Nurse Ben 'Lofty' Chiltern plucks up the courage to ask his doctor boyfriend Dominic Copeland to marry him in this week's Holby City, as Lee Mead explains…

Holby City star Lee Mead talks Lofty’s grand gesture…

Lofty makes a big decision about his future in this week’s Holby City when he realises he wants to propose to Dominic (David Ames). Why now?

Lee Mead: “Lofty has always worn his heart on his sleeve and he knows 100 per cent that he loves Dom and sees a future with him. This whole thing was instigated by a moment recently when his gran, Sheilagh (Wanda Ventham), offered Lofty his granddad’s ring and said: ‘Pass this onto your man’. Typical Lofty, though, he takes things very literally!”

Why does Lofty want to ask Dom’s mum Carole (Julia Deakin) for permission to marry him?

LM: “Lofty’s very old fashioned and has got these traditions that he stands by. He’s very much a gentleman and a bit old school really, which is not seen so much these days. So Lofty asks Carole to come into the hospital, where he reveals he wants to propose to Dom and would like her blessing.”

Holby Carole Copeland

Lofty asks Dom’s mum Carole (Julia Deakin) for permission. Will she give her blessing?

Does Lofty get the reaction he’s hoping for from Carole?

LM: “Not exactly. Everyone knows Dom can be very blunt and very to the point and it’s obvious here that he definitely gets that from Carole! Even more so than Dom, she says it how it is. There’s a funny scene in this episode where Lofty’s really opening up to her about wanting to propose and she responds with: ‘Well, I don’t think Dom’s one for marriage’. That’s not exactly what Lofty wants to hear but, undeterred, he vows to go ahead with the proposal.”

Lofty goes to great lengths to set a lovely scene for the proposal. What does he do?

LM: “Dom and Lofty are really hoping to go to Tuscany in Italy. So, in an effort to be romantic, Lofty tries to recreate Tuscany in the grounds of Holby with lemons, bunting and bicycles!”

Holby Lofty Dom proposal

Lofty tries to set the perfect scene for his proposal – but will all his efforts have been in vain?

Is Carole able to keep quiet to Dom until Lofty’s ready to pop the question?

LM: “The trouble is, throughout the day, Lofty keeps having to cover up to Dom about why his mum is really at the hospital. Lofty’s proposal is obviously supposed to be a secret – but things soon spiral out of control when Carole blurts out the truth to Dom!”

So, now that Dom knows, does Lofty’s proposal go according to plan?

LM: “It does… but then there’s a shock moment in that Dom has a surprise of his own. Let’s just say it’s a very modern proposal, very sweet and shows what real love is all about. Lofty’s not thinking: ‘Let’s get married tomorrow’, he mainly just wants to show his commitment. Lofty’s reasons for proposing are less about himself and more about him wanting Dom to feel settled, secure and happy because Dom’s never had that.”

Holby City, starring Lee Mead, continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.