Holby City’s Raf Di Lucca, played by Strictly Come Dancing star Joe McFadden, was killed off in heartbreaking fashion in tonight’s (December 7th) dramatic special episode.
Fredrik Johansson (Billy Postlethwaite) was unmasked as the hospital gunman and he was also killed off after a confrontation with his father Henrik’s (Guy Henry).
McFadden has played Di Lucca since 2014 and has left the show to pursue live entertainment opportunities.
The actor revealed earlier this year that his stint on Strictly had inspired him to leave the medical drama.
“I just think that having done this show, there’s other stuff out there and doing live entertainment, it’s where my heart is. I love doing theatre, I love musicals, and the longer you leave it the harder it gets,” he said.
Di Lucca had just performed a miraculous surgery on a pregnant mum with triplets, saving all their lives, shortly before he was shot. He was then trapped in one of the hospital lifts when it went into lockdown and couldn’t get out.
His wife Essie (Kaye Wragg) discovered the news when she found a voicemail for Di Lucca, as he called her in his final moments.
His final words to Essie were: "I'm not scared because of what you’ve given me. I need you to know how much you gave to me and how much you made me the real me by showing me the real you. You are the kindest, the most honest and toughest person that I know. I need you to stay strong for the others, for Fletch and the kids. I know that I’m not along right now, because all I can see is your face. Your beautiful face and that smile that tells me I’m wrong again. Those eyes.
"I don’t know what happened. Who or why. That doesn’t matter anyway. Make sure you react not with anger, but with love. You taught me that. Love always wins. Goodbye my love. Goodbye my love.”
Speaking to the Press Association about his departure, McFadden said: "I always sort of dreaded the day when I would leave, so having to concentrate on something else, something so completely different and something so all consuming, has been brilliant because I haven't actually had that time of sitting and grieving for it.
"I've been so busy it almost hasn't really sunk in yet and I don't think it really will do until I finish on Strictly."
Viewers had been left fearing for Rosie Marcel’s future on the show after her character Jac Naylor was shot by Fredrik in the stairwell, but she was saved by Holby’s new arrival Professor John Gaskell (Paul McGann).
Fredrik also shot Ollie Valentine (James Anderson), but he was still alive fighting for his life at the end of the episode. However, the patient Ollie was performing surgery on didn’t survive.
Viewers expressed their shock at the Raf's death on Twitter and praised Holby for its powerful and emotional episode.
Noooooooooooo RAF WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT RAF NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO #HOLBYCITY— Laura Gardner (@LGardner_7) December 7, 2017
I’m genuinely broken. I just didn’t think @BBCHolbyCity could be so cruel and air a Who Shot Jac? Storyline 😞 but my God I think tonight’s #HolbyCity was the best episode I’ve EVER watched in my life! 😁— Adam Taylor (@theadtaylor) December 5, 2017
Holby City continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC One.
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