From Holby City to Hollywood! Femail reveals the famous faces who have appeared on the wards


Over the last 23 years, the Emergency Department at Holby City Hospital has seen a whole range of famous faces from the acting world rush through its wards. 

Following the BBC announcement that the medical drama, which first premiered in 1999 as a spin-off to hospital hit Casualty, is set to be axed in 2022, FEMAIL takes a look at some of the biggest star names who started out on the show. 

From X-Men’s Michael Fassbender who played a man under anaesthetic aged 25 to Gavin and Stacey star Sheridan Smith who portrayed teen stalker Miranda Locke when she was 20, it has kick-started the career of many now-famous actors along the way.

Here are the surprising stars that you’d probably forgotten had started off as an inpatient…

ANGELA GRIFFIN

Angela Griffin is best known by most British viewers for her role as Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street – but the acclaimed actress also spent time as Jasmine Hopkins (pictured left), a ward sister quickly rising through the ranks at Holby City

THEN: Angela Griffin is best known by most British viewers for her role as Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street and as Kim Campbell in Waterloo Road – but the acclaimed actress also spent time as Jasmine Hopkins, a ward sister quickly rising through the ranks at Holby City.

Appearing on the very first series in 1999 to the fourth series in 2001, Angela’s character suffered trauma after trauma – including domestic violence, a miscarriage and a stabbing.

Even when she finally thinks her life is back on track, she falls for a married man, nurse Steve Waring, whose son Robbie discovers their affair and threatens to reveal it. In an emotional ending for the much-loved nurse, Jasmine breaks up with Steve and departs from the hospital.

Angela’s career has gone from strength to strength, with the Leeds-born actress being a regular face on our small screens - from comedy Brief Encounters in 2016 to the popular drama Harlots (pictured)

Angela’s career has gone from strength to strength, with the Leeds-born actress being a regular face on our small screens – from comedy Brief Encounters in 2016 to the popular drama Harlots (pictured)

NOW: Angela’s career has gone from strength to strength, with the Leeds-born actress being a regular face on our small screens – from comedy Brief Encounters in 2016 to the popular drama Harlots.

She also played sex-party organiser Anna in the hit Netflix show White Lines, about an unsolved murder in Ibiza.

But the mother-of-two, 44, revealed in 2020 that the programme had been axed after just one series to the disappointment of fans. She made the revelation during an online Q&A for Theatre Royal Haymarket, according to The Sun.

Asked about the future of White Lines, Angela said: ‘Will there be a series two of White Lines? I don’t think so. I wish there was but it’s very quiet on the White Lines hotline.

‘My gut feeling is that it was left in a place where it is nicely tied up. I think that is where it is going to stay. Sorry to say.’

More recently, Angela featured in the 12-part YouTube series Dun Breedin’, written by Benidorm actress Julie Graham.

Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite, Alison Newman and Tracy Ann Oberman also star in the programme which was recorded in the stars’ homes with family even acting as crew members to help film.

The YouTube series follows the lives of a group of friends through the difficulties of marriage, death, depression, and the menopause. The drama, set in Brighton, puts ‘women’s sexuality, agency and worth under the spotlight’.

LISA FAULKNER 

Lisa Faulkner joined the Holby City cast in series 2, playing the serious surgeon Victoria Merrick (pictured left)

Lisa Faulkner joined the Holby City cast in series 2, playing the serious surgeon Victoria Merrick (pictured left)

THEN: Lisa Faulkner joined the Holby City cast in series 2, playing the serious surgeon Victoria Merrick.

She left the show in 2001, following her gruesome murder, which Lisa requested for the character. Surgeon Victoria was stabbed to death in her own home by the father of a patient whose life she could not save.

NOW: Lisa’s last acting appearance came on EastEnders in 2017, when she played scheming businesswoman Fi Browning.

And while she’s had steady acting roles ever since Holby City, including on Spooks, the mother-of-one, 49, is now celebrated for her cooking and presenting skills.

In 2015 she was a guest presenter on This Morning, alongside Ben Shephard, and currently co-hosts John And Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen with her second husband John Torode, who she married in 2019.

Lisa currently co-hosts John And Lisa's Weekend Kitchen with her second husband John Torode (pictured together), who she married in 2019

Lisa currently co-hosts John And Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen with her second husband John Torode (pictured together), who she married in 2019

The nation first saw Lisa, from South West London, in her role as an incredible chef after she won Celebrity Masterchef in 2010.

