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9 October 2019, 11:23 | Updated: 9 October 2019, 11:47
After more than three decades, it's been confirmed that Duffy actress Cathy Shipton will be leaving Casualty.
Casualty's Cathy Shipton, who plays iconic nurse Duffy, is leaving the BBC One drama after 33 years.
The long-serving actress, 62, first made an appearance in the show’s pilot episode all the way back in 1986.
But after more than 350 episodes, she’s set to appear in her last scenes in the Holby City Hospital accident and emergency department next year.
With her final goodbye set to air in early 2020, Cathy has confessed she’ll ‘forever be grateful’ for her role in the show.
She said in a statement: "Walking in Duffy's shoes through the years has taught me so much, for which I'll be forever grateful. I'm honoured and humbled to have played this inspiring woman.
@BBCCasualty So, today l'm filming some of my last scenes ever playing Duffy! What a wonderful life l've had interwoven with mine all these years. Duffy - it's been an honour and a privilege. ❤ pic.twitter.com/SRY4LqJ5Ku— catherine shipton (@cathship27) October 9, 2019
"With sadness, but a sense of completion, l say goodbye."
Obviously, fans of the BBC show are devastated over the news, with many taking to social media.
“Casualty without Duffy that will be strange,” said one on Twitter.
Another wrote: “Wishing we could all give Duffy/Cathy a hug today. Can't believe Duffy is leaving, and we'll have to say goodbye to her. It's just beyond heartbreaking! #Duffy IS #Casualty to so many of us! What are we going to do without Duffy?!?!?!?!”
Ok, ok...erm...Duffy is leaving Casualty. Heartbroken, utterly, and completely heartbroken. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/nZ8woVmFFV— charlieandduffy (@charlieandduffy) October 9, 2019
Wishing we could all give Duffy/Cathy a hug today. Can't believe Duffy is leaving, and we'll have to say goodbye to her. It's just beyond heartbreaking! #Duffy IS #Casualty to so many of us! 😢😭😢😭😢😭 What are we going to do without Duffy?!?!?!?! 😫😫😫😫😫😫 pic.twitter.com/sdhZidA7Bc— charlieandduffy (@charlieandduffy) October 9, 2019
While a third added: “Ok, ok...erm...Duffy is leaving Casualty. Heartbroken, utterly, and completely heartbroken.”
And a fourth penned: “I'm actually a bit upset over this-I've only been watching Casualty for about ten years and only know Duffy from the most recent episodes she was in, but she's an genuine legend of the show and I'm really going to miss seeing her on the telly box every week.”
Some of Duffy’s biggest storylines include huge topics surrounding sexual assault, HIV, suicide, and mental health.
Most recently, her character has also been diagnosed with dementia which led her to step down from her role as a nurse.
Following the announcement of her departure, Executive Producer Simon Harper has now said: “Cathy’s enormous contribution has not just been to Casualty, but also to the national consciousness and the British Television Drama landscape.
“She has made Duffy into a comforting Saturday night icon, the caring, ideal NHS nurse millions grew up with – and whom you’d want to be looked after by in times of need.”