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As Jac Naylor returns from maternity leave, actress Rosie Marcel reveals that having a baby hasn’t softened Holby City‘s resident ice queen…

Jac Naylor’s back from maternity leave on Tuesday. Is she keen to get back to work on Darwin?

“Yes, she is. She missed her job just as I missed mine when I was on maternity leave. It’s nice to be someone other than ‘mummy’ and, of course, to earn money. After the failure of her relationship with nurse Jonny, the father of her child, it was time for her to toughen up and get back to being Jac!”

Do we find out more about her relationship with Jonny?

“No, Jac doesn’t tell anybody about her personal business. But as far as she was concerned, he didn’t want to be anything other than a nurse and that wasn’t good enough for Jac. But let’s be honest, who could put up with her? She’s better off on her own!”

It doesn’t take Jac long to get back to her old ways when she treats Ollie like an errand boy during surgery this week…

“She pushes her juniors, Ollie and Zosia, and certainly makes them work! She makes them be the best they can by giving them rubbish jobs, basically. It’s not the nicest way of doing things, but it does tend to work. If it means she gets better people on her team, so be it.”

You’ve been playing Jac for 10 years now. Do you think she’s a good person underneath it all?

“What I love about her is that she says the things that people wouldn’t normally say, or would at least think about first. She also does nice things for people, though, but behind closed doors. She doesn’t want people to know about her generosity. When she funded Elliot’s project, she didn’t want him to know because she didn’t want gratitude.”

You appeared in the final episode of Elliot (Paul Bradley) in September… Did you come back especially for that?

“Yes! I knew he was going before I left to have my baby, so I told the producers there was no way I was going to miss being in that episode. It was very emotional. Let’s just say, he’s very, very missed!”

So, how have you found returning to Holby from being on maternity leave and getting used to the hectic schedule again?

“The schedule was difficult and I can tell you that ‘baby brain’ is definitely a real thing, so learning my lines I found quite hard. From not having to do anything other than think about weaning and teething and what size nipple my daughter’s got on her bottle, to then start learning medical jargon again and look like you know what you’re talking about, that was tough. But it’s nice to be working again.”

Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.