Casualty introduce first recurring trans character – a ‘salty but compassionate’ paramedic named Sah
BBC’s Casualty has introduced the series’ first recurring trans character, Sah, to Holby City Hospital.
Up-and-coming actor Arin Smethurst has been cast as the new paramedic recruit, Sah, who will be joining current members Jan (Di Botcher), Teddy (Milo Clarke) and Iain (Michael Stevenson).
According to Sky News, Sah identifies as trans and non-binary. Show bosses described the character as “cool” and says Sah dislikes being seen as vulnerable while also attempting not to be seen as trying too hard.
But Sah will apparently meet their match when they come face-to-face with boss Jan, who will work to find a big heart under their tough outer shell.
Smethurst, who uses they/them pronouns, said in a statement that they are “honoured” to be joining the “spectacular Casualty family as a shiny new paramedic”.
“I’m so excited to portray this transgender, non-binary, salty but fiercely compassionate character and hope they are not only well-received, but also a source of awareness for those who have never met someone like me,” they said. “I can’t wait for you to meet Sah!”
I am so behind on Twitter sharing, but here is video evidence that I'm about to be on the telly 🤯 https://t.co/UVQGTK8bWv
— Arin Smethurst (@ArinSmethurst) August 22, 2021
Casualty is a longstanding British medical drama series set in the fictional Holby City Hospital and focuses on the staff and patients of the hospital’s accident and emergency department.
Metro.co.uk reported that Casualty marks Smethurst’s TV debut after they graduated from Rose Bruford last year. They will first appear as Sah on screen later this month.
Deborah Sathe, senior executive producer of Casualty and Holby City, said the show is “delighted” to welcome Smethurst to the cast of Casualty and “launch our new paramedic Sah for the Saturday night audience”.
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“Sah will get themselves into all sorts of professional adventures whilst masking their own personal sorrow,” Sathe explained. “In a world where our privacy is something to be treasured, will Sah be able to keep theirs?”
Casualty and its sister show Holby City have introduced several LGBT+ characters in recent years. Fans watched as Marty (Shaheen Jafargholi) fell for the wealthy and mysterious Jack (Jack Hardwick), who turned out to be married to someone else.
Before he discovered the devastating news, Marty shared a passionate kiss with Jack. The 2020 episode sparked a slew of complaints to the BBC over the “offensive” kiss.
In 2017, Holby City faced complaints after some views deemed that the show had “too many gay characters”. Oliver Kent, the then-head of continuing drama at the BBC, told the Daily Star that the show had “two gay love stories” at the time.
“We had four characters out of 17,” Kent explained. “I don’t think that’s disproportionate.”