Neurosurgeon Guy Self returns to the wards of Holby City next week. And, as John Michie reveals, it's not long before he's up to his old tricks...
Brace yourselves… Neurosurgeon Guy Self is back at Holby City! And he’s soon blackmailing Nina, as John Michie reveals…
It’s been eight months since we’ve seen Guy – what’s he been up to?
“When he left Holby he went off into the private sector and quickly realised he couldn’t do the work that you can in the NHS. For someone like Guy, who’s at the top level, you’re going to do your best work in an NHS hospital. So he’s engineered his way back to Holby for that reason.”
Guy was tackling some major emotional torment before he left, too. Is he mentally well now?
“Yes, he went away to get some therapy and to get himself sorted out, which he did, but he did it in a very Guy Self way, which is: ‘I’ve done my therapy and I’m fine now, so that’s that box ticked. And I’m bored in the private sector, so I’m going to back to Holby because that’s where I belong and of course they need me.’ Guy has an extraordinary arrogance, which is fun to play.”
Has Guy finally put his demons to rest?
Safe to say we don’t see much of a change in him then, when he returns next week?
“Ha, ha. No, he’s still the same Guy Self, playing games, manipulating everyone and trying to get his way to further his career. Hardly anyone is pleased to see him!”
Guy’s return is thanks in large part to newly appointed medical director Nina Karnik (Ayesha Dharker). Hanssen doesn’t want him at the hospital at all, but Guy finds a way to ensure Nina remains on his side…
“Guy has found out some family stuff relating to her and Matteo and some information that he’s not afraid to use to manipulate her. It’s basically emotional blackmail.”
Guy blackmails Nina to keep her on-side… but what does he have on her?
Guy gets his way and his pioneering surgery goes ahead. But do you think he may have underestimated Nina?
“Nina’s quite a strong character – Guy thinks he can walk all over her but, of course, he can’t. He imagines he’s being very clever, but he’s not as clever as he thinks he is and that could ultimately lead to another Guy Self downfall!”
Do you like those power plays?
“It’s great to play a powerful character like Guy and to be acting with other powerful characters like Nina, like Hanssen and like Jac. It just works really well, I love it. They’re all powerful, highly-strung and wedded to their work. It just creates dramatic tension all the time. You can almost feel the tension when Guy comes up against one of them and it’s palpable. It’s great fun.”
And how’s Guy’s relationship with daughter Zosia (Camilla Arfwedson)?
“Guy’s really come back because of Zosia, who’s the only surviving member of his family. He’s always set on trying to further his daughter’s career as well as his own – he’s obsessed with her being as brilliant as he thinks he is. And he doesn’t think she should be with that wet fart Oliver Valentine!”
Guy’s determined for Zosia to be a chip off the old block… not necessarily a good thing!
What reception have you had from fans about your return to Holby?
“I’m on Twitter, but I don’t really Tweet much and I’m on Instagram. There are a lot of people going: ‘Oh great, he’s back’, but also a lot of people going: ‘Oh no, I hope he doesn’t do anything to Zollie! That would be the worst thing.’ But when I bump into people in the street they’re mostly saying: ‘I’m glad you’re back, we hate you!’
“I’m back for nine episodes and I’m really confident it’s a great story. It’s the best Holby story I’ve had and I’m really excited about it and about seeing it myself.”
Do you get recognised more now as Guy – or is there more of a Corrie connection from your time as Karl Munro?
“The Corrie thing will never go; I don’t think it ever does. But yes, probably more people recognise me as Guy now – unless I’m in Scotland, in which case it’s always Taggart!”
Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.
Interview by Elaine Reilly