Casualty 30th anniversary - who's for the chop in tonight's feature-length episode?


Casualty fans, buckle up - it's going to be one heck of a ride tonight as the BBC One Saturday evening stalwart goes feature length.

The hospital A&E drama is celebrating 30 years on the box with a bloodfest that could see more than one major character axed in dramatic fashion.

BBC One first aired the series on September 6 1986, and hooked viewers with its accident-waiting-to-happen plot set-ups each week.

Amanda Mealing as Connie Beauchamp in Casualty 30th anniversary episode
Amanda Mealing plays Connie Beauchamp in Casualty (BBC)

In recent years it has developed more of a continuing drama feel, which will ramp up in this evening's episode when a horrific car crash involving central characters Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) and daughter Grace (Emily Carey) kicks off further tragedy.

The air ambulance sent to rescue the crash victims will be hit by a drone, which is expected to threaten the lives of some regular cast members.

Fans will be tuning in to discover whether Connie, Grace, Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson) - who has served all 30 years on the programme - and other popular cast members including nurse Lisa 'Duffy' Duffin (Cathy Shipton) make it out alive.

Charlie Fairhead played by Derek Thompson in Casualty 30th anniversary episode
Charlie (Derek Thompson) has seen through all 30 years in Casualty (BBC)

Casualty has also spawned spin-off Holby City, based in the rest of the hospital, which first aired in 1999, and a short-lived police series, Holby Blue, from 2007 to 2008.

It has been the launchpad for many a UK star's career, with Tom Hiddleston, Kate Winslet, Minnie Driver, David Walliams and Orlando Bloom just some of the names on the roll call of actors who appeared in guest roles before they were famous.

Tom Hiddleston in Casualty
Tom Hiddleston appearing in Casualty before his red carpet royalty days (Casualty/

The 30th anniversary episode of Casualty airs tonight from 8pm to 9.40pm - let's hope we're not too traumatised by the time the titles roll.