Gabriella Leon as student nurse Jade Lovall (Picture: BBC)

Viewers will tonight meet the latest recruit to Casualty ED – student nurse Jade Lovall. We caught up with the actress who plays her, Gabriella Leon, to find out more about her.

Shes such a bolshy, chaotic whirlwind of a young woman, she told Shes very down to earth and funny. Shes quite work-shy and plays by her own rules. Shes cheeky and a bit of a party girl and you always want to be on the right side of her.

Gabriella says that Jade is a joy to play, and admitted that she almost couldnt believe it when she heard shed got the part. I was in the pub with a mate of mine and was a bit on edge because I thought if I didnt hear that day I probably hadnt got the part, she revealed.

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When my agent called and told me the good news I was overwhelmed and chuffed and thrilled. It was pure elation. It was a really special moment that I dont think Ill ever forget in my life.

Casualty is Gabriellas first television role. Shes previously worked a lot in theatre, having trained at East 15 Acting School. This audition came up and I read the casting breakdown and it was one of those special things where you read it and go “Thats me! I can do that!” says Gabriella. It felt like it was written just for me.

Her first day on set back in July was surreal, she shared, but she soon felt at home. Everyone there is such a joy to work with. Everybody is super-friendly and so welcoming. I felt very settled within my first week of being there.

Casualty - Series 33 - Ep12
Shes a clumsy, loveable rogue (Picture: BBC)

Gabriella and her friends are planning a viewing party to watch her first episode as it airs. Its such a nice thing to celebrate your mates successes, she said. We do the same for everyone in our little group. Weve got some Casualty-themed snacks happening – jelly beans with “antibiotics” written on the jar, silly things like that. Im really excited!

As far as upcoming storylines are concerned, Gabriella can only hint at whats in store for her character. Jade has a lot of opportunities to prove herself and prove shes a good nurse – because she is a good nurse, its just whether she fully believes in her potential, she said, adding Theres also a lot of room for it to not go so well!

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Viewers will soon be introduced to a second student nurse, Marty, played by Shaheen Jafargholi. Gabriella describes Marty and Jades relationship as a really interesting Clash of the Titans friendship and agrees that they could be described as frenemies. She says it was good that Shaheen started filming at almost the same time as her. Were like a little duo so it was really nice to go in there with a partner-in-crime.

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Gabriella is really enjoying the medical aspects of working on Casualty. She told us learning the various procedures is like choreography, and she has an interesting way of memorising the medical jargon. I like to learn the phrases almost like a song, because I think people remember song lyrics easier, she explained. I put the words to a beat, almost like a little rap until I get it. Its a little peculiar but that helps me remember the words!

Gabriella hopes the viewers will enjoy watching Jade as much as shes enjoying playing her. Shes a clumsy, loveable rogue, but shes so human and relatable, she smiled. Im really excited that the writers of Casualty have written such a fun role for a young woman. I think its important that they keep writing for women and for those whose voices arent being heard. We need more voices, more stories, more angles.

Sue Haasler is the author of the official Holby City book, which you can read about here. She also writes novels and theres information about all her books here

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