Patrick Robinson talks about Ash’s return to Casualty, this time as a doctor…
 
It’s been 15 years since we last saw Martin Ashford – affectionately known as Ash – in Casualty. Where has he been all this time?
“The last time we saw Ash he was getting married to Laura, who was one of the admin staff. That was in 1998 and all manner of things have happened since! He went to America and trained as a doctor. He’s spent a lot of time working in the Bronx in New York so he’s used to dealing with gunshot wounds and stabbings. So in terms of Accident and Emergency trauma it’s part of what he’s specialised in.”
 
So why has he returned?
“One of the reasons he’s back is because of senior charge nurse Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson). They’ve always been friends – Ash was Charlie’s best man when he was married – so they’ve kept in touch. It just so happens that a position for a consultant came up at the hospital so he’s come to fill it. Derek and I stayed in contact after I left, and it’s lovely working with him again.”
 
Could this be a permanent move?
“For the moment Ash is a locum. It remains to be seen whether he’s going to take it as a permanent position. I’m very happy to be back and hope the audience like seeing Ash again, so we’ll see what happens.”
 
Has it been good to return as a doctor?
“Absolutely! In the six-and-a-half years I played Ash he was promoted from Staff Nurse to Clinical Nurse manager, so I think he was always looking to go forward. Becoming a doctor seems like the natural progression for him.”

How does he fit in with the rest of the staff?
“He generally fits in quite well. His training as a nurse has helped him. But he doesn’t fit in completely – that would be boring! He rubs some people on the management side of things up wrong way…”

Would that be Clinical Lead, Zoe?
“Yes! Ash is a hands-on doctor who wants to deal with people who need help. He’s always trying to bypass the mechanics of admin when they hinder rather than help people. Because Zoe’s Clinical Lead and managing the department there’s friction and things can be chilly between them!”