Rosie Marcel – who plays Holby City titan Jac Naylor – has been voted Best Drama Star in the Inside Soap Awards 2021. However, this year’s victory is bittersweet. Given that Holby will leave our screens forever in March following the BBC’s decision to axe the medical drama, there’s a tinge of sadness in the air as we chat to Rosie for the first time since the news broke…
“Bidding farewell to Jac is a bit like a death in some ways for me,” admits the actress, who has played the formidable heart surgeon for 16 years. “When I was given the news that the show was closing down, I went through stages of grief. First, you’re really angry, then you get complacent – then comes the emotion, and then you’re forgiving.
“We’re at the final stage now and all just getting on with it,” she adds. “Yet I’ll be extremely sad to say goodbye to Jac. She’s been my friend for 16 years, and I’m not afraid to say that she’s one of the most important characters in the show’s history. She’s touched a lot of people’s lives.”
Viewers were stunned when the Beeb announced its plans to cull Holby, with fans launching a petition to save it. Yet, the hospital elevator separating the programme and its sister show Casualty is due to go out of service as planned next spring. Given that the ward exploded just two months ago, how on earth are the cast and crew going to top that for the show’s finale?
“What we have planned is really spectacular,” promises Rosie. “The ending is a massive nod to the NHS and to everyone making Holby. We have nearly 300 people here who are losing their jobs, yet we’re all soldiering on and pulling out all the stops. We could have just given up and gone, ‘Sod this,’ but we’re not. Just wait and see what we can do!”
Pick up this week’s copy of Inside Soap to see what Rosie also has to say on Jac’s brain tumour, and to read the special message that she has for her character’s loyal fanbase…
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