On 1st September 1986, we were introduced to a feisty young Nurse called Lisa Duffin ‘Duffy’, played brilliantly by Cath Shipton. Almost thirty years on from her original appearance, Duffy is set to return to the Hospital that kick-started a, let’s face it, run of bad luck! She’s been in and out of the show throughout its three decades, but now that she’s back for good, here’s hoping she brings some lucky heather with her, and a four-leaf clover for Charlie!
Let’s look at Duffy’s unfortunate turn of events to date:
-The first stroke of bad luck was her rape ordeal, and she didn’t go to the police about it, either. Typical determination from the Nurse we know and love, although she did regret her actions afterwards. Luckily staff were on hand to comfort her, hello Charlie?
-Her first proper boyfriend, Peter was diagnosed with HIV – they split up but then Peter fell foul of the Duffin curse, he died in a car crash! Maybe this is why Charlie has steered clear?
-Promoted to Sister and at around the same time, Duffy announced that she was up the duff! Pregnant by Andrew who was one of the doctors. Just to add an extra dimension to the drama, Duffy declared that she didn’t love him (because she loved Charlie, we all like to think!). Although events took a turn for the better when Duffy realised that she did love Andrew (maybe Charlie wasn’t available at the time…) and married him. They left Holby when she was expecting her second baby. Bye bye Charlie… or was it Au Revoir?
-Duffy returned for Baz and Charlie’s wedding. I’m sure I can’t have been alone in yelling at the television for Duffy to give a reason why they shouldn’t be getting married? After all, her return was coupled with Charlie being mown down and suffering a broken arm. Are we sure it wasn’t Duffy at the wheel of that ambulance?! The wedding went ahead, but at the reception we learned that Duffy’s husband has cheated on her. There’s a tender moment which felt like it could turn into ‘something’, but doesn’t.
-That wasn’t the last we saw of Duffy, though! The wedding episodes signalled Duffy’s return. She was back home at Holby as an Agency Nurse in the ED and naturally, when she applied for a permanent Sister job she was successful and back where she belonged.
-An ill-advised affair with Consultant, Max (not Charlie… sigh…) was next on the agenda, although good old Charlie saved the day and suggested that it was not worth ruining her family for.
-A third pregnancy, her third baby with husband, Andrew, followed not long afterwards and although it was typical Duffy luck that Andrew was initially not happy about the baby, they came through it.
-This run of good fortune was temporary, of course, and Andrew met his maker at the hands of a disgruntled patient – wrong place, wrong time! Bye bye Andrew and hello Charlie, but only in a midwifery capacity, as he delivered Duffy’s third child.
-You’d have thought after a cacophony of disasters, that Holby’s cursed Nurse would give up on love. Not the case, though as she fell in love with a Security Guard called Ryan who took her for every penny. So they split up? Noooooooo, they reconciled when Ryan said he was sorry and left for a new life in New Zealand. Is it really goodbye this time, Charlie.
In the wake of Duffy’s departure for pasture’s new, Charlie has continued to suffer every misfortune going, and last year brought yet more rotten luck as our favourite Nurse suffered a heart attack which was exceedingly close to fatal. Who was on hand to help to nurse him back to health? Yes, Nurse Duffin, back from New Zealand and taking an agency shift or two at her home, and thankfully not just an angel sent to signal impending doom to the hapless Mr Fairhead. The seed was sown for a permanent return for the character and Duffy is indeed coming back, very soon and permanently. Surely this will mean romance is on the cards for the two beloved original characters? Probably not, Casualty don’t like to give us what we want do they?! Time will tell…