BBC Casualty casts EastEnders legend to send off Charlie Fairhead in his final episode

BBC Casualty casts EastEnders legend to send off Charlie Fairhead in his final episode
Charlie Fairhead actor Derek Thompson is quitting Casualty after an incredible 38 years of work – and viewers will see a familiar face from EastEnders in some of his last ever scenes

Derek Thompson is bowing out of Casualty after playing Charlie Fairhead for 38 years
An EastEnders icon turned Ted Lasso star is joining the cast of Casualty for special scenes celebrating Derek Thompson’s exit as Charlie Fairhead.



The BBC’s long-running medical drama has been on the air since 1986 – with 75-year-old Derek playing Charlie since the very first episode. This year, however, the actor will bow out after 38 years of service – and the show writers have big plans to make the exit of his character.

To boost scenes, 73-year-old actress Annette Badland will be joining the cast in order to play Charge Nurse Shirley in flashback scenes set in the 1980s. Annette is known to millions as Babe Smith on EastEnders – a role she played from 2014 until 2017. Millions more will know Annette for playing Mrs Fitzgibbons on time travel period drama Outlander from 2014 until 2015 and for playing Mae the Landlady on Apple TV+’s smash hit show Ted Lasso from 2020 until 2023.

Derek is exiting Casualty this weekend – with his last ever scenes as Charlie set to air on Saturday night. Annette will join his character in flashback to her nurse character’s retirement party. Charlie will be seen attending the party with a hangover while Annette’s nurse Shirley will give him some important advice.

Annette Badland in character on Casualty

Annette Badland is joining the cast to appear in flashback scenes (Image:


It is unclear if Charlie’s character will be killed off – and the BBC is taking steps to prevent his exit being spoiled. The Corporation traditionally airs episodes of Casualty from 6am on the day it is due to air – but this weekend, viewers will need to wait until the episode airs at 9:25pm to find out what happens. However, what is clear, is that Charlie’s life will hang in the balance after he was stabbed by a criminal trying to steal medical supplies from the hospital.


A source told The Sun: “The episode would not be shown early on BBC iPlayer in an effort to prevent spoilers leaking. Casualty joined EastEnders in uploading their latest episodes at 6am back in December. Charlie will slip in and out of consciousness as colleagues work to save his life, taking viewers to the 1980s flashbacks featuring Annette.




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