Bob Barrett is joined by real-life daughter Francesca for Holby City episode

Sacha opens up about his depression to estranged daughter Beka

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Holby City regular Bob Barrett will be joined by his real-life offspring Francesca in an upcoming episode of the BBC1 medical drama. Scenes to be shown before Christmas will see his character Sacha Levy reveal all to his estranged daughter Beka about the depression that almost cost him his life earlier this year.

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Speaking about how 17-year-old Francesca landed the role, Bob said: “The bosses told me that they were bringing back the character of Rebecca, but that the actress who used to play her was no longer in the business. So I asked if Francesca could be seen for the part because I just had a hunch it would really work. So she came in, smashed it and now she’s in the show.”

The drama will see Beka arrive at Holby looking for a place to stay, all of which leads to some on-screen tensions between father and daughter before Sacha tells her about the mental anguish he’s experienced. Thankfully, for Bob himself, there has never been any fractiousness between himself and Francesca:

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“We’ve never had a cross word in 17 years. I’ve never got upset or angry with her and we have this very easy relationship. In fact, our first argument is the one on screen. What you’ll see is Rebecca coming back and asking to stay and Sacha initially pushing her away because he knows that if he does, he’ll have to tell her what’s happened.

“In the end, it’s Hanssen who tells him that he should, so Sacha goes off to find her. She’s waiting at a bus stop and he manages to take her back to the hospital and open up. By the end of the scene, we’re both in floods of tears – Rebecca says she’ll always be there for her dad and he tells her that she doesn’t know how much this has helped him.

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“It’s a big release for Sacha – one of the reasons for his suffering is down to the dislocation he feels from his family. And, up to that moment, he he hasn’t been able to see that people need him.”