Charlie in Casualty

Casualty legend Derek Thompson announces he’s leaving show after 37 years as fans devastated

We don't want to say goodbye to Charlie!

Casualty legend Derek Thompson has announced that he’s leaving the show after 37 years as he prepares to say goodbye to the ED.

Derek has revealed that Charlie Fairhead doesn’t have many days in the ED left as he announces his departure from the BBC show.

Now, fans are sharing their devastation after hearing the news that Charlie won’t be on their screens for much longer.

Charlie is looking at Dylan with concern in Casualty
Derek’s leaving the role (Credit: BBC)

Casualty: Derek Thompson is leaving after 37 years

Derek has announced that he will be leaving Casualty after 37 years of playing the role of Charlie Fairhead.

Derek has starred in over 900 episodes of the hit medical drama and is the show’s longest-serving cast member.

Now, Derek has decided that it’s the right time to hang those scrubs up for good, revealing: “The time has come for me to hang up Charlie’s scrubs after the most wonderful 37 years. Charlie Fairhead was inspired by a real nurse – Pete Salt. Together with the writers and producers, I have tried to bring to Charlie the compassion, kindness, heroism and sound judgement that we all see and love in Pete and I want to say thanks to Pete and everyone else over that time who has inspired me in bringing this character to life.”

The Executive Producer of Casualty, Jon Sen added: “Derek and I would often joke that, after such a long and dramatic career in the NHS, there was almost nothing that Charlie hadn’t seen. So it was an amazing surprise to me when Derek arrived with a brilliant idea for Charlie’s exit as part of an upcoming storyline, which was too good to pass up. We will all miss Derek enormously. Over nearly four decades, Derek has crafted an iconic character who is woven into the fabric of British TV history. We will miss his craft, his humour and his on-screen presence. We’re also going to miss a friend, so for the next few months we’re going to have a ball filming Charlie’s final chapter.”

Charlie in Casualty
Charlie’s been in Casualty since it first aired in 1986 (Credit: BBC)

When will Charlie Fairhead leave Casualty?

Charlie Fairhead has been working in the ED since the show first aired in 1986, being at the heart and centre of the show.

He’s been involved in almost every storyline imaginable, from having a cardiac arrest during a gang siege to saying a heartbreaking goodbye to his colleague Duffy.

Now, Charlie’s final scenes are set to air in 2024 with actor Derek filming his exit scenes this autumn.

Casualty star Derek Thompson looking gloom as Charlie is in danger in this week's Casualty (Credit: BBC)
Charlie’s final scenes will air next year (Credit: BBC)

Casualty fans emotional by Charlie exit news

Casualty fans have been left devastated by the news that Derek is leaving his role of Charlie.

One fan wrote: “Absolutely gutted. This is the end of an era. I’ve literally grown up with Charlie.”

Another found the news incomprehendable, writing: “What?? No this cannot be allowed to happen. The department will fall apart without Charlie.”

Another Casualty fan on Twitter cried: “Noooooooo!!!!! Charlie IS Casualty!”

A fourth and final viewer commented: “Aww that makes me sad. The ‘ED’ won’t be the same without ‘Charlie’… Best of luck to Derek for the future.”

Read more: Casualty cast 2023: Meet the staff of Holby’s emergency department

YouTube video player

Will you miss Charlie in Casualty? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.

Tamzin Meyer
Assistant Soap Editor