Connie has been a Casualty favourite since joining the hit BBC hospital drama in 2004, with Amanda bringing the consultant to life as she endured some hard-hitting storylines. But Amanda has decided to call it a day for Connie, with her final scenes airing in Saturday’s instalment of the BBC medical drama.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, Amanda explained her decision to quit the show.
Talking about her experience of portraying what goes on in hospitals, particularly in the past year, she said: “[We were] honouring and representing what the nation has seen and witnessed – we wanted to tell their story.
“And I suppose we did it because the greatest compliments were the number of medics complimenting and thanking us for representing it truly.
“For telling parts of stories that they’ve probably not shared with their friends and families.
“It felt incredible. I know for me it was a huge responsibility.
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“But it was a huge honour to be able to do that and as I said, hear back from the medics who think we got it right.
“So I think that was one of the reasons why I thought I’ve achieved the best I can with Connie and with the show at this point.”
It was announced last month that Amanda, 53, would be taking an extended break from her role as Lead Consultant of the Emergency Department.
The character’s exit is rumoured to be to do with her troubled daughter Grace Beauchamp-Strachan (Emily Carey).
Amanda’s departure from the popular show comes after a “quite gruelling” five years, in which she used her time off to take on other projects, including focusing on her production company and attempted to finish a feature film.
She expalined: “It has been a tough year, a tough year for everyone, and I think being on the show for a long time and a character that is inevitably in every scene, the work schedule is quite gruelling.”
And while she was using her time away from the show to channel other efforts, the 53-year-old admitted the workload “eventually catches up with you”.
“I direct as well and obviously with the schedule the way it is with Casualty I don’t have any time to do other things, so I can only do those when I have annual leave or anything like that,” Mealing continued.
“I would use that time to go off and direct things and then of course over the course of five years I haven’t had a day off at all. It eventually catches up with you.
“I just thought with the way the stories were going it was a good time to take a break.”
Casualty continues tomorrow BBC One at 8.20pm.