The BBC has revealed that long-running medical drama Casualty will be getting its first-ever transgender character.
Making history on the show will be actor Arin Smethurst in the role of Sah Brockner.
Smethurst, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, will have their first scenes airing in late-October.
Brockner is described as a “cool” character who dislikes being seen in a vulnerable state and will be a member of the Holby City paramedic team alongside the likes of Jan (Di Botcher), Teddy (Milo Clarke) and Iain (Michael Stevenson).
Brockner will be both transgender and non-binary and is said to have a storyline where they meet their match when someone tries to discover who they are beneath the tough exterior.
“I am honoured to be joining the spectacular Casualty family as a shiny new paramedic,” Smethurst said of the role.
“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. I can’t wait for you to meet Sah!”
🏥 Arin Smethurst has joined the cast of Casualty to play Sah, Casualty’s first transgender character in a continuing role.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) October 5, 2021
Casualty will be the TV debut of Smethurst, an up-and-coming actor who graduated from Rose Bruford College in Sidcup last year.
Deborah Sathe, senior executive producer of Casualty and Holby City, added: “We are delighted to welcome Arin to the Casualty family and launch our new paramedic Sah for the Saturday-night audience.
“Sah will get themselves into all sorts of professional adventures whilst masking their own personal sorrow. In a world where our privacy is something to be treasured, will Sah be able to keep theirs?”
There has been an increase in LGBTQ+ representation on both Casualty and its sister show Holby City in recent years, with the latter even receiving complaints in 2017 that it had “too many gay characters”.
According to Oliver Kent, the then-head of continuing drama at the BBC, there were just “two gay love stories” when these complaints were made.