller | 11x34, 2009 | style="background: #661166;" | |} ===Recurring characters=== {{Main|Recurring characters in Holby City}} {| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center;" ! '''Character''' ! '''Actor''' ! '''Role''' ! colspan="2" | '''First appearance''' |- | '''[[Recurring_characters_in_Holby_City#Paul_Rose|Paul Rose]]''' | [[Andrew Lewis]] | Head of Anaesthetics; [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[Anaesthesia|Anaesthetist]] | 3x03, 2000 | style="background: #00BB66;" | |- | '''[[Recurring_characters_in_Holby_City#Keith Greene|Keith Greene]]''' | [[Alex MacQueen]] | Head of Intensive Care; [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[Anaesthesia|Anaesthetist]] | 7x30, 2005 | style="background: #CC5500;" | |- |'''[[Thandie Abebe-Griffin]]''' | Ginny Holder | Locum Cardiothoracic Surgical Registrar, Darwin {{cite web|url=|title=Holby City - Tuesday 10 November|date=22 October 2009|publisher=[[BBC]]|accessdate=2009-10-22}} | 9x22, 2007 | style="background: #0088AA;" | |- | '''[[List of characters in Holby City#Annalese Carson|Annalese Carson]]''' | [[Anna-Louise Plowman]] | [[Consultant (medicine)|Consultant]] [[Anaesthesia|Anaesthetist]] | 11x03, 2008 | style="background: #661166;" | |- | '''Lauren Minster''' | Riann Steele | [[Nurse|Staff Nurse]] | 11x33, 2009 | style="background: #661166;" | |- | '''Nicky Van Barr''' | Alan Morrissey | [[Nurse|Staff Nurse]] | 11x37, 2009 | style="background: #661166;" | |- |'''[[Vanessa Lytton]]''' | [[Leslie Ash]] | [[Chief Executive Officer]], Holby City NHS Trust | 11x52, 2009 | style="background: #661166;" | |- |'''Judith Marchant''' | Shelagh McLeod | [[Matron|Clinical Matron]], Surgical Wards | 12x01, 2009 | style="background: #446EEE;" | |- | '''Holly Cullen''' | Charlotte Wakefield | Daughter of [[Linden Cullen]] | 12x05, 2009 | style="background: #446EEE;" | |- | '''Scott James''' | Joshua Bowman | Patient, Darwin {{cite web|url=|title=Daily Mail, Baz Bamigboye, October 30 2009|date=30 October 2009|publisher=[[Daily Mail]]|accessdate=2009-10-30}} | 12x05, 2009 | style="background: #446EEE;" | |} ''Holby City'' features an ensemble cast of characters involved in the medical profession - for the most part composed of doctors and nurses. Occasional [[anaesthetist]] roles in theatres scenes are filled by recurring supporting cast members Andrew Lewis and Alex MacQueen, as [[Minor characters in Holby City#Staff members|Paul Rose]] and [[Minor characters in Holby City#Staff members|Keith Greene]]. Of the current cast, many of the actors who play main characters have made previous appearances in the series as patients and relatives. These include [[Amanda Mealing]] ([[Connie Beauchamp]]),{{cite episode|title=Shadow of a Doubt (Part 1)|episodelink=List of Holby City episodes (series 4)#Series Four (2001-2002)|series=''Holby City''|serieslink=Holby City| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2001-12-01|season=4|number=13}} Luke Roberts ([[Joseph Byrne]]),{{cite episode|title=No Pain, No Gain|episodelink=List of Holby City episodes (series 7)#Series Seven (2004-2005)|series=''Holby City''|serieslink=Holby City| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2005-05-10|season=7|number=30}} [[Rosie Marcel]] ([[Jac Naylor]]),{{cite episode|title=Past Caring|episodelink=List of Holby City episodes (series 6)#Series Six (2003-2004)|series=''Holby City''|serieslink=Holby City| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2003-04-06|season=6|number=27}} [[Phoebe Thomas]] ([[Maria Kendall]]),{{cite episode|title=The Parent Trap|episodelink=List of Holby City episodes (series 5)#Series Five (2002-2003)|series=''Holby City''|serieslink=Holby City| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2003-07-22|season=5|number=42}}{{cite episode|title=A Friend in Need|episodelink=List of Holby City episodes (series 4)#Series Four (2001-2002)|series=''Holby City''|serieslink=Holby City| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2003-09-09|season=5|number=49}} and Hari Dhillon (Michael Spence). Further to this, a number of cast members have made similar appearances on sister show ''[[Casualty (TV series)|Casualty]]''. These include again Rosie Marcel,{{cite episode|title=United we Fall|episodelink=List of Casualty episodes (series 7–8)#Series Eight (1993–1994)|series=''Casualty''|serieslink=Casualty (TV series)| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=1994-01-08|season=8|number=17}}{{cite episode|title=Chain Reactions|episodelink=List of Casualty episodes (series 11–12)#Series Eleven (1996–1997)|series=''Casualty''|serieslink=Casualty (TV series)| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=1996-09-14|season=11|number=1}} as well as Stella Gonet,{{cite news|url=|title= My Sisters Are Nurses..They Think My Top Job at Holby is Hilarious|publisher=[[Sunday Mail]]|date=[[29 July]] [[2007]]|accessdate=2007-08-29}} [[Hugh Quarshie]] ([[Ric Griffin]]),{{cite episode|title=The Long Road Home|episodelink=List of Casualty episodes (series 15–16)#Series Fifteen (2000–2001)|series=''Casualty''|serieslink=Casualty (TV series)| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2001-04-07|season=15|number=33}} [[Patsy Kensit]] ([[Faye Morton]]),{{cite episode|title=Happily Ever After|episodelink=List of Casualty episodes (series 15–16)#Series Sixteen (2001–2002)|series=''Casualty''|serieslink=Casualty (TV series)| network=[[BBC]]|station=[[BBC One]]|airdate=2001-12-15|season=16|number=14}}. In some instances, actors have stated that it was their guest appearances which lead to their casting in more permanent roles - Luke Roberts has said of his minor appearance in [[List of Holby City episodes/Series Seven#Series Seven .282004-2005.29|Series Seven]] of the show: "It was only one scene really, but I think it was enough to get me called in for this part (as Joseph).{{cite news|title=Luke Roberts Interview|publisher=icCroydon|date=January 2006}} I hear it got the attention of the producers. [[Amanda Mealing]] (the actress who portrays character [[Connie Beauchamp]]) put a good word in for me that day as well!"{{cite news|url=,12034,|title=Luke Roberts Interview|publisher=Holby Gazette|date=[[1 March]] [[2006]]|accessdate=2007-10-11}} Conversely, Hari Dhillon who played minor character Dr Sunil Gupta between 2001 and 2003 before being cast as main character Michael Spence in 2007, has said of his former appearance: "I was in Holby City just after I left drama school, years ago... I couldn't even tell you when."{{cite news|title= Familiar face at Holby|publisher= Virgin Media News|date=31 October 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-09-25}} In October 2007, [[The Daily Mirror|The Daily Mirror's]] television critic [[Jim Shelley (TV critic)|Jim Shelley]] noted a recent trend of ''Holby City'' producers for hiring established actors, including [[comedian]] [[Adrian Edmondson]], former film actress [[Patsy Kensit]], and [[Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)|''Jesus of Nazareth'']] star [[Robert Powell]].{{cite web|author=[[Jim Shelley (TV critic)|Jim Shelley]]|url=,,2182492,00.html|title=How to make a BBC medical drama|date=[[3 October]] [[2007]]|publisher=[[The Guardian]]|accessdate=2007-10-04}} Other recent cast members to have achieved notable fame outside of Holby City include ''[[The House of Eliott]]'' star Stella Gonet, and recurring guest star [[Jane Asher]]. Series producer Diana Kyle addressed this trend in November 2007, when asked: "When you cast an actor, do you actively seek out well-known names - like Jane Asher [Lady Byrne] and Patsy Kensit [Faye] - or will a role simply go to whoever's better suited?". She responded to this question: "It's lovely when we have a new member of the cast come in and bring an audience with them. But we want the best actors, and the star names we cast are always the best - which is why we go for them!"{{Citation|publication-date=November 2007|title=Ask the BOSS!|periodical=[[Inside Soap]]|publication-place=[[England]]|pages=40}} This propensity towards casting established actors actually dates as far back as ''Holby City'''s conception, when series creator Mal Young cast Michael French as Nick Jordan, George Irving as Anton Meyer, Angela Griffin as Jasmine Hopkins, Lisa Faulkner as Victoria Merrick and Nicola Stephenson as Julie Bradford. Young explained: "Soap actors are the best actors. There’s been so much snobbery before. The whole thing about typecasting was probably invented by actors who couldn’t get other work. From day one I knew I wanted to put on screen people that viewers want to watch. There’s no downside to that."

