Cathy Shipton has admitted her Casualty character Duffys recent dementia diagnosis has been the toughest storyline in her 30-year career.
Cathy first joined the BBC drama in 1986 and between 1993 and 2006 was a recurring character, before rejoining in 2016 for good.
After months of worry and out of character actions that have seen Duffy distance herself from her husband, and boss, Charlie, she had an appointment with a neurologist who told her he believes she has early stages of vascular dementia.
Duffy told Charlie – although he decided to keep it between them for now and not tell their team.
Its undoubtedly the toughest story line, its bittersweet in a way as a performer because the show is responsible, and everything is based in fact, said Cathy, speaking on This Morning.
People are going through the issues we show, theyve taken a lot of care, consulted Dementia UK and played it out so slowly.
Duffy cheated on Charlie and he ended their marriage after he found out when the man she slept with let slip about their tryst when he turned up in the emergency department. The rest of the ED turned on Duffy too as Robyn and Louise took the news of what shed done badly.
Speaking of the moment Duffy revealed her diagnosis to Charlie, Cathy said: The sadness is they dont get together with her telling him.
She tells him as her boss not her husband.
The cast has been working with several charities, such as Dementia UK, to ensure the storyline is handled accurately and with sensitivity.
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