Our guide to who left Casualty in series 30. Will there be more character casualties when a helicopter hits the hospital in Saturday's feature-length opening of series 31?
Series 30 of Casualty was action-packed. It ran from August 2015 until July 2016. And in that time a LOT happened. There was Zoe and Max’s fiery wedding, Ethan and Cal’s adoption shock, stabbings, blackmail, bullying and a statistically disproportionate number of hostage takings.
As the 30th anniversary episode looms, threatening the lives of some of Casualty’s favourite characters, we take a look back at everyone who kissed goodbye to the medical drama during series 30…
Chelsea in. Chelsee out
September 2015, saw Chelsee Healey, who played barista Honey Wright, leave Holby. In the same episode Chelsea Halfpenny arrived in a puff of pink hair and optimism, as new junior doctor Alicia Munroe.
However, Alicia didn’t last long. After a sustained bullying campaign by jealous Lily (Crystal Yu) she quit in November 2015. But this isn’t the last we see of Alicia. Chelsea Halfpenny has returned to the role and promises to be a big player in series 31.
Receptionist Jack Diamond (Alistair Brammer) rocked up in December 2015 and, at first, irritated most of his co-workers. Over time he became a big hit on the floor. Jack, however, finally had enough of being covered in bodily fluids and quit in April 2016. During his time on Casualty, undoubtedly Jack’s finest hour was spray tanning and waxing nurse Lofty (Lee Mead).
Whistling goodbye to Dixie
Dixie ditched Holby for Cornwall in January with girlfriend Jess and Jess’s daughter Olivia. Jane Hazlegrove had played the popular paramedic for 10 years, and had been involved in some of the series’ most high-octane stunts. She’ll always be associated with her ambulance sidekick Jeff, who died in series 29.
Don’t Lee us!
Mild-mannered nurse Lofty handed in his notice in March 2016, after an agency nurse died while he was in charge. Lee Mead who played the much-loved nurse from March 2014 until his departure has, however, hinted he could be back in series 31! After all, the board decided the tragic death wasn’t Lofty’s fault…
Primeval star and S Club 7 singer Hannah Spearritt made a big impact when she joined as desperate, violent drug addict Mercedes Christie in January. During her time on the long-running medical drama manipulative Mercedes robbed and beat Noel half to death and blackmailed Big Mac for months before leaving in May.
Zoe jets off
Casualty fans are still upset about the departure of chaotic consultant Zoe Hanna in May. Zoe was one of the hospital drama’s most popular characters and during her time on the show proved a real heartbreaker – her main love interests being consultant Nick Jordan (Michael French) and hospital porter Max (Jamie Davis).
In her final scenes she left husband Max to work in America alongside Jordan. Sunetra Sarker played Zoe for nearly nine years. It’s recently been announced Sunetra will be starring as Detective Inspector Jane Burr in series two of ITV drama Safe House.
Big Mac gets on his bike
Big Mac was the next longstanding character to wave goodbye to Casualty. During his time on the show Big Mac worked his way up from hospital porter to health care assistant. His run-ins with Mercedes led to a painkiller addiction that saw nurse Charlie Fairhead suspended.
Big Mac finally came clean in June and quit his job to go off travelling and clean up his act. Charles Dale played this hospital stalwart since 2007.
Rita runs away
June also saw the departure of senior nurse Rita Freeman (Chloe Howman) after she went to extreme and sinister lengths to hold onto her relationship with playboy paramedic Iain. Unlike Big Mac who was given a hero’s send off, troubled Rita left under a cloud with only Charlie to wave her farewell.
Series 31 of Casualty explodes on to BBC1 on August 27th with a feature-length 30th anniversary special, which may, or may not, see the departure of more Casualty favourites