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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Casualty – interview with Jaye Jacobs

Jaye Jacobs as Donna Jackson

Fun-loving and outspoken staff nurse Donna Jackson is in for a huge shock when she's catapulted into the heart of the ED to help out during a major crisis in the first episode of Casualty series 25.

With a dangerous teenager at large in the hospital, actress Jaye Jacobs explains what it was like for Holby City's party girl to take on some responsibility for a change.

"Donna is doing lots of extra shifts because she now has her little girl to look after and she needs the money," explains Jaye.

"So she's doing extra work at the ED and there's this terrible catastrophe and everybody gets roped in to help. And it's very difficult for Donna because the ED guys are used to being at the front line, but she isn't – she's more used to routine operations – and she's quite shocked at the events. She does dig in to help but she's really quite scared".

Although Casualty and Holby City characters occasionally guest star in their sister shows, this is the first time actress Jaye has been down to Casualty.

She says: "We've done a few crossovers between Holby and Casualty but this is the first time I've done a Casualty. The two shows are so different, even though they're both medical.

"It's really nice to come down to Bristol and have a change of scenery but it really is like doing a completely different job."

With Jaye's Casualty episode a special feature-length series opener, what can viewers expect to see?

"It's a really tense and dramatic episode," says Jaye. "All these kids keep coming into the ED with injuries and everybody's trying to work out what's going on.

"Donna has to work really hard alongside the ED staff and she does flag at times but she gets support from the Casualty team where she needs it, which is good."

Renowned throughout Holby for being disorganised and a little lazy, Donna has her work cut out to keep up with the ED team.

Says Jaye: "Donna really has to put herself in the line in this episode and it's not something she's used to doing.

"And, of course, she now has little Mia to look after – if anything happens to Donna, Mia is completely on her own. The stakes have really moved on for Donna over the last couple of years. She's had to accept some responsibility and it's not now just about which man she's going to sleep with next – although that's still quite fun, too!"

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