Holby’s James: ‘There’s some redemption for Ollie’

Dr Valentine wants promotion, whatever the cost, as Holby (BBC1, Tuesday) star James Anderson reveals…

It’s been a tough few months for Oliver as he’s tried to cope with his grief of losing wife Tara. How’s he feeling emotionally at the start of Tuesday’s episode?
“Oliver’s not in a great place. Since Tara died he’s been on a bit of a downhill slide, which resulted in him having to seek therapy. He’s been cutting off everyone who’s dear to him, which recently culminated in him physically pushing his closest ally Professor Elliot Hope. I think he’s finally come to the realisation that he needs help.”

As Ollie tries to throw himself into his work as a doctor at Holby, it appears he has competition in the shape of new Dr Harry Tressler (Jules Knight). Does Ollie feel threatened by Harry?
“Ollie sees Harry as a nuisance fly he has to swat away. Harry’s a good doctor and super confident, so he shows Ollie up at a time when he’s really struggling.”

In this episode, Hanssen shocks them both by bringing forward their presentations for the CT2 job on Darwin to that afternoon. How does Ollie feel about that?
“Harry’s written his presentation, so Ollie also agrees to present that afternoon because he doesn’t want to lose face in front of him. Unfortunately, Ollie hasn’t even got an idea.”

Desperate for a subject to use for his presentation, Ollie looks at late wife Tara’s work on his laptop. Is he tempted to cheat?
“This is something Ollie has done in the past when he cheated with his sister’s work – but Penny died before he had a chance to apologise. It’s a road he knows he can’t go down again yet finds himself creeping towards doing something unforgivable.”

This isn’t something Tara ever would have done when she was alive. Is she like an angel on his shoulder urging him to do the right thing?
“Yes, very much so, and all of these thoughts are numbing Ollie, who doesn’t know if he should do it, or if he shouldn’t. He feels cornered – and when someone’s cornered you get to see their true colours.”

We know that all Ollie wants is to be a good doctor. But could his destructive behaviour signal the end of his career at Holby?
“Ollie’s had the worst run of luck since he’s been at Holby. But there’s definitely some redemption for him in this story.”