In 1986 the BBC's new drama; Casualty hit our television
screens. Hounded by MP'S but loved by the viewers, Casualty has become a
national institution. Launching the careers of Robson Green, Clive Mantle,
Claire Goose and providing a stepping stone for the many other famous faces that
have walked through the famous doors of Holby A&E.
However we are here to look at the story behind Charlie and Baz, Casualty's
first couple and by far - the most popular.
Known best for his role in 'Harry's Game', Derek Thompson stepped into the role
of Charge Nurse Charlie Fairhead. Julia Watson sought the sound advice of her
agent who told her not to miss out on being part of this hard-hitting new drama,
she took the role of Dr. Barbara Hayes and the rest.....well it's history....
Charlie and Baz captured the viewers hearts, they were the couple everyone
talked about and for a while it seemed that they would be destined for
happiness. But, back then it was not meant to be. It was Casualty's policy to
keep the cast fresh. Doctors and Nurses would come and go, just like they do in
real hospitals. Baz, being and S.H.O would be first to move on. Having done her
time in a 'Casualty' department, she would move on to specialise in paediatrics,
or geriatrics etc.. So Julia Watson left the show, thus Baz walking out on
Julia went on to work at the National Theatre and she also worked on television
shows; A Touch of Spice, Lovejoy and Never the Twain, starring Windsor Davis.
Her professional success was mirrored in her personal life when she married poet
David Harsent and they had a daughter, Hannah.
Derek Thompson remained on Casualty, making Charlie Fairhead one of Britain's
best loved television characters. He too found happiness with actress Dee
Sadler, they later had a son who was named Charlie!
Back on Casualty, Charlie's love life was hardly pulse rating. After Baz he had
a few faltering affairs, then he saw social worker Trish Baynes for a while.
Their relationship looked set to develop but she doubted Charlie's commitment
and they too split up. With nothing else in his life but work, Charlie suffered
a nervous breakdown. Good friend Duffy saw him through the worse of it but
Charlie yearned for someone to connect with, a partner. a lover, a family.
Behind the scenes a new producer stepped on board. She decided that Charlie and
co needed a personal life. She felt that it was the guest actors that got to do
all the emotional stuff and decided to give the regular characters a go. For
Mike, Rachel, Jude and co their storylines fell in place. Mike and Rachel would
get together, Jude and Matt's relationship would be explored and Ash would
suffer the effects of a racial attack. However, for Charlie it was less simple,
there was no one in the department that was extra special to him. So the new
producer looked at his past. After much discussion they decided that Baz was the
love of his life. Derek Thompson thought it made sense and to everyone's
delight, Julia Watson was willing and able to return to Casualty
So in February 1995 Baz walked back into Charlie's life. It wasn't a 'hugs and
kisses' reunion, Baz was now married and Charlie was still hurt by the way she
left him. There was plenty of tension, staff gossip and finally a cliffhanging
As Series 10 began, Julia and Derek graced the covers of many magazines.
Columnists speculated on the outcome of 'that kiss' and viewers waited anxiously
for the return of their favourite drama. Baz's husband Peter was brought into
the show and was played by ex-Drop the Dead Donkey actor Robert Duncan. When
Casualty returned Charlie handed Baz back an earring he found 'under the bed'.
That comment said it all and Charlie and Baz embarked on a full blown affair. It
was not without it's problems, Baz and Peter, Charlie and Peter, Charlie and Zoe,
and in the lead up to the Christmas episode an unwell Baz. The media asked 'Is
history repeating itself?', and their suspicions were confirmed when in the
Christmas episode, Baz found out she was pregnant with Charlie's baby.
When Casualty returned for it's 11th series you could not escape the baby mania.
In the lead up to the first episode of the new series, Julia and Derek graced
EVERY TV magazine cover along with a new arrival.... Charlie and Baz's baby son,
Life for Baz and Charlie was pretty quiet during series 11. However off screen
Julia did the interview circuit, appearing on This Morning and Capital woman.
Series 12 took a lifetime to reach the screens. It was firstly postponed because
of Princess Diana's death. It would be screened on the Sunday allowing room for
the BBC's coverage of Diana's funeral. It was then postponed until the following
Thursday due to the death of Mother Teresa. When it finally arrived Baz and
Charlie would thrust back into the spotlight for what would be their most
traumatic series yet!