She’s also released several cooking books, such as Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter, The Way I Cook and Tea & Cake.

Lisa and John tied the knot in a romantic ceremony held at Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, in October 2019.

The MasterChef star approached the blonde beauty after he divorced his wife of 14 years, Jessica, in 2014, and Lisa ended her marriage with actor Chris Coghill in 2011. 

On asking her out for a date with a romantic note, the EastEnders actress previously told Radio Times: ‘I was surprised.

‘I knew we’d had a couple of nice times where we met, chatted, had fun and talked a lot. So we were friends, and it didn’t come out of the blue, but I thought it was a very gentlemanly thing to do, a letter.’

NICHOLAS HOULT 

Nicholas Hoult had a guest appearance in a 2001 episode of Holby City as Oscar Banks (pictured)

Nicholas Hoult had a guest appearance in a 2001 episode of Holby City as Oscar Banks (pictured)

THEN:  Nicholas Hoult had a guest appearance in a 2001 episode of Holby City as Oscar Banks. The 31-year-old, from Berkshire, also featured in one episode for each of The Bill, Casualty and Doctors during his childhood.

In 2007 to 2008, he appeared on the first two series of hit TV show Skins, playing popular teenager Tony Stonem.

At the age of eleven, he also starred alongside Hugh Grant in the 2002 comedy-drama film About a Boy.

This year, Nicholas also starred as Peter III in the racy Channel 4 period drama The Great which follows Elle Fanning's character, the notorious Russian monarch Catherine The Great

This year, Nicholas also starred as Peter III in the racy Channel 4 period drama The Great which follows Elle Fanning’s character, the notorious Russian monarch Catherine The Great

NOW: It wasn’t long before Hollywood fame came knocking on Nicholas’ door, with the actor playing Hank McCoy / Beast for the blockbuster X-Men film series.

The list of films he’s featured in also includes Tolkien, where he played the famous author J. R. R. Tolkien, as well as Mad Max: Fury Road.

This year, he also starred as Peter III in the racy Channel 4 period drama The Great which follows Elle Fanning’s character, the notorious Russian monarch Catherine The Great.

While the actors portrayed the raunchy sex scenes with passion, Nicholas revealed behind-the-camera he got the giggles and called the shots ‘unromantic’ in an interview with The Times.

Nicholas said: ‘Those scenes are the hardest not to laugh in: I get the giggles, having the physical comedy on top of the weird conversations.

‘But even though everyone wants to talk about the sex scenes, and there are a few, they are always undercut. The main focus of them is unromantic.’

The actor said the pair had an intimacy coach who choreographed the sex scenes.

Nicholas was asked if his parents had watched it due to the explicit scenes, to which he told the publication: ‘My mum and dad were extras on the wedding day, sat in the crowd. I try to bring them out if it’s a fun day filming.’

PHYLLIS LOGAN

Phyllis Logan played Muriel McKendrick (pictured right), known as a strict department head and consultant surgeon with a serious personality on Holby City

Phyllis Logan played Muriel McKendrick (pictured right), known as a strict department head and consultant surgeon with a serious personality on Holby City

THEN: She’s now renowned for her portrayal as Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey, but the period drama wasn’t the first success Phyllis Logan experienced on the small screen. 

The Scottish actress, 65, played Muriel McKendrick, known as a strict department head and consultant surgeon with a serious personality on Holby City.

Phyllis appeared in the very first series of the BBC programme in 1999, before leaving to pursue other opportunities.

NOW: Such opportunities included guest appearances in Heartbeat, Taggart, New Tricks, A Touch of Frost and Spooks.

Phyllis played the no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey from 2010 until the end of the programme in 2015

Phyllis played the no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey from 2010 until the end of the programme in 2015 

AND THE REST OF THE ORIGINAL CAST OF HOLBY CITY

As fans say goodbye to Holby City following 23 years, these are the actors that launched the programme.

  • Michael French spent three years in Albert Square playing David Wicks on EastEnders before leaving to star as cardiothoracic surgical registrar Nick Jordan in Holby City.
  • Ian Curtis appeared as staff nurse Ray Sykes in the first episode until series two. He was known for being the comedian of Dawin Ward.
  • Nicola Stephenson played a single mother with mounting debts, Julie Bradford, who was overlooked for promotion and resorted to lap dancing at night to care for her daughter.
  • George Irving was one of the longest-standing members of the original Holby City cast – he played cardiothoracic consultant Anton Meyer on the show until 2002. 

