Fans will be delighted to see the return of actress Brenda Fricker for this Comic Relief Special episode.
Brenda played nurse Megan Roach, in the first five series of the show and also made an appearance at Charlie & Baz’s wedding back in Series 12.
She is the third actor to make a guest return this series during CASUALTY’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, following on from Cathy Shipton, who returned at the beginning of the series to appear as Duffy in a two part episode set in Cambodia whilst Gerald Kyd returned to his role of Sean Maddox for five episodes and ended up whisking paramedic Comfort away in a whirlwind romance.
Megan returns to the hospital not as a nurse this time, but as the relative of a patient. Her grandson is admitted to the ward after self-harming, and islater diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst it’s not exactly a happy time for Megan, it does give her the chance to be reunited with former colleague Charlie and she even manages to make heartless Nathan see the error of his ways.
‘The best thing for me about being part of this episode is that it explores the issue of mental health,’ explains Brenda. ‘It’s an area that people often find difficult to talk about, or they talk about it with shame. These kind of problems are incredibly common, which is why Comic Relief is trying to draw attention to it and I’m very proud to be involved in something like that.’
Brenda decided to reprise her role as Megan following a call from writer Richard Curtis, ‘I couldn’t refuse,’ she recalls. ‘It was always great fun being in CASUALTY. To be given the chance to go back and be involved with something like Comic Relief at the same time was just fantastic!’
And despite the one-off appearance, Brenda doesn’t rule out returning to the show in future. ‘It was an absolute joy being back and yes, I’d happily return for another stint if the right opportunity came up,’ she concludes. ‘Starring in CASUALTY was a brilliant time in my life!’