Cathy Ship­ton on film­ing Ca­su­alty

Cathy Ship­ton on her shock when she heard the idea for this week’s unique episode of Ca­su­alty…

TV Times - - My Week - Elaine Reilly & Sean Mar­land

Cathy Ship­ton re­calls chuck­ling when she first heard the plan for a spe­cial episode of Ca­su­alty, filmed all in just one take on a sin­gle cam­era!

‘When it was first mooted, about six months ago, we all just laughed,’ smiles orig­i­nal cast mem­ber Cathy, who plays Duffy. ‘Paul Un­win, the show’s co-cre­ator, kept say­ing he was keen on the “one-er” and I kept think­ing it was an April Fool’s joke!’

Paul, how­ever, wasn’t kid­ding and this week view­ers can see the spe­cial – ti­tled One – which is the fi­nal act in the show’s 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. And it’s an emo­tion­ally charged story as the team deal with the fall­out from a house fire.

‘It’s un­like any­thing any of the cast or crew has done be­fore,’ says

Cathy. ‘It’s a bril­liant fly-on-the-wall episode in real time. It's a clas­sic Ca­su­alty.’

Here, Cathy, 60, tells us more...

So, how does the spe­cial start? Two work ex­pe­ri­ence girls, Chloe and Di­a­mond, come into the ED and mug­gins here is as­signed to show them around, but the day takes over! We see ev­ery­thing, from Char­lie [Derek Thomp­son] tak­ing in­com­ing emer­gen­cies to a pa­tient mak­ing wise­cracks be­cause he doesn’t know he’s in a bad state.

do the two girls get into mis­chief? There are times Duffy has to park them in cer­tain places and, be­cause they’re kids, they wan­der off. They go to places they shouldn’t and hear things they shouldn’t hear. They then use that in­for­ma­tion ei­ther naively or in a med­dling way!

was it chaotic to film a whole episode in one take?

We used the en­tire set like a stage, and ba­tons were con­tin­u­ally be­ing handed over. When Duffy takes the girls up­stairs to the phar­macy, we had a cam­era­man on a har­ness, which was pretty hairy for him!

were you wor­ried about fluff­ing your lines?

There’s been pres­sure do­ing this, but it’s been shared. There are all sorts of ways around fluffed lines. I have to do a scene where Duffy re­ceives some aw­ful news and phys­i­cally re­acts to it. Some­one laughed dur­ing re­hearsals! The cast knew

there’d be some im­pro­vis­ing.

You’ve worked on ca­su­alty since it be­gan. what does it mean to you?

I’ve had peo­ple tell me they’re a doc­tor, a nurse or a para­medic be­cause of the show.

It’s won­der­ful that it ed­u­cates, il­lu­mi­nates and en­ter­tains. Also, Derek and I met our part­ners through it and we’ve now got chil­dren and fam­i­lies!

Tell us some­thing we may not al­ready know about ca­su­alty… Orig­i­nally its work­ing ti­tles were Front Line or War Zone, be­cause, af­ter the paramedics, the nurses are the ones who soak ev­ery­thing up in emer­gen­cies. I never imag­ined, 30 years af­ter it started, we’d be do­ing some­thing as am­bi­tious as this!

Ca­su­alty Satur­day / BBC1 / 9.05Pm

Cathy and Derek in the early days Duffy’s kept busy with Di­a­mond and Chloe to look af­ter

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