Holby new boy Marc Elliott: ‘Isaac cares about what he looks like – Syed didn’t give a damn!’

Ex EastEnders star Marc Elliott joins Holby City next Thursday as a new doctor who gets Dominic's pulse racing...

Ex-EastEnders star Marc Elliott joins Holby City this week as a new doctor who gets Dominic’s pulse racing…

Dr Dominic Copeland is stunned when a new registrar Isaac Mayfield arrives on Keller ward this week. Why is that?
“Dom and Isaac had a one-night stand but Dom wasn’t totally honest with Isaac about his profession – he lied to him and said he was an airline trolley dolly! When Isaac turns up, Dom’s completely thrown but Isaac takes it all in his stride and is more amused by the situation than anything.”

Dom (David Ames) doesn’t see the funny side, however, how does this impact on working with Isaac?
“Dom’s embarrassed and ashamed – he doesn’t really want his work and social life to be mixing, so he struggles to deal with Isaac being around. But they have to work together and they actually make a good team.”

Dr Dominic Copeland (David Ames) is shocked when Isaac turns up on the ward

The pair clashes over the treatment of a patient. Who has the upper hand?
“As a registrar, Isaac is supremely competent at his job and sees himself as top dog. He’s highly skilled and very clever. He’s not afraid to do things differently or come up with solutions that might not be traditional. There’s something quite dangerous about Isaac.”

Later, Dom seems to warm to Isaac… Will there be any rekindling of romance?
“Dom’s very wary because he’s terrified of getting hurt again. But Isaac leads him by the hand and, slowly but surely, convinces him he’s not going to hurt him and that they can make it work.”

This is Holby, though. How long before we see a different side to Isaac?
“I don’t know. I had a bit of an idea of the trajectory of the story but I’m learning more as the scripts arrive. I’ve just learnt a massive bit of juiciness from Isaac’s past in a script I’ve just read. That’s all I can say.”

Syed Masood, the character you played in EastEnders, struggled with being gay. Is Isaac confident in his sexuality?
“Isaac’s sexuality is incidental to who he is as a person whereas Syed’s sexuality completely defined him. Also, Isaac’s very groomed and cares about what he looks like – Syed didn’t give a damn, his hair was all over the place!”

Marc Elliott as EastEnders’ Syed Masood

It’s certainly a very different look for you…
“I’d actually cut my hair before the role as I really wanted a change. I’d been doing musical Into the Woods in Manchester, playing a floppy-haired prince, and I was having to wear lots of hairspray and gel. I started to get fed up with it and it got to the point where I thought my hair needed to breathe. Luckily, Holby liked it and said: ‘We’ll have that!’”

Did it feel at all strange going back to Elstree, where EastEnders is filmed, but being in a different studio?
“No it didn’t, weirdly, as I thought it would do. There was actually something really lovely about going in on my first day and knowing all the guys on the gate, who waved me in and said hello. There was also something quite settling about being somewhere familiar – but it’s a very different building, so it didn’t feel like going back to the world of EastEnders at all.”

Marc says he enjoys pretending to be a surgeon

So, how have you found playing a medic in Holby?
“I’ve always wanted to play a doctor – it’s something I’m never going to get to do in real life, but now I can pretend. Fortunately, I’ve not had to film any scenes yet where anything’s beating or moving about but as time goes on I might!”

Watch Marc Elliott’s debut on Holby City on Thursday, June 23 at 8pm on BBC1.

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