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
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
‘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.’
A look back at Lisa Duffy’s best storylines over the past 33 years:
Dramatic: Duffy has been involved in hard-hitting storylines including sexual assault, suicide, HIV, single parenthood and her diagnosis with dementia (pictured 1993)
Lisa’s debut – September 1986: Cathy Shipton makes her debut as nurse Lisa Duffy. Duffy is one of ten original characters created by the creators of Casualty Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin
Rape – December 1986: One of Duffy’s earliest storylines was being raped. Duffy is later faced with her attacker when he is admitted to the ward, but he dies shortly after. 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 develops 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 for two episodes in Cambodia.
Reprisal – 2015: Shipton reprised the role again to help launch the thirtieth series of Casualty
Relationship with Charlie Fairhead – 2016: Duffy and Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson) have shared a ‘will they?, wont they?’ type of relationship spanning thirty years. Duffy and Charlie acknowledge their feelings for one another with a kiss in 2016
Return of Ryan: Duffy and Charlie’s relationship is soon tested by the sudden arrival of Ryan, who has received divorce papers from Duffy. Ryan wants to fight for their marriage
The wedding – 2017: Duffy and Charlie’s thirty year love story culminates in their wedding
Depression – 2018: Duffy is diagnosed with clinical depression. She has a one night stand with Bill and Charlie eventually finds out
Dementia – 2019: Duffy is diagnosed with dementia. The story was planned months in advance and Duffy had been forgetting things long before her diagnosis
Renewal of the vows – 2019: Duffy tells Charlie she wants to be his wife again and face their problems together. They renew their vows
Final goodbye – 2020: On Wednesday, it was confirmed Duffy would leave the series at the conclusion of her dementia storyline in 2020
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