Holby City’s 20th Birthday
Rosie’s surgery shocker!
She’s one of the longest-serving cast members of HolbyCity and as the show celebrates its 20th anniversary, actress Rosie Marcel admits that the skills she’s picked up on the hospital drama series have served her extremely well over the years.
Not only has she been able to dish out advice to her friends and family, but it also meant she was able to carry out a useful medical procedure on her own husband!
“I operated on my husband Ben once – that was quite unusual,” laughs Rosie, who plays Holby’s director of cardiothoracic surgery, Jac Naylor.
“He had a weird lump on the back of his neck – I think it was a cyst – so I cut it open for him and then glued it back together with superglue. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do that if I’d not been in Holby!
“I’m sure if a medical professional heard me say this they’d be appalled, but I’ve picked up quite a bit of medical knowledge over the years, which makes it easy for me to explain medical things to people.
“My father was ill recently and had to have his gall bladder removed and I was able to explain the procedure to him and what his recovery would be like. I was also able to go to the nurses on set and ask about the side effects, which was great.
“Most of it is stuff I’ve learned over the years, but when I first joined they sent me out to watch some open-heart surgery, which was absolutely fascinating.
“I’ve definitely learned on the job and I can walk into any operation they’ve written now and pretty much know what I’m doing.”
The 41-year-old actress, who lives in Hertfordshire with her gym owner husband Ben and their daughter Beau, two, joined HolbyCity in 2005. Today, as the series gears up to mark an incredible 20 years on air, she is reflecting on her long stint on the wards.
“I’ve stayed because I love my character and I haven’t felt at any point that she’s ready to be finished,” she explains.
“She’s wonderful. She says all the things that you think you want to say, but never do because you’re too polite.
“I love the cast and crew as well; they’re like my second family and I care very much about all of them, so it would be horribly sad to leave.
“It’s also terribly convenient. I live 15 minutes away from the set, which means I get an opportunity to see my daughter in the evening and the morning, whereas it takes everybody else two or three hours to get home. So it’s a whole plethora of reasons for staying, the main one being that I love the show still after all these years.”
Holby is marking its 20th anniversary with a year of special events, starting in January with a two-episode special, featuring the show’s three longest-serving characters – Jac, Ric Griffin (Hugh Quarshie) and Sacha Levy (Bob Barrett).
“We go on a little road trip and we’re pitted against one another to try to win money for one of our wards,” Rosie says. “We stay in a country house and we all get terribly drunk and there’s a hilarious fight. We were so delighted when we heard about it.”
In the same month, former Holby stars Dennis Lawson and Sharon D Clarke return.
“When I first did Holby I came in as a guest character, a couple of years before I became Jac Naylor, and Dennis Lawson actually operated on me!” Rosie recalls with a laugh. “He’s hilarious. Having him back is lovely.”
Other former favourites are set to reappear throughout the year and in the autumn there’ll be a special cross-over episode, featuring the casts of both HolbyCity and Casualty.
“I’m sure if a medical professional heard me say this they’d be appalled”
HOLBYCITY WILL BE CELEBRATING ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY ON BBC ONE FROM JANUARY 2019
“It’s going to involve some of the main cast from both programmes being quite hurt in an accident,” Rosie reveals. “We’re not just doing a one-off like a lot of series do.
“We’re giving ourselves a whole year of treats.”
Rosie is convinced Holby City will be around to see its 30th anniversary – like its sister show Casualty – but whether she will still be part of the cast remains to be seen.
“I’ve been acting since I was three. I think 38 years is a pretty long time to be in this business,” she smiles. “I would actually like to be retired by then and just walk my dogs!”
Sparks fly on the road-trip special There will be a special Casualty crossover
Rosie loves her straight-talking character Jac
The cast plan to celebrate all year!