Holby City’s Rob Ostlere: ‘Arthur wants to to be Morven’s hero’

Despite struggling with the effects of his cancer treatment, Dr Arthur Digby is determined to save Morven’s dad, as Holby‘s Rob Ostlere explains…

Arthur’s exhausted from his cancer treatment this week. So when fiancee Morven’s dad, Austin, is readmitted to Holby, why does Arthur insist on treating him?
“Arthur needs to look after his own health but he feels responsible for Austin, because he was treating him previously, and he wants to feel like he’s making a difference and helping Morven.”

And does Arthur see treating Austin as a way of keeping busy?
“Yes. Work definitely gives Arthur something to focus on besides his cancer, so he’s determined to carry on like everything’s normal.”

Austin has end-stage liver disease and, without an urgent transplant, he’ll die. Morven flips out, though, when her brother, AJ, reveals he’d been told he was a match but didn’t want to go through with surgery. How does Arthur cope being caught in the middle?
“Morven’s very emotional and isn’t listening to her brother’s reasons for not going ahead with the surgery. Arthur tries to keep everything cordial between them – but they’re family so he has to tread carefully.”

What does Arthur make of AJ’s decision not to be a donor for Austin given that, before he got sick, Arthur was really keen to be a donor himself?
“Liver donation is such a high-risk operation so, while I don’t think he’s shocked, he’s certainly surprised. I think he’s just trying his best to understand and find out why AJ didn’t go through with it.”

At one point, Arthur almost passes out on the ward but warns Dominic not to tell Morven. Why doesn’t he want her to know?
“Arthur’s weariness is really setting in; he doesn’t have the energy for any of this, but he doesn’t want to give Morven anything else to worry about and wants people to think he’s in control.”

How does Arthur feel when it looks like they’ve found a donor for Austin and his life can be saved?
“It’s a huge relief for Arthur. He’s thrilled he was able to contribute to Austin’s care and he’s proved he’s still a doctor, which is key to his identity. Plus, Arthur takes great satisfaction in being Morven’s hero.”

Holby City continues at 8pm, Tuesdays on BBC1.