But her next long-term role, and no doubt her most successful, was Downton Abbey, with Phyllis playing the no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs Hughes from 2010 until the end of the programme in 2015.

In 2019, she appeared in the movie Downton Abbey, and is set to feature in the second film from the series, which began production in April.

The film is reportedly set for a Christmas release date, and during an interview on Lorraine last month, Phyllis opened up about how the Downton Abbey 2 cast are managing with filming with Covid-19 restrictions in place.

The actress told how the cast have to wear ‘peculiar masks’ with a perspex screen around the neck, with the PPE known on set as ‘the actors’ cone of shame.’

Explaining how everyone managed to keep safe on set amid the pandemic, Phyllis explained: ‘We’re being COVID tested about three times a week. 

‘I’ve already had my second jab, hurrah! Lots of us had the jab and I’ve had my two. You must be number one at least!’ 

Describing how they protect each other, she continued: ‘We have to wear these peculiar masks. It’s like a perspex screen that goes up but it’s attached to a collar that goes around your neck. 

‘We call it the actor’s cone of shame – it’s really weird walking about like that! It’s because you can’t put a normal mask on and wig. The men have ones that fit on like a mask.’

SHERIDAN SMITH

THEN: Sheridan, now 39, played teenage stalker Miranda Locke in the hospital series when she was 20 and starred in a total of six episodes in 2001. 

Sheridan, now 39, played teenage stalker Miranda Locke in the hospital series when she was 20 and starred in a total of six episodes in 2001 (pictured)

Sheridan, now 39, played teenage stalker Miranda Locke in the hospital series when she was 20 and starred in a total of six episodes in 2001 (pictured)

NOW: Sheridan went on to star as wannabe lawyer Elle in the West End smash hit musical Legally Blonde and appeared in BBC sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet of Crisps from 2001 until 2009, departing the show as it went on for two more seasons before coming to an end in 2011. 

She has also starred in Gavin And Stacey opposite James Corden, who played Smithy, while she played his younger sister Rudi, and played Emma in The Royle Family from 1999 to 2000. 

The actress and singer, who played Cilla in the 2014 ITV series of the same name, welcomed her baby son Billy in May earlier last year. 

Sheridan went on to star in Gavin And Stacey opposite James Corden, who played Smithy, while she played his younger sister Rudi, and played Emma in The Royle Family from 1999 to 2000

Sheridan went on to star in Gavin And Stacey opposite James Corden, who played Smithy, while she played his younger sister Rudi, and played Emma in The Royle Family from 1999 to 2000

JOHN BARROWMAN

John Barrowman made his Holby City debut as a ruthless recruiter, Drew Nicholson-Heath, in July last year

John Barrowman made his Holby City debut as a ruthless recruiter, Drew Nicholson-Heath, in July last year

THEN: In July 2020, John Barrowman, now 54, who lives in Palm Springs, made his debut appearance on Holby City, taking on the role of ruthless recruiter Dr Drew Nicholson-Heath.

In his guest appearance, he arrived at the hospital on the lookout for talent – prompting certain team members to do whatever it took in order to impress him. 

The cutthroat consultant – who was nicknamed The Poacher – caught the attention of Cameron Dunn (Nic Jackman), who had his sights set on impressing Dr Drew. 

Yet his efforts proved fruitless and renowned global recruiter Drew found Cameron more class clown than standout doctor.

After realising his tactics hadn’t worked on high-flyer Drew, Cameron feared his sinister side could be exposed.

And with Drew’s sights set on Nicky (Belinda Owusu), Cameron hatched a plan to gaslight her into believing she had slipped up in theatre.

Drew is not unfamiliar with the staff at Holby City and his is the ex-boyfriend of Ange Godard (Dawn Steele).

Drew could be seen bumping into former flame Ange who asked: ‘What are you doing here Drew?’

In a smart suit with immaculate hair, Drew replied: ‘Slumming it I guess.’

NOW: John first appeared in Doctor Who back in 2005, in a two-part story with Christopher Eccleston’s iteration of the titular Time Lord, before going on to star in multiple episodes with both Christopher and David Tennant’s Doctors.