Baz and Charlie first clashed over Jack and despite his departure they found it
hard to move on. Thus being the start of many heated rows, Charlie's one night
stand with Zoe, and finally a reconciliation. Around November when their
problems first arose, Inside Soap announced that at the end of the series
Charlie and Baz WOULD marry. However it would not be before he had left Baz and
spent the night with personnel officer, Zoe. A month later Inside Soap again
made reference to the wedding and said that it would be a big occasion with
Patrick Robinson, who played Ash, a definite on the invite list. It was rumoured
that Nigel Le Valient and Robson Green had also been asked back but were unable
to because they had other work in the pipeline. Julia and Derek kept busy off
screen. Julia appeared on Fully Booked and Derek joined various other cast
members for a wild west medley in aid of Children in Need. Over Christmas the
Daily Mail featured an article on Baz and Charlie, stating how sad it was that
happy couples made boring drama. They said how Baz and Charlie were suffering
from emotional turmoil because watching a happy couple was like watching paint
dry. They also stated that Julia and Derek were sad to read that Baz and Charlie
were to split again and confronted the shows producers. The mail said that it
was a testament to how valued they are on Casualty that they were listened to.
Hence another special guest being announced for the wedding, Brenda Fricker
alias Nurse Megan would also be returning. In late January 1998, GMTV hosted a
Casualty special. They went behind the scenes and caught up with Julia Watson.
Looking radiant, Julia along with Dr. Hilary Jones, unveiled a Casualty
surprise. As they drew back the ever famous green curtains they revealed not
only Patrick and Brenda, but Clive Mantle and Cathy Shipton resuming their roles
as Mike and Duffy, for what was turning into the wedding of the year. Although
no - one would give the game away, it was already obvious that the media had
been correct, Baz and Charlie were to marry
A week later, Julia was presented with a shock as she became victim to Michael
Aspel and 'This is your Life'. Halfway through filming the wedding episodes she
was sprung by Michael under the watchful eye of Derek and the Casualty crew.
They were all there to congratulate Julia in the studio with Ian Bleasdale,
Clive Mantle and Derek all having their say on Julia. Ian who plays paramedic
Josh, described as her a 'good friend', whilst Clive said she was 'a trusted
colleague and a wonderful actress'. Derek said that they had no say what so ever
in Baz and Charlie's future. A comment which prompted many giggles from the cast
- so we suspect they did!
Lucky for Casualty Valentines Day fell on a Saturday and in true romantic
fashion Baz and Charlie reconciled after a life or death hostage situation,
during which Charlie told Baz how much he loved her. Everything was perfect, a
long awaited wedding, lots of TV coverage, four special guests........and on the
next day the papers announced 'Loving Mum Baz quits Casualty!'
Very unexpected, it was unclear whether it was a rumour or the truth, especially
as Baz and Charlie were just about to tie the knot. They still made every front
cover and on the Tuesday before the wedding, Julia appeared on This Morning and
confessed that the rumours were true, she and Baz would be leaving Casualty.
Fans bombarded the BBC with letters pleading with them not to kill off Baz or
replace Julia with another actress, and it was decided that Baz would leave
Holby so that she and Charlie would not let work ethics destroy them again.
Julia also appeared on Live and Kicking. She said that she was very sad to be
leaving Casualty but desperately missed her family as she was away for most of
the year. She said the door had been left open for her to return if she wished.
So Baz and Charlie got married in a two part Casualty called 'Everlasting Love'.
At the end of the episode the cast got together and sang a rousing rendition of
'Everlasting Love' which was released as a single and made no 5 in the charts.
It was a great end to the series and a fitting tribute to Casualty's favourite
couple, but it was tinged with sadness as we knew this may be the last time we
saw Julia and Derek together as Baz and Charlie.
In the week of the wedding it was announced that Cathy Shipton would be making a
permanent return to her role as Duffy. Bad news for Baz and Charlie fans as news
broke that Charlie and Duffy would ultimately have an affair. Fans wrote to the
BBC, Points Of View, The Casualty Fan Club and even nationwide magazines. In a
poll run by the `Casualty Fan Club` a few months later, Julia was voted `most
missed character` and `most popular female ever`. She has worked in various
other shows and is a regular in the children's television programme `Welcome to
Orty Fou`. Derek remains on Casualty, still head of the department and providing
the `link` between Baz and the viewers.
Three years after 'Everlasting Love' and rumours were still
rife that Charlie and Duffy would have an affair. Derek Thompson said he did
not really want this to happen and Cathy Shipton agreed that an affair could
ruin Charlie and Duffy's friendship. Ultimately Series 15 saw Charlie telling his
fellow workmates that he and Baz were getting a divorce, due to the fact that
she had been seeing someone else in Canada. Charlie decided to go for custody of
Louis but withdrew his application when he was told it would probably not be
successful. So with Charlie and Baz living in different countries and leading
different lives.......the end of Everlasting Love was nigh.........
2003 saw Series 18 and the return of Julia Watson to the role of Baz. Although
her return was only for 8 episodes, fans were sure that this would mark a happy
ending for Baz and Charlie. But hopes were dashed when it was announced Baz
would be killed off. Despite the bad news, Baz and Charlie's reunion was very
much enjoyed which only added to the sadness of her death.