Former Casualty star Jason Durr opens up on ‘lovely’ Charlie Fairhead actor’s soap exit

Good Morning Britain welcomed former Casualty star Jason Durr and Strictly Come Dancing winer Ellie Leach to the sofa on Tuesday morning (March 19) to talk about their new touring production of Cluedo 2. However, hosts Susanna Reid and Ed Balls couldn’t resist quizzing Jason about events on last week’s Casualty, which saw legendary character Charlie Fairhead, played by Derek Thompson, exit the show.

Jason worked with Derek on the long running BBC medical drama for six years from 2016. He played nurse David Hide who enjoyed a close friendship with Charlie who helped him deal with his bipolar disorder and his family dramas.

It appears that the duo’s friendship also extends to real life as Jason revealed that he had been talking to the star since he filmed his final scenes, revealing he was “very happy.” Although he was on stage when the episode aired, Jason made sure to connect with his pal.

“I haven’t seen it but I have spoken to him and he’s well and very happy and…he’s doing really really well. It was just a joy to work with him for six years,” he gushed.

“He became a good friend and has become a good friend and he’s just the loveliest man in the world. And to have done something for 38 years…” he trailed off, looking astonished.

Viewers were in tears as Derek hung up Charlie’s scrubs and left the programme after nearly four decades.

It was touch and go as to whether he would walk out of the ED under his own steam or leave in a coffin following the previous week’s dramatic episode, which saw him stabbed by a patient.

As he hovered between life and death, the nurse had flashbacks to a pivotal day in his early career as the team fought to save his life.

Fortunately, he made it through, but the experience changed him. As Dr Stevie Nash (Elinor Lawless) chatted to him after the surgery, he told her he was retiring.

Obviously, the ED couldn’t let him go without a send-off, and as a surprise, they had purchased him a yellow Volkswagon Beetle – identical to the one he had arrived at the ED in. In poignant scenes, he left the show exactly as he entered it, driving off in the iconic car.


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