His character of Captain Jack became so popular he bagged his own spin-off series Torchwood, where the character took the lead role for four series’, concluding in 2011’s ‘Children of Earth’.

Apology: Earlier this month, Barrowman apologised for exposing himself repeatedly while filming the Doctor Who (pictured) and Torchwood but insisted it was just 'tomfoolery'

Apology: Earlier this month, Barrowman apologised for exposing himself repeatedly while filming the Doctor Who (pictured) and Torchwood but insisted it was just ‘tomfoolery’

He also showed off his skating ability when he competed in the very first series of Dancing On Ice back in 2006 – before becoming a judge on the panel.

The Torchwood star also appeared as a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical talent shows from 2006 to 2008.

John then went on to find a whole new fanbase after he finished third on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Fassbender played a man under anaesthetic in Holby City, back in 2002

Fassbender played a man under anaesthetic in Holby City, back in 2002

THEN: Michael Fassbender’s roles were slightly more limited when he was first launching his acting career, namely the time he played a man under anaesthetic in Holby City, back in 2002.

Sporting a mop of unruly hair, Fassbender, who would have been only 25 at the time, has spoken to the Radio Times about accidentally falling asleep while filming the role.

The actor, now 44, admitted: ‘The trouble was they were filming the scene over and over again and focusing on all the doctors operating on me and I was lying there with my eyes closed and I just drifted off. I woke to hear someone whispering, “He’s fallen asleep”.’

NOW: The German-Irish actor has since enjoyed a swift ascent to success, gaining acclaim for roles in films such as Shame, X Men and Inglourious Basterds. 

More recently, he is set to star in the film adaptation of the French graphic novel The Killer as an in-demand assassin who begins to rely heavily on his conscience while working on several assignments.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gone Girl director David Fincher will also helm the upcoming feature. 

Michael Fassbender has become a household name with roles in X Men (pictured) and Inglourious Basterds - but started out with guest appearances on Holby City

Michael Fassbender has become a household name with roles in X Men (pictured) and Inglourious Basterds – but started out with guest appearances on Holby City

JOE MCFADDEN 

THEN: Scottish-born Joe, 45, is best known for his roles in Take the High Road, Heartbeat and Holby City, and has played general surgeon Raff Di Luca in the BBC One medical drama since 2014.

Sending pulses racing: Scottish-born Joe is best known for his roles in Take the High Road, Heartbeat and Holby City, and has played general surgeon Raff Di Luca in the BBC One medical drama since 2014

Sending pulses racing: Scottish-born Joe is best known for his roles in Take the High Road, Heartbeat and Holby City, and has played general surgeon Raff Di Luca in the BBC One medical drama since 2014

Just what the doctor ordered: Joe McFadden went on to win Strictly Come Dancing in 2017

Just what the doctor ordered: Joe McFadden went on to win Strictly Come Dancing in 2017

NOW: In December 2017, the Holby City star was crowned the King of Strictly Come Dancing, despite starting the contest as a rank outsider.

Joe, then 42, and his Russian-born partner Katya Jones triumphed in what was the most eagerly anticipated final in years.

More than 11 million fans tuned into the spectacular, which was decided solely by the votes of viewers. 

Joe and Katya danced a Viennese waltz to Somewhere My Love from Doctor Zhivago, a showdance to You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates, and a Charleston to Alexander’s Ragtime Band by Ella Fitzgerald.

The Scot struggled to make a mark early in the competition but the couple’s romantic routine to the theme from Doctor Zhivago caught the attention of the judges in week three and they began to refer to Joe as a ‘dark horse’. 

Joe McFadden and his Russian-born partner Katya Jones were crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing in 2017

Joe McFadden and his Russian-born partner Katya Jones were crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing in 2017

Fellow finalist Debbie McGee, 59, and her partner Giovanni Pernice danced a salsa to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Boys Town Gang, a showdance to One Day I’ll Fly Away by Vaults, and an Argentine tango to Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Pera.

Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez impressed with an American smooth to My Fair Lady’s Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, a showdance to There’s No Business Like Showbusiness by Ethel Merman, and a jive to Proud Mary by Tina Turner.

Meanwhile, Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec performed a paso doble to Viva La Vida by Coldplay, a showdance to Show Me How You Burlesque by Christina Aguilera, and an American smooth to Downtown by Petula Clark. 

