Ian Bleasdale is returning to Casualty as paramedic Josh Griffiths for what is being billed as the medical drama’s “most ambitious episode ever”.
Josh, who was a show regular between 1989 and 2007, will make a comeback to Holby to celebrate Charlie’s 30 years of service to the NHS – but will soon be getting his hands dirty once again.
The episode, to be shown on 27th August, will mark not only Charlie’s three-decades in the ED, but also Casualty’s 30 years in the BBC1 schedules.
Viewers will see Charlie’s party interrupted by the shock news that Connie and her daughter Grace have been involved in a car accident (as seen in last Saturday’s episode) and from that point on it’s all hands on deck as the team await news of whether they’ll be found dead or alive.
Speaking about how he felt about returning for the special episode, Bleasdale said: “My first feeling was of slight apprehension, and the first scene of the first day I had to deal with a technically complex script!
“The medical advisor, Pete Salt, looked at me and said ‘Ian, you know what to do’ and I did! Great cast and crew, fantastic director and producer. I felt completely at home again and loved it.”
The centrepiece of the episode is a hugely ambitious stunt which show bosses are currently remaining tight lipped about. But director Steve Hughes had this to say about the upcoming drama:
“When series producer, Erika Hossington, told me about the ambition for the episode, I couldn’t believe we’d attempt to do something that big! Even before my preparation started, I had numerous conversations with my stunt coordinator, Julian Spencer.
“Between us we decided to attempt to shoot the sequence practically, for real rather than using CGI. It would make things incredibly complicated, but the end result, as I hope people will agree when they see the episode, would be worth it.”
The episode also includes another special guest cast member, former EastEnders star Pam St Clement, who takes up the role of Sally, a very grumpy patient who is initially distrustful of Charlie. Said Oliver Kent, executive Producer, of his guest signing:
“I’m delighted that we’ve announced that Pam St Clement is making an extra special guest appearance as Sally Hodge in the Casualty 30th anniversary feature-length film. It’s fantastic to join two TV greats in one episode. Pam and Derek Thompson have been on our screens for decades, it’s a truly brilliant moment in the episode.”
You can watch the trailer for Casualty’s 30th anniversary episode below.