Long-running Casualty actor to exit after 37 years

"The time has come for me to hang up Charlie’s scrubs," says actor Derek Thompson.

UK actor Derek Thompson will be leaving Casualty, ending 37 years in the role of Charlie Fairhead.

Appearing in nearly 900 episodes, he is Casualty’s longest-serving cast member and has played a central part in the show since it launched in 1986.

Derek Thompson says: “The time has come for me to hang up Charlie’s scrubs after the most wonderful 37 years. Charlie Fairhead was inspired by a real nurse – Pete Salt. Together with the writers and producers, I have tried to bring to Charlie the compassion, kindness, heroism and sound judgement that we all see and love in Pete and I want to say thanks to Pete and everyone else over that time who has inspired me in bringing this character to life.”

Jon Sen, Executive Producer of Casualty for BBC Studios, says: “Derek and I would often joke that, after such a long and dramatic career in the NHS, there was almost nothing that Charlie hadn’t seen. So it was an amazing surprise to me when Derek arrived with a brilliant idea for Charlie’s exit as part of an upcoming storyline, which was too good to pass up. We will all miss Derek enormously. Over nearly four decades, Derek has crafted an iconic character who is woven into the fabric of British TV history. We will miss his craft, his humour and his on-screen presence. We’re also going to miss a friend, so for the next few months we’re going to have a ball filming Charlie’s final chapter.”

His final scenes will air next year in a yet-to-be-revealed storyline which will see the character front and centre of the action.

Casualty screens in Australia on BBC First.

2 Responses

  1. Jon Sen really has some explaining to do after what happened during his tenure at EastEnders and now what has been happening while he’s head at Casualty. Disgraceful. I don’t see Casualty lasting much longer.

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