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Holby City star Catherine Russell has said she found her assisted dying storyline a struggle because her own views on the subject are different to her character’s.

The actress plays deputy CEO Serena Campbell in the BBC One hospital drama and the plot involved her character’s mother Adrienne (Sandra Voe), who has vascular dementia, asking Serena to help her die.

“I personally feel very strongly about dying with dignity,” said Catherine. It’s appalling that people with terminal illnesses in the UK have to ship themselves overseas at great expense and upheaval.

“But my beliefs are not the same as Serena’s, so it’s been challenging playing something I don’t agree with. I’ve had to be in Serena’s mind and ignore my views.”

However, Catherine added that fan feedback and working with Sandra had helped.

“The feedback I’ve had from the audience has been quite moving. They’ve all been telling me about their own relatives and friends. They’ve said that the way we’ve played the story is how it really is in true life.

“Although it’s upsetting, I think it’s quite cathartic for people to see a familiar story on TV.”

Holby City continues on BBC1, Tuesday, November 18, 8.00pm (Scotland: Monday, 17, 9.00pm)