Casualty star Derek Thompson bags new BBC role amid show exit after 37 years

Casualty star Derek Thompson bags new BBC role amid show exit after 37 years

Derek Thompson has bagged himself a new role in BBC drama series Blue Lights, following his exit from Casualty after 37 years on the hit show. The actor has landed his first role since leaving Casualty and is due to star in the second series of Blue Lights.

Derek, 75, starred in Casualty as Charlie Fairhead for nearly four decades but announced last year he had decided to leave the show. His exit scenes are due to air at some point in March.

However, Derek won’t be away from TV screens for long as he will be starring in the second series of BBC’s Blue Lights as Robin Graham. An exact release date is yet to be confirmed but it will land on screens in Spring.

Could Charlie be in for a grisly end at Casualty?

Derek Thompson portrayed Charlie Fairhead in Casualty (Image: PA)

It marks a big change for Derek, who has only made a handful of appearances in other TV shows outside of Casualty. He will take on the role of a retired police office across five episodes.

Derek has said he was “thrilled and excited” to sign up for Blue Lights, as he thought the first series was “the best new TV series” of 2024. He confessed: “I loved the first series of Blue Lights and thought, as did the majority of my friends and colleagues, that it was the best new TV series of last year.

“I was thrilled and excited when I got the invitation to take part in series two. I was born in Belfast and was equally excited to travel over to work on the show and pleased to report, having read the scripts, that I’m sure the fans will love the second series every bit as much as the first. Greatly looking forward to it myself as I’m one of them.”

Derek Thompson

Derek will star in the second series of Blue Lights as Robin Graham (Image: BBC/Two Cities Television)

Production company, Two Cities, added: “We are delighted to have Derek Thompson back working with us in his native Belfast, it is an honour to have him as part of the Blue Lights family.”

Derek stunned fans when he announced his departure from Casualty last year. He is the only remaining original character from the first episode, broadcast in September 1986.

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Charlie is Casualty's longest-running character

Charlie was Casualty’s longest-running character (Image: PA)

The actor said: “The time has come for me to hang up Charlie’s scrubs after the most wonderful 37 years. Charlie Fairhead was inspired by a real nurse – Pete Salt.

“Together with the writers and producers, I have tried to bring to Charlie the compassion, kindness, heroism and sound judgement that we all see and love in Pete and I want to say thanks to Pete and everyone else over that time who has inspired me in bringing this character to life.”

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