Holby City's Nina is hiding a big secret next week but, as Ayesha Dharker reveals, it might only be a matter of time before someone spills the beans to estranged husband Matteo...

Holby City’s Ayesha Dharker on Nina Karnik’s big secret…

How have things been between Nina and her surgeon husband Matteo Rossini, since she revealed she’d had him investigated over their son, Nico’s, disappearance?

“Really bad. Matteo’s the love of Nina’s life and she didn’t want to be with him under false pretences. The idea of him finding out through someone else was awful, so all she tried to do was come clean. So she did… and the outcome was terrible. Matteo’s still furious with Nina; it’s one of those things where, you can forgive someone for thinking something but I’m not sure I’d forgive someone for acting on it, which Nina did. Nina’s constantly trying to get in control of her grief over losing Nico and that can take her to some dark places sometimes.”

matteo furious to learn Nina's secret

Matteo was furious when Nina revealed she’d had him investigated over Nico’s disappearance

In this week’s episode, Nina discovers she’s pregnant. How does she feel?

“For Nina, it’s the biggest shock you could imagine. It’s all too much too soon. They’d only really just got back together after the loss of their son, then this catastrophic thing happens of Nina telling Matteo about having him investigated and then she finds out she’s pregnant. So it’s possibly the worst mixture of events for her to get news like that.”

Nina repeatedly tries to make peace with Matteo but he tells her in no uncertain terms that their relationship is over. What happens then?

“Nina wants Matteo to be with her for the right reasons; because they love each other and have a connection, not because of a child, so she decides not to tell him about the baby. That’s a very grown-up thing to do; I’m kind of the opposite – I’d just blurt it out!”

Unfortunately, as Nina works closely with medic Fredrik – son of Holby boss Hanssen – on an important transplant case up on Keller, he soon cottons on to her big secret…

“Fredrik’s intensely ambitious and is trying to tick all the right boxes and please the right people. When he learns Nina’s on the lookout for a young medic to mentor, he really want to make a good impression and wants the ‘edge’ over other candidates any way he can get it.”

nina fredrik dom

Is Nina right to put her trust in master manipulator Fredrik?

Does Nina admire Fredrik’s tenacity?

“Oh yes. She’s very drawn to people who are ambitious and who will go that extra mile; she’s willing to forgive mistakes when people make terrible mistakes – like Fredrik does often – and give them a second chance. Here she sees someone who’s committed to doing a good job and she wants to encourage talent. So Fredrik certainly piques her interest and manages to gain her trust.”

Fredrik says her secret is safe with him – but can Nina really trust him not to tell Matteo?

“Yes. Nina feels she’s got to know Fredrik a little better and I think that, if someone point blank promises something, you do tend to believe them. Plus, Nina absolutely adores Fredrik’s father, Holby boss Hanssen, and I think if you have a great fondness for a parent, you kind of have an automatic fondness for their kids. However, Nina tends to trust absolutely the wrong people. She doesn’t see Fredrik’s dark side; she wants to believe he’s a nice guy.”

Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.