DENISE WELCH 

THEN: The 63-year-old star of Loose Women stepped in to play nurse Keri McGrath’s overbearing mother, Pam, who joined the cast to become a risk manager at the hospital. She appeared in five episodes back in 2002.

Pam caused a bit of a to-do when she flirted outrageously with obstetrics registrar Mubbs Hussein, played by Ian Aspinall. 

Denise Welch played nurse Keri McGrath’s overbearing mother, Pam, who joined the cast to become a risk manager at the hospital

Denise Welch played nurse Keri McGrath’s overbearing mother, Pam, who joined the cast to become a risk manager at the hospital

NOW: Professionally, she’s had a lot of high points, appearing on Coronation Street as Kevin Webster’s mistress and landlady of The Rovers Return.

She also starred in Waterloo Road, Soldier, Soldier and Benidorm among others. Plus she was a contestant on Dancing on Ice in January 2011. 

Denise, who now regularly appears on ITV’s Loose Women, has also been very open with her past alcohol addiction and recently reflected on previously replacing it with food.

The Loose Women panellist took to Instagram on Monday to upload a recent image of herself in black underwear alongside a throwback bikini picture as she declared: ‘I don’t care what my size is and I never do scales’.

Professionally, Denise Welch has had a lot of high points, appearing on Coronation Street as Kevin Webster’s mistress and landlady of The Rovers Return - and she now regularly appears in ITV's Loose Women

Professionally, Denise Welch has had a lot of high points, appearing on Coronation Street as Kevin Webster’s mistress and landlady of The Rovers Return – and she now regularly appears in ITV’s Loose Women 

'My health deteriorated': Denise Welch reflected on replacing her alcohol addiction with food in the past in an Instagram post on Monday

‘My health deteriorated’: Denise Welch reflected on replacing her alcohol addiction with food in the past in an Instagram post on Monday

Detailing her health journey, the actress – who has been sober for eight years – recalled when she gained two stone as her ‘eating became out of control’, before she embarked on a healthy diet plan with LighterLife.

‘8 yrs ago I gave up alcohol but started to replace one addiction with another and my eating became out of control for a while’, the former Coronation Street star wrote in the post’s accompanying caption.

The media personality revealed her weight gain took a toll on her physical well-being, before she overhauled her lifestyle.

TV star Denise explained: ‘I gained over 2 st quickly and my health deteriorated. My breathing became impaired and my osteoarthritis worsened on my back and knees.

‘With the help of @lighterlife and their use of cognitive behavioural therapy I learnt how to change my relationship with food. I have maintained my 2 stone weight loss now for 8 yrs.’ 

PATSY KENSIT

THEN: Patsy Kensit starred as ward sister Faye Byrne in the soap for four years, before quitting Holby City to spend more time with her family.

After problems in her then year-old marriage to DJ Jeremy Healy, she decided the tough filming schedule was too much.

‘I have had a fantastic time playing Faye but I felt it was the right time to move on. I will really miss the cast and crew, but not the long hours,’ she told The Sun.

‘It has been lots of fun but very hard work.’

Can't wait: Of her exciting return, Patsy said: 'Faye has changed quite a lot, it’s very feisty and there are lots of surprises! It’s also really exciting to be working with Rosie and Luke again'

Can’t wait: Of her exciting return, Patsy said: ‘Faye has changed quite a lot, it’s very feisty and there are lots of surprises! It’s also really exciting to be working with Rosie and Luke again’

Patsy Kensit returned to Holby City for 20th anniversary special alongside Luke Roberts... almost ten years after she left the show

Patsy Kensit returned to Holby City for 20th anniversary special alongside Luke Roberts… almost ten years after she left the show

Patsy wanted to work on her fourth marriage, after the couple’s intense workloads caused friction.

Reports of trouble in the union emerged in February that year, after Healy walked out. 

At the time, Patsy’s spokesman said: ‘They are experiencing difficulties and are trying to work things out.’

Patsy’s previous husbands are Oasis singer Liam Gallagher,Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr and Big Audio Dynamite keyboard playerDan Donovan.

She also wanted to spend more time with children Lennon, from her marriage to  Gallagher, and James, from her marriage to Kerr.

Patsy’s character wasn’t killed off, leaving room for her to return – which happened in 2019, when she reprised her role as Faye Morton after nine years away from the medical drama.

