As the credits rolled on Casualty tonight fans of the medical drama have been left in shock by the sudden departure of hospital favourite Lee Mead, who plays loveable nurse, Lofty.

Chatting to What’s on TV about his departure, Lee revealed – much like Rachel and Ross in Friends – he’s not left Casualty, they’re just ‘on a break’…

Lee explained: “I haven’t actually left the show. What happens in this episode is Lofty can’t take the guilt of agency nurse Diana dying.

“Lofty saw so much of himself in her – she was very kind, caring, giving and sensitive. But she was tired on that shift and made a very costly slip. So now Lofty carries that burden and guilt.

“Before leaving he says to Dylan that he can’t deal with the sad reality that someone died on his watch the very first time he ran the ED. It’s a huge thing.”

This evening viewers saw Lofty hand in his notice to nurse manager Rita, despite being cleared to carry on working as nurse. So what’s the mild-mannered medic going to do next?

Lee said: “Lofty decides to take a few months off and do a charity walk to raise money for a local hospital’s mental health unit. I think he’ll also go travelling in Australia and New Zealand.”

He added: “I think Lofty needs distance and time to get his head around what’s happened and see if he wants to come back and confront those demons within himself.”



But it’s not completely sad news for Casualty fans, as Lee revealed: “Lofty’s job is still there – he doesn’t lose his job!”

With Twitter currently alight with news of Lofty’s departure, we wanted to know, what did Lee make of his exit episode. He told What’s on TV: “When I watched it for the first time I did get quite welled up. Seeing Lofty’s storyline and how it was shot… I’m really proud of it.

“I hope fans sympathise with Lofty.”

So what’s Lee doing now he’s not committed to filming Casualty in Cardiff?

“My album Some Enchanted Evening is out now. It’s a fresh, modern taken on songs from classic films like Singing In The Rain and Guys and Dolls. I’m touring it in October.

“But before that I’m doing a tour of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang musical, sharing the role of Caractacus Potts with Jason Manford. It’s a childhood favourite!”

For details visit of Lee’s album, tour and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang dates visit his website.