Holby City’s Camilla Arfwedson: ‘Zoe’s life is saved in secret in dramatic episode’

Holby City’s outspoken junior doctor Zosia March, played by Camilla Arfwedson, is going to get a taste of her own medicine…

It’s been almost a year since Dr Zosia March joined the ranks of Holby City’s doctors, and her straight-talking, take-no-prisoners approach has shaken up everyone venturing within her orbit.

This week (July 29) an exciting new story begins for Zosia, when the fall-out from her doomed relationship with Jesse Law (Don Gilet), and memories of her own mother’s demise begin to take their toll. 

Her relationship with her father, hospital boss Guy Self (John Michie), has not recovered from her mother’s death. Zosia’s parents hid the seriousness of her mother’s terminal cancer so she would continue her medical studies.

This week Zosia faces a crisis while treating a patient, Noah, whose mother is also terminally ill and does not want him told about it.

“Obviously this situation resonates with Zosia because that’s exactly what her father did to her,” Camilla told the Daily Express. “He didn’t tell her about the severity of her mother’s condition and so she didn’t get to say goodbye to her.

“So Zosia attempts to tell Noah about his mother, which is totally inappropriate. Arthur Digby [Rob Ostlere] stops Zosia and tells her how selfish she is and that this is exactly why Jesse left her, which is heartbreaking. She reacts very badly.”

After her shift, Zosia goes out and gets drunk, but when that fails to dull the pain, she takes prescription drugs that she has illegally obtained and nearly dies. Her colleagues Arthur and Dominic (David Ames) are forced into the ethically dubious position of having to save her life in secret.

“Arthur and Dom can’t take Zosia to ED because her career will be in ruins,” explains Camilla. “They put themselves on the line for her. It’s an incredibly dramatic episode – it feels like a whole film in an hour.”

It’s an event the three young medics will have to keep between them, but it sets in motion a chain of events that will see Zosia unravel.

“Zosia has a minor breakdown, which extends to a much bigger issue that has to be addressed,” explains Camilla. “I’m not allowed to say what it is yet, but it’s to do with a deep-rooted issue that quite seriously could affect her career at the hospital. It will be quite a touch-and-go situation for everybody involved.”

Camilla’s big moment in the spotlight is, for her, the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. “From a very young age I knew I wanted to be an actress,” says Camilla. “My parents were quite surprised. They wanted me to be a doctor, but I wasn’t interested in that.”

Camilla, 32, can hardly believe her luck at having landed the role of Zosia.

“I didn’t quite realise the number of people who watch Holby,” she laughs.

“I find it amazing that people recognise you. Even in a little antiques shop in Rye, East Sussex, where my parents live.”

Although the actress has already enjoyed a short spell in Hollywood, she is in no rush to move on from Holby.

“They’re writing so brilliantly for Zosia and absolutely stretching me as an actress – it’s incredibly flattering.”

Holby City, BBC2, Tuesday, July 29, 8.30pm