The actress was joined by her former co-star Luke Roberts, who played Joseph Byrne once more for one episode to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary.

Faye and Joseph’s return to the hospital wards wasn’t without its woes, though, as the former come up against her nemesis and former love rival Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) once they arrived. 

NOW: Patsy was recently slammed by viewers who claimed she appeared ‘bored’ and ‘uninterested’ during an appearance on Richard Osman’s House of Games in March.

The actress, 52, was a contestant on the general knowledge show alongside Nihal Arthanayake, Jake Humphrey and Mae Martin, but sparked accusations from viewers that she looked like she didn’t want to take part.

It seemed that Patsy also regretted agreeing to appear on the show as she ended that night’s programme by joking she was going to ‘kill her agent.’

Many fans were quick to point out she barely made an effort to press the buzzer and answer the questions.

Patsy joined the three other stars competing in several different knowledge rounds to earn enough points, with one celebrity crowned the winner at the end of each week.

Does she care? Patsy Kensit was slammed by viewers who claimed she appeared 'bored' and 'uninterested' during an appearance on Richard Osman's House of Games in March

Does she care? Patsy Kensit was slammed by viewers who claimed she appeared ‘bored’ and ‘uninterested’ during an appearance on Richard Osman’s House of Games in March

Patsy also recently revealed she’s suffering from empty nest syndrome during lockdown since her children have moved out.

The soap star has two adult sons, James, 27, with Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, and Lennon, 21, with Oasis rocker Liam Gallagher.

In a new interview, the thespian admitted she has been feeling an ‘ache’ in her heart as her sons have grown up and moved out.

The media personality told OK! magazine: ‘It’s so painful I can’t tell you. Everyone’s emotional at the moment, aren’t they? Every day it’s been really hard.

‘I don’t let the boys know that but I know they feel it because they’re constantly checking in. They have their own lives but I’m not going to lie, there’s an ache in my heart.’

The Strictly star was married first to musician Dan Donovan from 1988 to 1991, before being wed to Scottish singer Jim from 1992 to 1996.

Patsy was in a marriage with rock star Liam between 1997 and 2000, during which the artist fathered Molly, 21, with Lisa Moorish.

The blonde went on to have a relationship with DJ Jeremy Healy, tied the knot in 2009 and got divorced a year later.

TOM CHAMBERS

Tom Chambers is often remembered for being a Holby City heartthrob in regular episodes from 2006 to 2008 (pictured)

Tom Chambers is often remembered for being a Holby City heartthrob in regular episodes from 2006 to 2008 (pictured)

THEN: Tom Chambers is often remembered for being a Holby City heartthrob in regular episodes from 2006 to 2008.

He played ladies’ man Dr Sam Strachan, who romanced and fathered a child with his boss, Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing), as well as engaging in relationships with Ward Sisters Chrissie Williams (Tina Hobley) and Faye Morton (Patsy Kensit).

NOW: Following his appearance in Holby City, Tom joined the cast of Waterloo Road, playing Max Tyler for ten episodes in 2009.

He’s also starred in Casualty, as his character Sam, as well as Emmerdale and Midsomer Murders.

His biggest triumph, next to Holby City, came in 2008, when he lifted Strictly Come Dancing’s glitterball trophy

His biggest triumph, next to Holby City, came in 2008, when he lifted Strictly Come Dancing’s glitterball trophy

But his biggest triumph, next to Holby City, came in 2008, when he lifted Strictly Come Dancing’s glitterball trophy.

The series was perhaps Strictly’s most memorable, with the hopeless John Sergeant dragging Kristina Rihanoff round the dancefloor in the paso doble before withdrawing ten weeks in because of a general furore that such a terrible dancer might actually win.

It also became one of the most controversial years of the competition when the dance-off in the semi-final had to be cancelled because two of the remaining three dancers tied on votes.

Not only did Tom delay his wedding by a day mid-series so he could stay in Strictly, but he’s previously said waltzing off with the trophy ultimately led to his many successful roles in the West End.

‘Winning Strictly with Camilla Dallerup first got me the leading role in the West End musical Top Hat. I didn’t even have to audition, which is a good job otherwise they’d have realised how long it takes me to learn steps,’ he laughs.

‘You have to be a pro to dance on the West End stage, but it’s Strictly that gave me the tools to do a big musical.’

