Wednesday 26 October 2016

Tom Hiddleston and Daisy Ridley among top stars who cut their teeth on Casualty

Published 24/08/2016 | 16:56

Tom Hiddleston appeared in Casualty years before he starred in this year's TV hit The Night Manager
Tom Hiddleston appeared in Casualty years before he starred in this year's TV hit The Night Manager
Star Wars' Daisy Ridley cut her teeth on Casualty

Before Hollywood came calling, some of the most famous British faces from The Night Manager's Tom Hiddleston to Star Wars' Daisy Ridley got their big break on BBC medical drama Casualty.

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The pair join Sherlock star Martin Freeman, Titanic actress Kate Winslet and Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston in learning their craft in the less-than-glamorous wards of Holby City Hospital.

To celebrate the show's 30th anniversary, the BBC Store has released the episodes in which the youthful-looking A-listers find themselves at the mercy of TV's most famous A&E.

The Force Awakens star Ridley is a household name now but only three years ago she was making ends meet with a guest role in the world's longest running medical drama as Fran, the best friend of nurse Robyn Miller, whose day trip to the fairground ended in a nasty accident.

In 2007, just four years before he was catapulted to international fame as Loki in superhero film Thor, Hiddleston got some action practice in as rock climber Chris Vaughan who accidentally knocked a woman to the ground from her balcony when he abseiled down an apartment block.

Twenty years ago, Lord Of The Rings star Orlando Bloom set hearts racing as injured builder Noel Harrison, while Freeman's jack-the-lad character Ricky Beck got himself stabbed in an episode in 1998.

An 18-year-old Winslet played a teenage girl suffering at the hands of her abusive boyfriend in 1993, 15 years before she would win an Oscar for her role in The Reader.

Long before he travelled through space and time in the Tardis, Eccleston was confined to his hospital bed as HIV positive gay man Stephen Hills in 1990.

Jonny Lee Miller played school bully named Matt four years before he earned the affectionate nickname Sick Boy in Trainspotting,

Little Britain's David Walliams was picked for a phenomenal storyline, playing "the father of a vegan daughter who is admitted to hospital undernourished" in 2003.

Cold Feet star Hermione Norris shared an episode with a young Minnie Driver in 1991 as a ballet dancer with an eating disorder and a girl with a cough respectively, while just two years later Norris's future co-star Helen Baxendale was indoctrinated into a cult.

Other actors to make an appearance include Alfred Molina, Kathy Burke and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

:: The Casualty: Spot The Star collection is available from the BBC Store.

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