South Wales Echo


The diagnosis has proved terminal for Holby City. MARION McMULLEN looks back at the hospital soap


SURGICAL TWO was the original title for the BBC’s Casualty spin-off which would show what happened to patients once they were taken away to surgical wards.

The drama, created by Mal Young and Tony McHale, had been renamed Holby City by the time the first broadcast went out on January 12, 1999, and the first series was only nine episodes long.

It began with 11 main characters, with George Irving as top consultant Anton Meyer, Michael French as surgeon Nick Jordan and Angela Griffin, Lisa Faulkner and Nicola

Stephenson as the nursing staff.

Holby City, which ends this week after 23 years, became a staple of the BBC schedules with Mal saying: “We tried to get it as close to reality as possible”.

The series employed researcher­s and medical advisors to ensure accuracy in scriptwrit­ing. Members of the cast were taught how to give realistic injections, monitor blood pressure and check a pulse. They were sent into hospitals to experience a real medical environmen­t.

While Holby City and Casualty were based in the same fictional city, they were filmed around 160 miles apart with Holby in Elstree, just outside London, and Casualty in Cardiff. Several episodes of the series were also shot on location abroad over the years, including Ghana, Switzerlan­d, Dubai, Stockholm, Paris, Kyiv and Cape Town.

Holby itself has served as a training ground for some future stars.

Michael Fassbender, Sheridan Smith, Nicholas Hoult, Jodie Comer and Oscar-winner Olivia Colman are among the then largely unknown actors who have cropped up in Holby over the years.

The BBC announced last year that it had made the “difficult decision” to bring the show to a close in order to “reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country”.

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 ?? ?? Early roles: Michael Fassbender (left) and Jodie Comer
Early roles: Michael Fassbender (left) and Jodie Comer
 ?? ?? The early Holby City cast
The early Holby City cast

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