Actor and current Strictly star Joe McFadden has made his final appearance on Holby City, with his character Raf di Lucca having died from gunshot wounds.
The lives of several show regulars were put under threat in a dramatic two parter, with Jac Naylor being shot in the back and Ollie Valentine taking a bullet to the head.
But a final twist saw Raf revealed to have lost his life, his body found in a hospital elevator in the closing minutes by colleague Sacha Levy.
Speaking tonight about his exit, McFadden told RadioTimes.com: “It was brilliantly dramatic, which is what you want as an actor. You want people to sit up and take notice. The guys at Holby City told me that they only kill the characters that viewers really like, so it is a compliment that Raf gets this exit.”
A tense showdown also saw the gunman unmasked as Fredrik Johansson, the warped son of Holby CEO Henrik Hanssen. Despite Hanssen’s best efforts to to get through to his offspring, assassin Fredrik ended up being shot dead by specialist officers.
Commenting on his four years on the show and his reasons for going, McFadden added: “I feel like I’ve played everything you possibly can do. I would hate for Raf to be hanging around in the back of shot not really doing much.
“It’s great to go out on a high when he’s still quite loved by the viewers. Hopefully they’ll feel the loss of Raf in upcoming episodes.
“And with Strictly having come along at the same time, it feels like the right time to go. And hopefully this will open up other doors for me. Strictly has given me a real hunger to do live entertainment and theatre again.”
Asked whether he thought Raf’s tragic exit would encourage people to vote for McFadden in the Strictly semi-finals, the star said:
“Yes, hopefully! I hadn’t really thought of that, to be honest. That’s a nice thought. And I certainly appreciate the fact that a lot of the Holby viewers have been showing their support for me on Strictly.”
Whichever way the results go at the weekend, McFadden also added that he hopes to continue dancing once the series comes to a close: “Raf’s death does free me up to do the Strictly tour. I’m not sure if I am doing it. We don’t know the line-up as yet. But I’m certainly hoping to be there.”