Charlotte Salt: My hair went green and I had to put ketchup in it!

Charlotte Salt reveals filming this week’s water scenes for Casualty turned her hair green!

If you’ve read our Casualty reveal this week you already know Holby paramedics Iain Dean and Sam Nicholls (Charlotte Salt) are up to their necks in it.

When they attempt to rescue teenager, Danny, who has his foot is trapped in a storm drain, Sam – a former army medic and ED doctor – is faced with a life-changing dilemma. As the water rises to Danny’s neck, Sam realises her options are to let him drown or to amputate just above the ankle. Sam doesn’t make the choice lightly, but after Danny’s rushed to the ED she has some explaining to do to her new boss, Jan Jenning (Stella star Di Botcher). For one thing, did Danny consent to the risky procedure?

We talked to Casualty star Charlotte Salt, who plays daring paramedic Sam Nicholls, about working under water with Endeavour star Shaun Evans, for this week’s exciting episode of BBC1’s BAFTA-winning medical drama…

Sam’s got an terrible decision to make – save Danny’s life or change it forever…

Sounds like an exciting episode of Casualty this week…

“It might seem like a far-fetched storyline but it’s based on a true story that happened to one of Casualty’s advisory paramedics. One of the firemen on set during filming also told us he’d dealt with a very similar case only weeks before!”

Was it difficult to film?

“It was a tricky shoot but pretty amazing. There was talk of us actually filming in a storm drain and it was very much on the cards. They literally had the location marked out in Somerset. They didn’t do it in the end because of timings and luckily it got changed to a swimming pool. It would have been horrendous! [Instead] they built a whole storm drain set in a swimming pool, thankfully.”

Iain Dean (Michael Stevenson) is with Sam every step of the way

What are the advantages to filming in a swimming pool?

“It’s a far more controllable environment, which made it a little bit trickier to act because you know you’re safe, but it was definitely the way to go. I’m glad we only had fake rubbish floating around in the pretend storm drain!”

The glamour of showbiz!

“Honestly, I don’t know what it is with me and water. I did a film called The Chamber where I was trapped with the water levels rising; it was just miserable. And once on Casualty before we filmed in a cave. I always seem to be chucked in at the deep end, as it were!”

Green hair and ketchup repair – the glamour of showbiz!

Did your hair get ruined being in water for so long?

“I was submerged in water for a week and it was a proper chlorinated leisure pool so my hair went green because of the water! I had to put ketchup in my hair because all my bleach highlights were green!”

Even so, did you enjoy filming these scenes?

“Yes, it was good fun but pretty intense. An amputation in a storm drain is shocking but it does feel more old-school Casualty as it brings back the real emergency of the situation. I think viewers will enjoy it.

“Shaun Evans who stars in Endeavour directs this episode. It’s his second directorial experience on Casualty and he was really amazing. Even though it was pretty hard going because we were in a dark pool for long hours, and filming in the freezing depths of January, Shaun’s excitement and ideas kept everyone’s morale up. He’s great!”

See Charlotte Salt in action on Casualty this Saturday on BBC1

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