Back from the DEAD...
TV Times|July 18, 2020
Joe McFadden on his ghostly guest return as Holby’s Raf and life after winning Strictly
ELAINE REILLY

HOLBY CITY

TUESDAY / BBC1 / 8PM / DRAMA

They say variety is the spice of life, and if that’s the case then Joe McFadden’s career is packed full of flavour!

After landing his first role, aged 12, in iconic detective drama Taggart, the Glasgow-born actor got his big break three years later on Scottish soap Take the High Road.

From there, he’s enjoyed a string of lead characters in primetime dramas, including fan favourite PC Joe Mason in 1960s-set hit Heartbeat, as well as treading the boards in theatreland and winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 with pro partner Katya Jones.

This week, Joe’s returning to his old Holby City stomping ground to make a special guest appearance as surgeon Raffaello ‘Raf’ Di Lucca in the most exceptional of circumstances: as a ghost visiting terminally ill wife Essie (played by Kaye Wragg).

Fans were left devastated after Joe’s surprise exit from the BBC1 medical drama in December 2017 in a shocking storyline that saw Raf murdered during a shooting spree by the son of Holby stalwart Henrik Hanssen (Guy Henry).

Here, in an exclusive interview, Joe, 44, tells TV Times why he’s delighted to be back on the wards…

It isn’t every day you get asked to return as a ghost!

[Laughing] No, it doesn’t happen often enough! But there’s nothing naff about Raf’s return to Holby; there’s no wobbly vision! He reappears as a figment of Essie’s imagination. People do talk to their dead loved ones, and Essie is in this sad situation. There’s no more treatment [for her ovarian cancer] and she’s basically having palliative care. Raf comes to her and offers advice about making everything right with the people she loves. It’s very poignant and has been done really sensitively.

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