Leslie Ash joins the cast of medical drama Holby City five years after she contracted a hospital infection which almost ended her career.
Leslie will play top executive Vanessa Lytton and start filming with the Holby City team in June.
After five years, Leslie is delighted to be back working in British television.
She says: “I hadn’t been to an audition since I was 19 – I was scared! But I feel ready and I feel strong.
“Disability is misrepresented on television and it’s really fantastic that it did not worry the production team I was disabled. It’s a meaty, hard part – and I don’t have to wear a uniform! She’s not had to work her way to the top and people resent her for it. She’s used her toughness all the way.
“I feel confident in myself as an actress and I’ve learnt to be realistic about things. I could have sat myself down in a wheelchair and just gone through life, but there was this defining moment when you say to yourself ‘I am going to get up, I am going to work hard’, and you put one foot in front of the other.
“It has taken a long long time and I’m not perfect, but I’m ready to be back at work.
“I am so pleased and happy they’ve given me this chance. They are very brave to have taken on a disabled actress. I can’t wait to be back on set. It’s the last piece of the jigsaw in my recovery. I’m finally back to where I was.”
Vanessa is a friend of Michael Spence’s (played by Hari Dhillon) who has made it to the top of the ladder. She is conniving and calculated.
Tony McHale, Executive Producer, says: “We’re thrilled to have Leslie join us at Holby. We know she’s going to be a terrific asset to the show and her character will bring another dimension to our already strong cast. Her stories are going to have our viewers guessing all the way.”
Holby City, BBC One, every Tuesday, 8.00pm