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Casualty star Cathy Shipton announces her departure from BBC drama

Casualty’s nurse Duffy to bow out after 33 YEARS as actress Cathy Shipton confirms her departure from the BBC medical drama

  • Actress Cathy Shipton announced her departure in a statement released to MailOnline on Wednesday after making her debut in the show’s pilot in 1986
  • The television star, 62, has played Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin in more than 350 episodes of the Saturday night staple since its launch 
  • The actress paid tribute to her alter-ego in a statement, saying she’ll be ‘forever grateful’ to have portrayed Duffy and leaves the role with a ‘sense of completion’
  • Cathy will film her final scenes over the next few months and will bow out of Casualty once and for all in early 2020
  •  Duffy has been involved in hard-hitting storylines including sexual assault, suicide, HIV, single parenthood and, most recently, her diagnosis with dementia
  • Show bosses paid tribute to Cathy’s ‘enormous contribution’ to British TV, and said Duffy has become a ‘comforting Saturday night icon’ for the nation 

Casualty’s Nurse Duffy is to bow out after 33 years on the BBC drama.

Actress Cathy Shipton announced her departure in a statement released to MailOnline on Wednesday after making her debut as the dedicated medical professional in the show’s pilot episode back in 1986.

The television star, 62, has played Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin in more than 350 episodes of the Saturday night staple, making her one of only two cast members to have appeared  on the show since its launch.  

Farewell: Cathy Shipton has announced her departure from long-running BBC drama Casualty, 33-years after making her debut as dedicated nurse Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin

The actress paid tribute to her TV alter-ego in a heartfelt statement, saying she’ll be ‘forever grateful’ to have portrayed Duffy and leaves the role with a ‘sense of completion’. 

She said: ‘Walking in Duffy’s shoes through the years has taught me so much for which I’ll be forever grateful. 

‘I’m honoured and humbled to have played this inspiring woman. With sadness, but a sense of completion, l say goodbye.’ 

The actress will film her final scenes over the next few months and will bow out of Casualty once and for all in early 2020. 

Carol has appeared on the BBC drama since its launch, alongside Derek Thompson, 70, who plays the much-loved Charlie Fairhead.   

Old times: The 62-year old played Duffy in more than 350 episodes of the Saturday night staple following her debut in 1986

Old times: The 62-year old played Duffy in more than 350 episodes of the Saturday night staple following her debut in 1986

Over the years, Duffy has been involved in hard-hitting storylines including sexual assault, suicide, HIV, single parenthood and, most recently, her heartbreaking diagnosis with dementia. 

Show bosses paid tribute to Cathy’s ‘enormous contribution’ to British TV over her 33-year tenure on the show, and said Duffy has become a ‘comforting Saturday night icon’ for the nation.

Executive producer Simon Harper said: ‘Cathy’s enormous contribution has not just been to Casualty, but also to the national consciousness and the British Television Drama landscape.

‘She has made Duffy into a comforting Saturday night icon, the caring, ideal NHS nurse millions grew up with – and whom you’d want to be looked after by in times of need. 

Co-stars: Cathy one of only two cast-members to have appeared on the show since its launch, alongside Derek Thompson

Co-stars: Cathy one of only two cast-members to have appeared on the show since its launch, alongside Derek Thompson

‘She’s given us some of our most unforgettable stories and moments, not least of late in her heart-rending dementia storyline, and I simply cannot thank her enough.’ 

When it was announced earlier this year that Duffy would be diagnosed with early-onset dementia, producers vowed to work with a number of ‘fantastic charities’ to ensure they portrayed the disease accurately and sympathetically.

Harper said at the time: ‘We are mindful of telling them authentically and sensitively, which is why we are always so grateful to fantastic charities like Dementia UK, who give us invaluable advice.

‘Depicting this cruel disease will help raise awareness, and Cathy is knocking it out of the park with her heart-breaking performance.’  

Dramatic: Over the years, Duffy has been involved in hard-hitting storylines including sexual assault, suicide, HIV, single parenthood and, most recently, her diagnosis with dementia

Dramatic: Over the years, Duffy has been involved in hard-hitting storylines including sexual assault, suicide, HIV, single parenthood and, most recently, her diagnosis with dementia

Look back at Lisa Duffy’s storylines over the past 33 years 

  • Lisa’s debut- September 1986: Cathy Shipton makes her debut as nurse Lisa Duffy. Duffy is one of ten original characters conceived by the creators of Casualty Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin
  • Rape- December 1986: One of Duffy’s earliest storylines was being raped. Lisa described it as her most harrowing storyline in 2003
  • HIV scare: Duffy became the subject of an HIV scare when writers decided to explore the issue. They introduced her first love interest, Peter Tranter, who had contracted HIV but she was later found to not have it
  • Relationship with Andrew Bower- 1989:  Duffy discovers she is pregnant, Andrew expects her to sacrifice her career to bring the child up. He refuses to do the same and they split. She gives birth to a boy named Peter
  • Cancer scare- 1992: Duffy has a cancer scare and Andrew is reintroduced. Duffy fears Peter will need Andrew should she die and contacts him  
  • Departure- 1993: In 1991, Shipton went on holiday to the Maldives and realised she did not want to play the character forever. She decided to quit and filmed her final scenes in October 1993 but the door was always open
  • Return – 1998: Duffy returns to the hospital because ‘she loved it’ and ‘knows she’s good at it’
  •  Affair and baby- 1999: Duffy has an affair with consultant Max Gallagher. Lisa is pregnant in real life and so her character Duffy has husband Andrew’s baby
  • Romance and departure- 2002: Duffy developed a relationship with hospital security guard Ryan Johnson. The nurse is devastated when Ryan steals her money and disappears. Ryan’s return formed Duffy’s departure storyline from the series. 
  • Casualty’s 20th anniversary- 2006: In 2006, Shipton agreed to reprise the role of Duffy for two episodes in Cambodia. 
  • Reprisal- 2015:  Shipton reprised the role to help launch the thirtieth series of Casuality, opening with tearjerking episodes

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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