Holby City continues to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year and has already a host of old faces returning to the BBC hospital’s halls.
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And now the show has announced Elliot star Paul Bradley is the latest to return to the drama, making his next debut in the long-running series’ landmark 1000th episode.
The character will be back in the wards for an ongoing storyline that features in a total of five episodes.
When Elliot suddenly pops up, he claims he’s simply there to catch up with his old friend Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel).
But as the plot unfolds, it’s slowly revealed Elliot’s reason for returning is actually quite a bit more sinister, and he has an ulterior motive.
Diane Lloyd (Patricia Potter) will also be joining Bradley, as she features in a pivotal episode which takes viewers outside of the hospital and to somewhere completely out of the doctors and nurses’ comfort zones.
The character was last seen in 2007, and she will leave some of her ex-colleagues very taken-aback by her unexpected arrival.
What’s more, the iconic characters of the Tan twins will return – conjoined babies born in 2008 who will pop back up as 11-year-old children.
The duo return to the ward where their life-altering surgery took place.
Speaking about his return to the hit programme, Paul shared his excitement to be sinking his teeth into the role once more.
He enthused: “I’m really looking forward to returning to a programme on which I spent so many happy years.
“Holby has always been a hive of really exciting and imaginative stories and this won’t be any different, it’s going to be a cracker!”
Patricia echoed her co-star’s sentiments, saying: “It’s lovely to be returning to Holby.
“I really enjoyed my time there and made fantastic friends as well as meeting my husband.
“Returning after a decade is very weird but it’s as friendly as ever and revisiting Diane feels like putting on an old glove!
“She had a tragic end and this storyline feels like it puts the character to bed with some peace and resolution,” the star continued. “It’s great.”
Executive producer Simon Harper went on to praise the actors for their work on the show, saying: “How could we possibly celebrate Holby’s 20th anniversary without a return stint from one of our most beloved characters?
“Elliot was the heart and soul of the hospital and the nearest thing to a father Jac has ever had – and her desire to please and prove herself to him at a particularly fraught time will have huge emotional consequences in our climactic story for 2019.
“I’m so delighted to welcome the glorious Paul Bradley back to his Holby family, and I also know just how hungry the audience have been for this moment, so it’s wonderful to finally see it happen.”
“It’s not often we literally bring a character back from the dead, and no, Diane won’t be walking out of the shower and telling her colleagues it was all a decade long dream,” Simon promised. “Her return is in itself an anniversary homage to a time on the show when we experimented quite regularly with genre and style, so the audience can expect something very different indeed in a unique and quirky episode where Ric faces a terrifying and life-changing choice, and the world of the hospital is literally turned upside down.”
Holby City airs Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC One.