When his womanising brother turns up on AAU next week, Holby City's Raf realises it's time he took his relationship with Essie to the next level. Joe McFadden reveals more...

Joe McFadden reveals how a visit from his cheating brother prompts Holby City’s Raf to decide that it might be time for him to settle down with Essie…

Raf’s personal and professional worlds collide, next week, when his brother Giuseppe turns up at Holby. As far as brothers go, Raf and Giuseppe are very different aren’t they?

“They are. Giuseppe’s the sort who plays the field whereas Raf’s very loyal and almost old-fashioned when it comes to relationships. So Raf’s very despondent with his brother when he finds out that he’s been having an affair with a work colleague, Cindy, behind his wife Shona’s back!”

Does Raf give Giuseppe a piece of his mind?

“Yes, he does. Giuseppe’s marriage has gone a bit stale but Raf believes that, if you make a commitment to someone, you see it through. Raf doesn’t approve of what Giuseppe’s up to, so he appeals to his brother to do the right thing and stop seeing Cindy.”

holby raf giuseppe essie

Raf disapproves when Giuseppe (Iain Robertson) turns up at Holby… with his mistress!

Does Raf also feel a bit caught in the middle, having to lie for his brother?

“Yeah. Raf doesn’t want to be dragged into it but it’s all happening right in front of him, so he has to get involved. Shona’s on her way down from Scotland, Giuseppe’s there, his mistress is there, so Raf feels he has to do something.”

And, against his better judgement, support Giuseppe?

“Of course! Giuseppe is Raf’s brother and he loves him. Raf knows Giuseppe’s a good man; he’s just making some bad decisions. There’s a great line in the episode where Raf says to Giuseppe: ‘I can’t believe we came from the same womb!’ But Raf will always love and support Giuseppe, even if he doesn’t approve of the decisions he makes.”

Does the fact that Raf’s first wife Amy cheated on him, make it even harder to for Raf to understand what Giuseppe’s doing?

“Absolutely. Raf can’t bear to see Giuseppe doing to Shona, what Amy did to him because he knows how much it hurts. If Amy hadn’t gone off with Dr Harry Tressler, they’d still be together.”

Holby City Raf Amy split 2014

Raf split from first wife Amy (Wendy Kweh) in 2014, after she had an affair with Holby medic Dr Harry Tressler (Jules Knight)

Fortunately, Raf did find love again in the shape of colleague, Essie Harrison (Kay Wragg). Does Giuseppe’s tangled love life prompt Raf to reflect on his own relationship?

“Definitely. Raf knows he could never be unfaithful to Essie. Through Giuseppe’s mistakes, Raf realises just how much he loves Essie and how much he wants to commit to her.”

So what does he do?

“Raf asks Essie to marry him! He’s realised that life is short and that, if you have a chance at happiness you should go for it and jump in with both feet. Raf’s very nervous because it’ll be second time around for him and he is worried that he’s going to get hurt again where he’s been hurt in the past. It’s a big risk for him to ask the question and it really could go either way.”

Raf proposes to Essie Holby

Raf gets down on one knee and asks Essie to marry him – how will she react?

Raf must be quietly confident that Essie will say ‘yes’?

“Well… Essie’s been through a lot as well; she’s been in love before, with Sacha, and that didn’t work out, so Raf’s asking a lot of her to make that commitment. Hopefully, it will be a case of Raf asking the right question at the right time…”

You’re a busy man at the moment, juggling your role on Holby with appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. How are you coping?

“Well, the Holby team have lightened up my schedule at the minute, so it’s manageable. Me and my dance partner Katya Jones have been dancing round the corridors of Holby. I just want to enjoy every minute of my time on Strictly because I don’t know when it’ll be over.”

Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.