DENIS LAWSON 

THEN: Denis Lawson played consultant Tom Campbell Gore, who reprised his role for the 20th anniversary episode.  

Denis Lawson played consultant Tom Campbell Gore, who reprised his role for the 20th anniversary episode (pictured)

Denis Lawson played consultant Tom Campbell Gore, who reprised his role for the 20th anniversary episode (pictured)

NOW: Lawson, whose other TV credits include detective drama New Tricks, is better known for his cameo as high-flying Antilles in Star Wars films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

He is also the uncle of fellow actor Ewan McGregor, whose own lengthy list of roles includes playing a young Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars prequels The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. 

And the veteran actor has also gone back in time for his role in the ITV period drama Victoria.

Making a guest appearance on the hit show, Scottish star Lawson, 69, played the Duke of Atholl, the head of the Clan Murray, who played host to Jenna Coleman’s Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes’ Prince Albert during their trip to the Scottish Highlands. 

The veteran actor went back in time for his role in the ITV period drama Victoria (pictured)

The veteran actor went back in time for his role in the ITV period drama Victoria (pictured)

PHILL JUPITUS

THEN: The comedian, 58, starred in one episode in 2001 and portrayed the character of Andy Thompson – a patient from hell in desperate need of a hernia operation.

After struggling to lose enough weight to be operated on safely, Andy, who admitted he was a ‘little on the chunky side,’ was considered too risky and refused surgery as a result. 

However, when a doctor turned around and told him that was ‘clinically and morbidly obese,’ he went on a quick downwards spiral and was rushed into theatre, before dying on the operating table.  

The comedian, 58, starred in one episode in 2001 and portrayed the character of Andy Thompson - a patient from hell in desperate need of a hernia operation

The comedian, 58, starred in one episode in 2001 and portrayed the character of Andy Thompson – a patient from hell in desperate need of a hernia operation

NOW: The successful comedian appeared on successful show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, which aired over the course of 19 years, for 28 series, 255 episodes and specials. 

He also went on to host his own show on BBC GLR, which he presented from 1995 to 2000, and became the breakfast DJ on 6 Music in 2002. 

Phill also supported Madness on their 2000 national tour, and starred in a sitcom called Dark Ages for Granada Television. 

Since then, he has continued to tour the country with his stand-up comedy gigs. 

The successful comedian (pictured) appeared on successful show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, which aired over the course of 19 years, for 28 series, 255 episodes and specials

The successful comedian (pictured) appeared on successful show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, which aired over the course of 19 years, for 28 series, 255 episodes and specials

NICOLA STEPHENSON

Nicola Stephenson played a single mother with mounting debts, Julie Bradford, who was overlooked for promotion and resorted to lap dancing at night to care for her daughter in Holby City (pictured)

Nicola Stephenson played a single mother with mounting debts, Julie Bradford, who was overlooked for promotion and resorted to lap dancing at night to care for her daughter in Holby City (pictured)

THEN: Nicola Stephenson played a single mother with mounting debts, Julie Bradford, who was overlooked for promotion and resorted to lap dancing at night to care for her daughter in Holby City.

Eventually the character’s story had a happy ending, with the return of her ex-husband who pleaded for another chance. The couple remarried and left to start a new life together with their daughter.

NOW: Following her performance, the now 49-year-old actress, who first won fame for her appearance in Brookside, went on to star in Hotel Babylon, Waterloo Road and Emmerdale.  

The Oldham-born actress has also been in Holby City’s sister-show Casualty, Clocking Off and The Chase.

The now 49-year-old actress (pictured), who first won fame for her appearance in Brookside, went on to star in Hotel Babylon, Waterloo Road and Emmerdale

The now 49-year-old actress (pictured), who first won fame for her appearance in Brookside, went on to star in Hotel Babylon, Waterloo Road and Emmerdale

She met her long-time friends Angela Griffin and Lisa Faulkner when they were all working on Holby City.

Earlier in her career, Nicola portrayed the first ever lesbian kiss on a soap opera in Brookside back in 2004, alongside Anna Friel.

Meanwhile, her stint on Emmerdale in 2015 came to a sudden end when her character was unexpectedly killed off in a hit-and-run incident.

She most recently appeared with former co-star Lisa Faulkner in Celebrity Gogglebox in 2019.

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