Casualty: Ash returns - Patrick Robinson is back in the emergency department

The former charge nurse can be seen from Saturday 9 February having retrained as a doctor

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Casualty: Ash returns - Patrick Robinson is back in the emergency department
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Patrick Robinson is to return to Casualty as Martin “Ash” Ashford from Saturday 9 February.

After nearly 17 years away from the Emergency Department, the character will be seen to have retrained as a doctor. Robinson originally left the role in 1996 after starring in the medical drama for eight years as charge nurse Ash, although he did make an appearance in 1998 at Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson) and Baz’s wedding.

In his returning episode, If Not For You, viewers will witness Ash thrown in at the deep end as he attends the scene of a motorbike crash on his way into work. Accompanying the casualties to the ED, he immediately makes an impression on his colleagues.

Against her better judgement, newly promoted Clinical Lead Zoe (Sunetra Sarker) is forced to leave the department in Ash’s hands as she comes down with the flu that is spreading through Holby. Ash’s arrival follows the departure of Michael French’s character Nick Jordan, who left the series in the episode that aired on Saturday 2 February.

Commenting on his return, Robinson said: “It’s fantastic to be back! Recreating a character that has moved on and changed so much is incredibly challenging and this feels like a totally new job. But to be back working with Derek Thompson [Charlie], I feel like I’ve come home.”

Casualty’s executive producer Johnathan Young added: “We’re thrilled to have Patrick back. Ash was a hugely popular character and reuniting him with Charlie will reignite a friendship that we hope will delight viewers old and new. With many years of nursing under his belt plus a stint working as a doctor in America, Ash brings a unique perspective to the ED that will challenge Zoe but charm the rest of the team.”