Holby City lovers Raf di Lucca and Essie Harrison got engaged just a few weeks ago - and this week they shock their colleagues by revealing they've secretly tied the knot. Joe McFadden reveals more...

Joe McFadden on why Holby lovers Raf and Essie have a speedy wedding…

Holby registrar Raf di Lucca recently proposed to girlfriend, nurse Essie Harrison, and she said yes. Why is he certain she’s The One?

Joe McFadden: “Raf and Essie are both quite traditional and essentially good people who don’t want to play the field. Raf’s totally committed to his job but he’d love to have someone to go home to and talk about his really hard day at work with and Essie’s that person because she understands the job and they’ve got so much in common. In the old days, you met someone, got married and stayed with that person for life – and with Raf, once he makes a commitment, he sticks to it.”

Raf proposes to Essie Holby

Raf and Essie (Kaye Wragg) have a shock in store for their Holby colleagues, this week, when they reveal they’ve secretly tied the knot! Why did they want to do things this way?

JM: “Well, mainly because they’ve both been through it before. Raf’s marriage to his first wife Amy went so badly wrong – and so publicly in the hospital – and although Essie’s never been married, she was in a major relationship with consultant Sacha Levy. Raf and Essie wanted to make a commitment but they didn’t want lots of hoo-ha, so they decided to go off and do it in a registry office in secret. They think that’s the end of it but, of course, once their colleagues find out, they’ve got other ideas…”

Sacha (Bob Barrett) has got a lot on his plate this week, trying to get the SAINT aftercare project off the ground. How does he take Raf and Essie’s news?

JM: “Initially, of course he’s upset but Sacha knows, ultimately, that he and Essie are not supposed to be together. Even though they’ll always care for each other, they know deep down they’re just not suited to one another. It’s an interesting dynamic having Sacha in the mix and Essie being slightly torn because she obviously still has some feelings for him but doesn’t want to be with him any more.”

Later, Raf and Essie’s colleagues – including director of nursing Fletch and Holby boss Hanssen – throw the happy couple a lavish party. Does Sacha join in the celebrations?

JM: “Absolutely! Sacha realises that marrying Raf is the best thing for Essie. That’s the strongest kind of love you can give; when you care more for the other person than you care for yourself and Sacha knows she’ll be happier without him. It’s lovely that all their colleagues want to make the effort for them – but Raf and Essie don’t want a lot of fuss made, they just want to make the commitment for themselves, so they know they can always depend on each other.”

Sacha tells Essie he is happy for her.

In a heart-to-heart, Sacha tells Essie he’s happy for her

How have you enjoyed your time on Strictly Come Dancing?

Strictly Come Dancing Joe McFadden

JM: “It’s been hard work but lots of fun and it’s been a real privilege having my dance partner Katya Jones passing on all her dance tips to me from 10 years of dancing professionally and winning trophies all around the world. What I’ve lacked in ability I’ve tried to make up for in enthusiasm – it’s a real honour to have been asked.”

Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.