Casualty boss teases "very special" celebration for NHS 75th anniversary
"We don't want to have those special episodes that draw in an audience and then we leave them very quickly afterwards, we want to deliver consistent Saturday night entertainment week in week out."
Casualty scooped up the BAFTA TV Award for soap and continuing drama at last night's (Sunday 14th May) ceremony. The long-running BBC medical soap beat Eastenders and Emmerdale to pick up the coveted award but Casualty boss Jon Sen has teased that there's even more to come with the drama.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press at the BAFTA TV Awards 2023, Sen chatted about his win and spoke about what's to come next for Casualty.
He said: "This year's the 75th anniversary of the NHS so we've got something quite special lined up for that which there will be press releases out very soon. But that's really exciting and I think what for us is really important is just to deliver consistently week in, week out."
He continued: "We don't want to have those special episodes that draw in an audience and then we leave them very quickly afterwards, we want to deliver consistent Saturday night entertainment week in week out with a little bit of special – those unique special episodes peppered throughout the year but it's important to deliver Saturday night entertainment for everybody."
The previously announced special episode also announced a nationwide callout for "true A&E stories from the last 75 years to acknowledge the huge landmark". The opportunity, which was shared on Twitter in a video featuring Casualty's Arin Smethurst, urged patients, relatives or medical professionals to share their stories.
Similarly, in 2021, the soap did a callout for new writers who have direct medical experience to work on the show, something that clearly only adds to the realism of the soap.
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When asked whether it's difficult to keep up with current affairs and the news as it pertains to the realities of working in the NHS, he admitted: ""Yes, it is. It's really challenging to reflect what's going on in the NHS and adhere to BBC impartiality."
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He said: "It's a really tough line to travel because the NHS is ... what's going on in the NHS? It's changing and we all know the situation so what we want to do is accurately reflect the facts of the NHS, the stories, the experiences of what doctors, nurses, paramedics are telling us about what's happening within their organisation and the organisation that means so much to us."
When accepting the BAFTA award, Sen extended his thanks to the teams behind Eastenders and Emmerdale too, saying: "We all know how challenging these shows are to make so respect to you both."
He continued: "Finally, I'd like to say thank you to the doctors, the nurses, the paramedics who work with us on the show and they inspire us with their stories on a daily basis. Casualty is, it was created as a love letter to the NHS, it is at its best when it is true to that mission."
As for now, the soap has welcomed a host of new characters which includes recently announced Gladiators co-host Barney Walsh, Anna Chell (The Bay), Sarah Seggari (Jerk, I Hate Suzie), Eddie-Joe Robinson (Grantchester, Small Axe) and Jaye Jacobs, who returns as Donna Jackson, a character many fans will recognise from Holby City as the fun-loving nurse turned ward sister.
Casualty continues every Saturday evening on BBC One at and is available for catch-up on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.