TWO Casualty legends set to make a return to the show for actor Derek Thomspon’s final scenes after he quit his 37-year role as Charlie Fairhead

Casualty is set to see the return of two fan favourite characters for Derek Thompson’s final scenes as he steps away from his role as Charlie Fairhead.

Derek, 75, revealed in May that he would be leaving the BBC series after 37 years on the show.

He chose to leave his long-standing role after budget cuts were introduced meaning the show would see fewer episodes.

And his character Charlie is set to leave the show in a grisly manner, as he is due to be killed off in the form of a brutal stabbing.

For Derek’s final episodes, Casualty legends Sunetra Sarker (Zoe Hannah) and Ian Bleasdale (Josh Griffiths) will make a return, according to The Sun.

Casualty is set to see the return of two fan favourite characters for Derek Thompson’s final scenes as he steps away from his role as Charlie Fairhead, The Sun revealed on Wednesday

 

For Derek’s final episodes, Casualty legends Sunetra Sarker (Zoe Hannah) and Ian Bleasdale (Josh Griffiths) will make a return

An epic two part finale will see Charlie’s final days play out after he is stabbed and left fighting for his life.

Returning in sombre circumstances, Zoe and Josh will rally to be by their friend Charlie’s side.

Sunetra featured in the programme between 2007 and 2016 before making a guest appearance in 2018.

Meanwhile Ian, who plays paramedic Josh, was the second longest serving cast member on Casualty – next only to Derek.

The first of Charlie’s heartbreaking final episodes will air on Saturday and show the doctor trying to prove that kindness prevails.

However his plan to bridge the gap backfires and distressing scenes see troubled patient Kyle stab Charlie after an argument at the pharmacy.

The doctors will do all they can to save Charlie but ultimately the character will die.

Derek, who has portrayed emergency department nurse Charlie Fairhead in nearly 900 episodes, is the longest-serving cast member in the medical drama.

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Derek Thompson has revealed he will be leaving Casualty after 37 years of playing Charlie Fairhead

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An epic two part finale will see Charlie’s final days play out after he is stabbed and left fighting for his life, with Zoe (pictured) returning to see him

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Ian, who plays paramedic Josh, was the second longest serving cast member on Casualty – next only to Derek

In an announcement last year, the actor revealed that ‘the time has come’.

Derek has played a central part in the show since it was first screened in 1986, and the BBC said his exit would culminate in a ‘gripping’ storyline with his character at the ‘front and centre’ of the action.

Discussing his departure, Derek said: ‘The time has come for me to hang up Charlie’s scrubs after the most wonderful 37 years.’

He continued: ‘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.’

Charlie has been the backbone of fictional Holby City Hospital’s emergency department, with the character involved in a number of huge, hard-hitting storylines over the years.

He was run over by an ambulance on his wedding day, had a near-fatal cardiac arrest during a gang siege, and had a loving relationship and heartbreaking farewell with his fellow nurse Duffy (Cathy Shipton).

Duffy died on the show in 2020 after being diagnosed with dementia. In heart-rending scenes, Charlie found her out in the snow after she wandered off.

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Since appearing in the first series in 1986 (pictured), the 75-year-old star has been in nearly 900 episodes and is the longest-serving cast member on the BBC medical drama

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Charlie has been in hard-hitting storylines over the years, including his loving relationship with fellow nurse Duffy

Rushed to hospital with hyperthermia, Duffy then had a bleed on her brain, which left Charlie realising nothing more could be done for her.

Charlie recently faced further devastation when he was forced to say goodbye to nurse Robyn Miller (Amanda Henderson), whose daughter, Charlotte, was named with him in mind.

Robyn was involved in a catastrophic car accident while on the way to start her new life with Charlotte and partner Paul (Paul Popplewell).

Jon Sen, executive producer of Casualty for BBC Studios, said: ‘Derek and I would often joke that, after such a long and dramatic career in the NHS, there was almost nothing that Charlie hadn’t seen.

‘So it was an amazing surprise to me when Derek arrived with a brilliant idea for Charlie’s exit as part of an upcoming storyline, which was too good to pass up.

‘We will all miss Derek enormously. Over nearly four decades, Derek has crafted an iconic character who is woven into the fabric of British TV history.

‘We will miss his craft, his humour and his on-screen presence.

‘We’re also going to miss a friend, so for the next few months we’re going to have a ball filming Charlie’s final chapter.’

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As news of his exit spread, fans rushed to share their heartbreak on Twitter

As news of his exit spread, fans shared their heartbreak on Twitter.

One wrote: ‘Absolutely gutted. This is the end of an era. I’ve literally grown up with Charlie.’

Another said: ‘End of an era. Charlie will be greatly missed, but let’s enjoy all the episodes he’s in before his departure. Though, I honestly thought he was going to leave when Marty and David quit.’

A third added: ‘No he can’t leave it will not be the same without him he’s my favourite and I love his cha

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