Blue Lights fans praise ‘brilliant’ Derek Thompson as he takes on new role after Casualty exit

Virgin Radio

29 Apr 2024, 11:59

Derek Thompson in Blue Lights and Casualty

Credit: BBC

Blue Lights fans have praised Casualty star Derek Thompson as he becomes a pivotal part of the Northern Ireland-based police drama. 

(Blue Lights spoilers below!)

Derek bid farewell to the BBC medical soap in March after 38 years as Charlie Fairhead. He was the show’s longest-serving cast member, and bowed out of the series after nearly 900 episodes.

The veteran actor didn’t take long to find something new to dig his teeth into, and has since turned up as a former police officer Robin Graham in Blue Lights. He gets embroiled in the drama after trainee solicitor Jen Robinson (Hannah McClean) turns up at his door asking questions about a decades-old cold case. 

Derek made his very first appearance in Blue Lights during last week’s episode (Monday 22nd April), and with the PSNI series continuing on BBC One tonight, many fans are keen to see what the character might get up to next. 

Taking to social media site X (formerly Twitter), many fans gushed about Derek’s performance as the disgruntled former crime fighter, with one writing: “Brilliant second series of #bluelights Really great to see #derekthompson acting in something other than Casualty He played an excellant part Hoping for the third series soon.”

“Charlie from Casualty is absolutely brilliant in the latest series of #BlueLights I've not watched Casualty for years, so I didn't recognise him straight away. He should do more stuff like this,” commented another. 

A third said: “Derek Thompson aka Charlie from #Casualty is playing an absolute blinder in #BlueLights. No mean feat to be one of the most recognisable characters on TV and to switch to a brand new role and to make it believable.”

Derek’s not a stranger to being thrown into dangerous situations. Casualty fans watched on as Charlie was brutally stabbed by a patient in his final days at Holby City Hospital, and his final show saw him slipping in and out of consciousness as he saw flashbacks to his first day at the hospital. 

Speaking about his last episode at the time, Thompson said: “I think my final two episodes are some of the best episodes of my career”.

He added: “How Michelle Lipton wrote these episodes, comes across like she’s written eight plays, taken from so many points of view. I don’t think there’s another writer who could have done it.”

Blue Lights continues tonight (29th April) on BBC One at 9pm. The full series is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.