Laura Sadler

From December 2000 to September 2003, Holby City character Staff Nurse Sandy Harper was played by English actress Laura Sadler. The actress became the centre of extensive media attention when on 15 June 2003, she fell from the balcony of her boyfriend's second floor flat, suffering serious head injuries. Sadler was taken off life support and died five days later, in Charing Cross Hospitalmarker. Series creator Mal Young said of her death: "Everyone at Holby City, and indeed, across the BBC, is devastated. Laura was a much-loved, talented and respected actress. She brought so much to the role with her infectious enthusiasm, dedication and 100 per cent professionalism.” Lorraine Heggessey, Controller of BBC One, added: “I’m devastated that we have lost such a talented young actress. She was a sweet, modest, hard-working girl and will be much missed.” Sadler's boyfriend, George Calil, who also played Sandy's on-screen lover Sean Hunt, was arrested following her fall, however was later released without charge when police deemed Sadler's death was not suspicious.

Eight further Holby City episodes featuring Sadler as Sandy had already been filmed, and were aired as scheduled posthumously. BBC scriptwriters consulted Sadler's mother, Sonja Sadler, when devising the character's exit storyline. Mal Young said: "I went there thinking we were all going to be in tears and it turned into an unofficial storyline conference. I said we would find a way of explaining Laura's absence and her mum came up with an idea we all liked." Sandy's farewell episode, "A Friend in Need", revealed that the character had won £150,000 on the lottery, and left for Australia to follow former love interest Danny Shaugnessy. After discovering various amounts of money she had left behind for her friends at Holby City Hospital, the characters gathered together in the hospital bar at the end of the episode, and raised a toast "To the one and only Sandy!"

A photo of Sandy was placed on the wall on Darwin ward, which shows the character blowing out candles during her birthday celebration. This photo still appears in episodes to the present day. Out of the current cast of characters, the only people who knew Sandy are Ric Griffin and Chrissie Williams.

Episode list



In 2008, Holby City won their first BAFTA TV Award after beating EastEnders, Emmerdalemarker and The Bill.


Year Ceremony Awards References
2008 British Academy Television Awards 'Best Continuing Drama'


Year Ceremony Awards References
2006 British Academy Television Awards 'Best Continuing Drama'
2005 British Academy Television Awards 'Best Continuing Drama'
National Television Awards 'Most Popular Newcomer'
2004 British Academy Television Awards 'Best Continuing Drama'
2003 British Academy Television Awards 'Best New Director (fiction)'
2000 Royal Television Society Awards 'Best Graphic Design - Titles'

Drinks controversy

In October 2007, drinks' industry body the Portman Group made an official complaint to communications regulator Ofcommarker about a scene in Holby City episode "Trial and Retribution", which depicted characters Maddy Young and Sam Strachan each taking five shots of tequila following a stressful day at work. The body's chief executive David Poley claimed that in failing to show the negative consequences of this action, the series was presenting a "highly irresponsible portrayal of excessive and rapid drinking". In response to the groups' accusation that "We would expect the BBC to take greater care with the portrayal of alcohol in programmes", the BBC released a statement tying the complaint closely to the alcoholism storyline being played out by character Kyla Tyson at the time, explaining that:

"Holby City takes the issue of the negative effects of alcohol abuse very seriously. On occasions when our continuing drama series deal with alcohol within a storyline we always seek to handle the issue sensitivity. Holby City is in the middle of a storyline in which a key character (Kyla) has spiralling problems in her personal and professional life because of alcohol — a storyline that fully and realistically depicts the negative impact of alcohol dependency in the workplace. Kyla has now been seen to seek help for alcoholism and the audience will see how she fares on the road to recovery."

This statement was critically suggested to be advocating televisual censorship by The Daily Telegraph, who wrote that: "(T)he BBC's defence is, depressingly enough, based on the same premise as the Portman Group's complaint, and the Home Secretary's "zero-tolerance" bletherings: that the job of fiction for adults is to seek to shape the behaviour of its audience in accordance with precepts set down, inter alia, by the Government." The broadsheet took the stance that the BBC's agreement with the Portman Group that it was in fact necessary to portray negative effects of alcohol abuse was akin to treating Holby City viewers as "feeble-minded".

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