Ethan Hardy (George Rainsford) has left Casualty and honestly, we’re going to need a good week and a half to recover from the sadness.
The beloved character, who made his arrival back in 2014, decided to resign after a situation with Bodhi’s grandma – Fenisha’s (Olivia D’Lima) mother – changed his priorities.
When the episode opened, Ethan was very focused on the possibility of winning the Jac Naylor award, which would’ve seen him travel the world – all on his own.
Already troubled by the fact Bodhi called his granddad, ‘Daddy’, Ethan faced a shock when Pen (Narinder Samra) and Ashley (Alison Dowling) arrived in resus.
With Ashley in the hospital bed, Pen explained to Ethan that looking after Bodhi is getting difficult. They’re not getting any younger but also, at the same time, because of Ethan’s Huntington’s, he was aware his time is running out too.
While Ashley and Pen insisted that Ethan should accept the award, he wasn’t sure.
Heading into Dylan’s (Will Beck) office, Ethan explained his plan to quit and go travelling and start with India, so he can show Bodhi where Fenisha was born.
After an emotional goodbye to Dylan, Ethan wandered out of the ED pushing Bodhi in his pram, looking forward to his new adventure.
And so, it’s a goodbye to Ethan Hardy.
While we can’t sit here and list everything he’s been through (seriously, we’d be here for hours), we know life at Holby ED has not been smooth sailing for Ethan.
From Cal’s (Richard Windsor) death to losing Fenisha in a truly traumatic way, Ethan’s departure was never going to be exactly how he pictured, given that he has lost so much along the way.
‘Everybody always comments on Ethan getting his happy ending, and I think this is maybe as close as we’re ever going to get, even though it’s slightly bittersweet’, George Rainsford told Metro.co.uk, reflecting on his final scenes.
‘In those scenes with Will, I had this line where I had to say something like “I’ve loved working in this ED, with my friends”, and I really just said that completely honestly, because I have truly enjoyed working with my friends. I have got to work with so many different people – so many people come through the doors, some of them have been there for a long time, like Amanda (Robyn Miller), Will, Mike (Iain Dean) and Derek (Charlie Fairhead), I really hate the word blessed but I feel so privileged and pleased that I got to work with so many amazing people.
‘It’s been such a laugh; we sometimes have really long days and it is quite stressful but there is a real sense of camaraderie and humour that gets you through as well.’
‘I didn’t realise quite how many tragedies I’d have to end up playing out!’, George added, thinking about what it’s been like to play Ethan.
‘It has been hugely challenging at times, but you can’t always just play the part. I always looking for moments of recovery after the heavier storylines, I think that’s really important. When you do a big storyline like having your fiancée leave you, what tends to happen is they write the storyline up to turning the corner, but they don’t maybe concentrate on the stuff after that, you have to be in charge of finding Ethan’s geeky side, the humour, or looking out for other people as he’s really compassionate too.
‘I really liked the episode that was written as a standalone where Ethan decides to go on a date again, that was probably my last busy episode. It was the first time where I had been in every single scene throughout the entire episode, so it was a really crazy few weeks. I liked that Ethan attempted to make changes but realised he still wasn’t quite ready.’
With Ethan’s stethoscope hanging up, George is already in the shoes of his brand-new character, playing the role of Roy Grace in the theatre tour, Wish You Were Dead.
To close our final chat with the star, we asked George if he had any messages for fans who have supported him and followed Ethan’s journey:
‘Thank you for tuning in and always being incredibly kind.’
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