New Holby star Alex Walkinshaw: ‘Fletch’s reputation proceeds him on AAU!’

As he swaps Holby’s ED for AAU, can love-rat Adrian ‘Fletch’ Fletcher make a fresh start in Holby City (BBC1, Tuesday)? Actor Alex Walkinshaw’s not so sure…

Having played charge nurse Fletch on Casualty for two years, how have you enjoyed the move from Holby City‘s Emergency Department to the corridors of the hospital’s Acute Admissions Unit?
“It’s been really nice joining Holby City. I was quite nervous when I first started, but everyone was really lovely and very welcoming, so I feel settled now. It’s great!”

Was it your decision to leave Casualty – or did Holby approach you about switching over?
“I did two years on Casualty in Cardiff, but my family have always stayed in Kent. I loved it on Casualty, but I was struggling being so far away from my home, my kids and my wife for so much of the time. So after many conversations, the producers came up with the idea of maybe a transfer from Holby’s ED onto AAU to keep hold of Fletch and move me to London.”

Fletch caused quite a stir on the ED, not least because of his affair with clinical nurse manager Tess Bateman. What happens when Fletch first turns up on AAU?
“Well, Fletch’s reputation proceeds him and Ric makes it clear he’s keeping an eye on him. Ric knows Tess from way back and doesn’t want that kind of behaviour on his ward. So you could say Fletch’s card is well and truly marked.”

Meanwhile, director of nursing Colette Sheward is horrified to discover AAU’s new ward manager is Fletch!
“Colette hasn’t seen Fletch for a very long time, but it’s clear they’ve got history. Colette thinks Guy’s hired Fletch to wind her up and, as ward manager, Fletch is now Colette’s boss – she doesn’t take the news well at all.”

Later, in Albie’s bar, Fletch and Colette’s past is eventually revealed… She jilted him at the altar on their wedding day. Can they put aside their differences and work together?
“That’s quite a big thing to do to someone, so they obviously need to have a conversation about it, but I think Fletch mainly just wants to crack on with his job.”

Do you think Fletch can have a long career at Holby City?
“Fletch wants to rise to the challenge of having some responsibility, which never really worked out for him over on Casualty. He’d always mess up – and there’s every chance he’ll mess up here as well!”

Have you had a good response from fans of both shows – the fact you left one to join the other?
“It’s been really positive to be honest – and it’s weird being able to find out what they think as, these days, Twitter just goes berserk! I got a really nice response when I left Casualty and lots of people have been welcoming me to the Holby family. I’m sure there will be some haters out there but, fingers crossed, everyone likes it!”

Do people still approach you about The Bill, which was axed in 2010?
“Always! I do really miss that show – my character Smithy was massively popular. I got a huge amount of the decent storylines and it was just such a joy to work on. I was playing cops and robbers for a living… Now I’m playing doctors and nurses – and it doesn’t get much better than that!”

Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.