Lee Mead to bring back Casualty character 'Lofty' in Holby City
Actor Lee Mead has signed up to join hospital drama Holby City.
Mead, 35, is resurrecting the role of Ben "Lofty" Chiltern, which he played in another BBC1 medical drama, Casualty.
Last year, viewers saw Lofty resigning from his post to retrain as a bereavement counsellor in palliative care and head to Australia for a break.
Holby City is set in the same hospital as Casualty.
Mead said: "I'm really excited to be coming back as Lofty. I've missed him! I'm looking forward to being in a new part of the Holby hospital and seeing what it has in store for him next."
Mead, who will be on screen from the spring, shot to fame when he won BBC1's singing contest Any Dream Will Do.
He went on to marry T V presenter Denise Van Outen, who was a judge on the show, but the pair divorced in 2015.
The Holby City team will also see the return of Jaye Jacobs as nurse Donna Jackson, who left the wards in 2011.
Jacobs said: "Donna and I have unfinished business. She's flirty, brash and ballsy. I've missed her!"
Waterloo Road actress Ayesha Dharker is also joining the cast as Nina Karnik, a tough but compassionate general surgeon, while David Ajao is Dr Damon Ford.
Holby City and Casualty acting executive producer Simon Harper said: "I'm beyond excited to welcome on to the wards two new faces, a returning face and a much-loved Casualty character.
"It's thrilling to bring Jaye back as the sparky, irreverent Donna, one of the most popular and iconic Holby characters ever and equally so to have Lee make the 'trip upstairs' as Lofty.
"Keller Ward is going through some dark times, so Lofty's trademark warmth and kindness will come at just the right moment."