Holby City and Casualty boss promises Covid won't stop huge stunts

The boss of hit BBC medical dramas Holby City and Casualty has assured audiences that Covid-19 won’t get in the way of performing big stunts, outlining how the outbreak is being incorporated into the shows’ narratives.

Earlier this year, Holby City and Casualty were among the many shows that were forced to pause production as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Casualty made its long-awaited return to filming in September, with episodes set to highlight the strain the spread of the virus has had on the NHS.

Next month, Holby City will be returning to our screens, featuring the characters in dramatic scenes as they’re faced with the difficulties of the pandemic.

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While the cast and crew will be doing what they can to keep each other safe, including stringently practising social distancing while on set, Kate Oates, head of continuing drama at the BBC, has stressed that Covid won’t stop them from carrying out impressive stunts.

‘Weirdly, the filming of a stunt can be easier than having one person pass a simple prop to someone else because you have more time and money to ensure that people are safe,’ Kate told The Guardian.


In the upcoming episode of Holby City being aired on 10 November, audiences will be plunged into the stark realities of medical work amid the pandemic, with Donna Jackson (Jaye Jacobs), a staff nurse, saying that going to work is like ‘walking into hell each day’.

At another point in the episode, CEO and neurosurgeon Max McGerry (Jo Martin) tells members of staff that the personal protective equipment (PPE) that they’re wearing won’t provide them with sufficient protection, as it’s four years’ expired.

Jo said that while the scene was ‘awful to film’, it ‘was real’.


‘We know that there were real-life hospital bosses having to tell their workers that they weren’t going to be looked after,’ the actor said.

‘You could hardly believe it happened in this day and age, but it did. What we’re showing is the sheer exhaustion of the staff and their feelings of being left out there on their own. It was a complete debacle.’

Kate said that there are ‘life lessons to be learned and conversations to be had off the back of Casualty and Holby City, whether it’s about the daily hardships of NHS staff, the money they’re paid or the equipment they’re given’.

‘But hopefully, on shows like ours, we can make those social points at the same time as our heroes are seen in their best Avengers style embracing the same kind of life-or-death situations they always have,’ she added.

Holby City will return to BBC One on 10 November.

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