Legendary US actress headed for new series of Casualty

Signing is a major coup for BBC drama

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There are a lot of people we expect to see popping up in Casualty. Duffy, Charlie, probably someone who left EastEnders a few months ago and said they were going to Hollywood.

But the latest name to announce that they will be hitting the hospital took us by surprise.

Because it’s Sharon Gless, who played Christine Cagney in Cagney and Lacey in the eighties. This world is a weird place, isn’t it?

Sharon will play Zsa Zsa Harper-Jenkinson (she definitely went to a nice school), a who is a former mentor of medical consultant Dylan Keogh.

“I’m a rabid Anglophile,” Emmy-award winner Sharon, 74, told Metro Online, explaining her decision.

“Some of our finest American TV is British. Zsa Zsa is a wonderful character and I hope you all enjoy her too.”

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While the latest 30th anniversary series of Casualty has just come to an end, producers are making sure that there’s plenty to entice us to the next one which starts later this summer.

The series will also follow a news-based agenda, as it will relocate to a refugee camp in Northern France for a double-episode opener.

Casualty is pushing boundaries all over the shop actually, as this week it was praised for a one-off episode which was filmed in one continuous shot, following an hour in the hospital.

It required a cable-free camera, 360-degree shots, hidden microphones and a cameraman to be lowered in on a harness.

The show’s original co-creator, Paul Unwin, even returned as a guest writer.

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The ambitious project was part of the show’s birthday celebrations, concluding a special 30th anniversary series.

While many people loved the different episode, some criticised everything from the sound quality to the direction. It’s on on a Saturday night, guys, just top your wine up and your standards re direction will get a lot lower.

Anyway Duffy – or as she insists on being known in the real world, ‘Cathy Shipton’ – absolutely loved it.

“It is so exciting and nerve-wracking to be working on this episode and unlike anything any of us cast or crew have ever attempted before,” she said.

“It is a brilliant fly on the wall episode in real time, placing nurses central in the storyline. It will become a classic Casualty.”

Just like having one half of Cagney and Lacey on the ward will too, we’d imagine. And if there’s anyone around looking a bit shifty, don’t worry – Sharon has experience of crime-fighting too.

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