Holby City: 20 years, 20 facts and figures + Guest actors

Guest actors in Holby over the years…

The following actors had their first or second acting job at Holby City:

  • Zawe Ashton (Series 5)
  • Jodie Comer (Series 12)
  • Joe Cole (Series 12)
  • Alex Lawther (Series 16)
  • Charlotte Riley (Series 9)
  • Lee Ryan (Series 3)
  • Letitia Wright (Series 13)

Other stars include:

Jane Asher, Leslie Ash, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Susie Amy, Ronnie Ancona, Frances Barber, Paul Barber, Roy Barraclough, Amanda Barrie, Lynda Baron, Keith Barron, Aisling Bea, Lynda Bellingham, Ruby Bentall, Mark Benton, Richard Blackwood, Caroline Blakiston, Peter Bowles, Josh Bowman, Tracy Brabin, Richard Briers, Johnny Briggs, Simon Brodkin, Dora Bryan, James Buckley, Priyanga Burford, Todd Carty, Bertie Carvel, Raquel Cassidy, Craig Charles, Reverend Richard Coles, Anne Charleston, Noel Clarke, Olivia Colman, Nina Conti, Donna Croll, Josie D’Arby, Anthony Daniels, Alexa Davies, Lucy Davis, Simon Day, Les Dennis, Anita Dobson, Michelle Dotrice, Anne-Marie Duff, Noma Dumezweni, Jenny Eclair, Michelle Fairley, Michael Fassbender, Deborah Findlay, Fiona Glascott, Mel Giedroyc, Julian Glover, Sarah Gordy, Angela Griffin, Nitin Ganatra, David Gyasi, Edward Hardwicke, Jonny Harris, Pippa Haywood, Nicholas Hoult, Cherylee Houston, Karl Howman, Roy Hudd, Saeed Jaffrey, Oscar James, Louise Jameson, Lionel Jeffries, Phil Jupitus, Kevin Kennedy, Patsy Kensit, Andrew Lancel, Ian Lavender, Josie Lawrence, Harry Lloyd, Ophelia Lovibond, Kelly Marcel, Joseph Marcell, Jean Marsh, Ben Miles, Parminda Nagra, Kayvan Novak, Jack O’Connell, Paul O’Grady, Archie Panjabi, Diane Parish, Craig Parkinson, Bhasker Patel, Maxine Peake, Clarke Peters, Sian Phillips, Duncan Preston, Robert Powell, Romesh Ranganathan, Paul Ready, Sheila Reid, Lisa Riley, Ted Robins, Andrew Sachs, Peter Sallis, Annabelle Scholey, Marina Sirtis, Sheridan Smith, Lorraine Stanley, Maggie Steed, Ray Stevenson, Imogen Stubbs, Isy Suttie, Claire Sweeney, Eric Sykes, Sylvia Syms, Meera Syal, Mary Tamm, Gareth Thomas, Frank Thornton, Christopher Timothy, Ruby Turner, Catherine Tyldesley, Cathy Tyson, Fiona Wade, Nina Wadia, Ashley Walters, Don Warrington, Denise Welch, Ricky Whittle, Shaun Williamson, Zawe Ashton, Christine Bottomley, Anthony Flanagan, Kate Fleetwood, Johnny Flynn, Nell Hudson, Yolanda Kettle, Jennifer Kirby, Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Eleanor Matsuura, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew McNulty, Brenock O’Connor, Alison O’Donnell, Jonjo O’Neill, Manjinder Virk.

Holby City: 20 years, 20 facts and figures

Holby City: 20 years, 20 facts and figures

  • Initially the entire production set was just one set, which is now Darwin. This was split into Cardiothoracic and General Surgery bays. The series is now filmed on five sets.
  • Holby City’s original title was Surgical Two.
  • There were three doctors in the first episode, Anton Meyer, Nick Jordan and Kirstie Collins, in 1999,with a fourth Victoria Merrick (Lisa Faulkner) on screen from the second episode.
  • The series will reach its 1000th episode in the autumn.
  • Both Holby City and Casualty are set in Holby City Hospital. When Casualty proved popular with audiences, the BBC wanted to explore what happened to its patients once they were taken away to the surgical wards.
  • The hospital is based in the fictional city of Holby, in Wyvern County. The city is based on the real city of Bristol, where Casualty was formerly filmed. Holby has an airport called Holby International.
  • Holby City films for 50 weeks a year.
  • Holby City shares the same studio site as BBC One’s EastEnders. What is now the location for the Keller Ward set was once the EastEnders production offices at Elstree. The current design office for EastEnders now occupies the space that once was the Holby City maternity ward.
  • The first series was only nine episodes long.
  • Holby City has been nominated for more than 100 television awards and has won ten, including the 2008 Bafta for Best Continuing Drama.
  • Holby began with 11 main characters in its first series. It now has a core set of 16 main characters at any given year.
  • There has been 12 CEOs in the series (not including Casualty). The first Holby City CEO was Jan Goddard, played by Judy Loe, who started off on screen in Casualty.
  • Several episodes of the series have been shot on location abroad, including Ghana, Switzerland, Dubai, Stockholm, Paris, Kiev and Cape Town.
  • To ensure accuracy in scriptwriting, the series employs a team of researchers and medical advisors.
  • The series now makes 52 hours of drama every year.
  • While Holby City and Casualty are based in the same fictional city, they are actually filmed around 160 miles away from each other (Holby in Elstree and Casualty in Cardiff).
  • Hugh Quarshie is the longest serving actor on the series, having joined in 2001. He has worked on the show for 17 years and has appeared in nearly 600 episodes.
  • The issues tackled in Holby City continue to impact real lives. Recently the show was lauded for working on a storyline about male mental health with charity Mind, which resulted in contact from a GP who claimed patients had reached out for help specifically after watching the programme.
  • Cast members are taught how to give realistic injections, monitor blood pressure and check a pulse. They are also sent out into hospitals when they join to experience what it’s like to work in a real medical environment.
  • Holby City premiered on 12 January 1999.