Holby City’s 20th Birth­day

Rosie’s surgery shocker!

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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”


“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!

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