Cathy Shipton will leave the cast of BBC One’s Casualty in 2020, it’s been announced.
The actress plays the role of nurse Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin and first appeared on screen in Casualty’s pilot episode in 1986.
One of the show’s longest-serving cast members, Cathy has appeared in over 350 episodes over more than 30 years.
Today it is announced that she will make her final departure on screen next year.
Throughout the show’s history, Duffy’s storylines have allowed the programme to explore important and significant topics such as sexual assault, HIV, suicide, grief, single parenthood, humanitarianism, mental health and most recently, dementia.
Cathy Shipton said: “Walking in Duffy’s shoes through the years has taught me so much for which I’ll be forever grateful. I’m honoured and humbled to have played this inspiring woman. With sadness, but a sense of completion, l say goodbye.”
Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Casualty and Holby City, added: “Cathy’s enormous contribution has not just been to Casualty but also to the national consciousness and the British television drama landscape.
“She has made Duffy into a comforting Saturday night icon, the caring, ideal NHS nurse millions grew up with – and whom you’d want to be looked after by in times of need.
“She’s given us some of our most unforgettable stories and moments, not least of late in her heart-rending dementia storyline, and I simply cannot thank her enough.”
Cathy will be appearing on screen as Duffy until early 2020.
Casualty airs Saturday nights on BBC One.
You can watch the series online and catch up on episodes via BBC iPlayer.