Casualty star Patrick Robinson tells What’s on TV why Ash is forced to hand his teenage daughter, Ella, over to the police in this Saturday’s episode on BBC1…
Ella’s overdosed on booze and had a fling with a teacher. So why does Doctor Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford have such a blind spot for his rebellious daughter?
“Ash wasn’t around when Ella was growing up. In his mind his only child is perfect – she can do no wrong. Ultimately he doesn’t know her at all, and that’s why he’s blinkered to seeing Ella in her true light!”
What new light does Ash see Ella in this week after she steals ketamine from his medical supplies?
“That she’s essentially a hardnosed, streetwise kid! Ella comes from a broken family. The relationship between Ash and Ella’s mother isn’t very good and something they don’t talk about. She probably has trust issues to do with men too, possibly because her father left when she was a child.”
She’s been in trouble before. What changes this week that makes Ash report her to the police?
“Suddenly he sees that she’s messing up. He’s got this dilemma of whether to shop her or not. But he’s now at the point where he knows Ella won’t change unless she has a really sharp, serious shock. Sadly, she’s going to have to learn the hard way.”
Does her bad behaviour affect his working life?
“Yes, she’s not just affected him, but also a lot of people at his work. Ash loves what he does and he realises she’s a liability. He can’t have Ella be the mainstay of how people think about him! I think Ash has to follow through with this or he’ll end up having to move again. He came back to Holby to be there for Ella, but there’s more to be found out about Martin Ashford…”
Does playing Ash the doctor feel different to when you played him as a nurse?
“He’s different because of what he does, but he’s still the same man from the early Nineties. He was conscientious, did the job well and cared, and that bottom line is still there, but now he’s a doctor he’s more knowledgeable. I love him, I find him very interesting to play.”
You did really well in the last Series of Strictly Come Dancing. What prompted you to accept the challenge?
“I was about to turn 50 and thought it would be great to celebrate my birthday during it – and that’s exactly what happened. Also it’s a once-in-a-lifetime invitation. But the real no-brainer for me was I love dancing! I knew I couldn’t do Dancing on Ice because I’d probably hurt myself. But dancing I can do – and I was pretty pleased I managed to keep up with the youngsters.”