Lee Mead to swap Casualty for Holby City – plus Jaye Jacobs returns

Lofty and Donna will be back on screen this spring - alongside two new characters


Lee Mead is to reprise the role of Ben ‘Lofty’ Chiltern – only this time on the wards of Holby City rather than Casualty.


Viewers saw Lofty leave the emergency department last year when he resigned from his post in order to retrain as a bereavement counsellor in palliative care and head to Australia for a break.

Speaking about Lofty’s return to the UK, Lee Mead said: I’m really excited to be coming back as Lofty – I’ve missed him! I’m looking forward to being in a new part of the Holby hospital and seeing what it has in store for him next.”

The medical drama is also set to feature another comeback in the form of Jaye Jacobs, who will resurrect nurse Donna Jackson, last seen in 2011.

With her new footballer husband and flash car, Donna insists that she’s simply being a good samaritan in coming back to work – but is all as it seems? “Donna and I have unfinished business. She’s flirty, brash and ballsy. I’ve missed her!” Jacobs said.

Joining them will be Ayesha Dharker (Star Wars, Waterloo Road) who will be playing Ms Nina Karnik, “a tough but compassionate general surgeon” who also calls herself Mrs Matteo Rossini. Dharker’s arrival will be followed by David Ajao as new F1 Dr Damon Ford.

Simon Harper, acting executive producer for Holby City and Casualty, commented: “I’m beyond excited to welcome onto the wards two new faces, a returning face and a much loved Casualty character.

“It’s thrilling to bring Jaye back as the sparky, irreverent Donna, one of the most popular and iconic Holby characters ever and equally so to have Lee make the ‘trip upstairs’ as Lofty. Keller Ward is going through some dark times, so Lofty’s trademark warmth and kindness will come at just the right moment. 

“We’ve been trying to tempt the talented Ayesha with the right role for a while, and as Nina, she plays an emotionally compelling character with a mysterious past. David is a really exciting new talent who in his brilliant audition brought Damon’s energy and idealism to life.”


All four actors will start filming with the Holby Cirty team over the next couple of weeks and will be seen on screen from spring 2017.