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24 September 2014
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Anita Dobson, Peter Bowles and Susannah York join Holby for 50th episode

Picking up from Casualty's epic two-parter which opens the new series on 13 and 14 September 2003, Holby City follows the repercussions on the wards.

Episode 50, which is due to transmit on BBC ONE on Tuesday 16 September, is boosted by the combined talents of the oscar-nominated Susannah York (Oh What a Lovely War, Superman) and Peter Bowles (To the Manor Born, Rumpole of the Bailey) and Anita Dobson returns to Elstree but not to the Queen Vic.

Susannah York, who was once Hollywood co-star to icons such as Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor, brings a certain eccentricity to the role of Trust Executive, Helen Grant.

Composed and immaculate, she is a thorn in Ric Griffin's side as she conducts an audit of Holby City General Surgery at a particularly fraught time.

Despite an extensive record of blockbuster movies and acclaimed television series, Susannah York confesses to have been "terrified" when she started filming Holby City: "It is completely new to me and as such has presented a huge challenge."

She is quick to point out that she is enjoying the experience.

Just across the ward, we see six feet two inches of grandeur in the form of Peter Bowles, clad in peppermint green scrubs, enquiring after a patient's haemopneumothorax with forceps in one hand and a knife in the other.

Bowles has been cast as Bernie Farraday, an old-school thoracic surgeon with an unjustifiably high opinion of his abilities.

Professor Khan (Art Malik), who has little time for his bedside manner, dismisses him as "Bernie the butcher" after he demonstrates a lack of control during an operation.

Just before a large jet of prosthetic blood hits Peter Bowles across the chest he enthuses: "This is the friendliest, most welcoming set I've ever been on. The people here are proud and it shows."

Through the mayhem caused by the train smash outside Holby, Anita Dobson scuttles onto the set as anxious and wide-eyed Lynn Spencer.

She searches for her son-in-law and learns that she has lost a daughter in the accident but has gained a grandchild who was born by c-section at the crash site.

Just as Leslie Grantham returns to film on the EastEnders set, it seems fitting that Anita should appear - being no stranger to the BBC Studios at Elstree - but she giggles: "I found it really weird when I started filming, coming though the gates after all these years. I found it a delightful surprise to find myself in this whole new world which is Holby City. I am thrilled to be a part of it."

Executive producer Kathleen Hutchison said: "Described as the sexiest on television, I'm just delighted that the high calibre of our regular cast and the recognised quality of the show is attracting the stature of guest actors that it now does.

"We've been thrilled to have Emma Samms, Antonio Fargas, Graeme Garden, Ronald Pickup and Leslie Philips on our wards recently."

Mal Young, BBC Controller of Drama Series concludes: "We are coming to the end of our first year of transmitting Holby City every week and it has proved a great hit with the viewers.

"Holby City is consistently achieving seven to eight million viewers, confirming its status as one of the BBC's best loved dramas."

Notes to Editors

Episode 50, Love Nor Money, was written by Matthew Hall and directed by Michael Offer.

The producer is Pam Fraser Solomon. Holby City's series producer is Richard Stokes. Co-executive producer is Mal Young, Controller of Drama Series.

Maxwell Caulfield, James Redmond and Suzanne Packer boost regular cast of Casualty as it comes of age (01.07.03)

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 BBC radio networks.



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