Casualty's best-known character is leaving the show after 37 years 4 months ago

Casualty's best-known character is leaving the show after 37 years

The end of an era.

Derek Thompson, who plays senior nurse Charlie Fairhead on Casualty, is set to leave the BBC drama after 37 years. The 75-year-old is the medical drama's longest-serving cast member.

Inspired by a real-life nurse Pete Salt, Thompson's character is the only remaining character from the show's first episode in 1986.

"The time has come for me to hang up Charlie's scrubs after the most wonderful 37 years," said the Belfast-born actor in a statement.

"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.

"I want to say thanks to Pete and everyone else over that time who has inspired me in bringing this character to life."


Over the years, the character has had some memorable moments, including being shot in the chest, being held hostage at gunpoint, getting run over by an ambulance on his wedding day and being driven off a pier. He also had two stress-induced heart attacks and a pulmonary embolism.

Thompson will be filming until the autumn, and his final scenes as Charlie will air next year.

Jon Sen, executive producer of Casualty said: "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."

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