10 Casualty spoilers ahead of soap's epic New Year's return as a string of familiar faces make dramatic returns

CASUALTY fans will be happy to hear that the much-loved show will be returning to our screens on January 2 2021 – so save the date.

After four months off-air, viewers of the much-loved medical drama can expect guest appearances, the return of some familiar faces and some new ones in the new year.

Back in August it was reported that the BBC One soap was cancelled for the "foreseeable future" due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The show had run out of episodes mid August.

So fans have had to wait patiently for confirmation of the return date and earlier this month it was revealed that the show will finally hit our screens at the beginning of January 2021.

Producer and writer Loretta Preece recently opened up to Digital Spy about what to expect… so here's a round-up:

1. The show has tackled Covid-19 with all it's might

Like every other TV programme at the moment, producers and writers have had to make up ways of hiding the fact that their stars are abiding by social distancing rules.

The producer has teased some trademark stunts that viewers will be able to enjoy too – which have taken a lot of "planning and innovative thinking" to complete considering the pandemic.

And she's also reassured fans that the storylines won't all be focused around the current pandemic we're all facing.

Loretta explained: "Casualty also offers the audience a slice of Saturday night escapism.

"After that impactful first episode, we mostly look away from COVID."

2. The show will visit the earlier months of 2020

On the 2 January, the show will go back in time to March when the pandemic hit and will explore how the hospital coped during the first lockdown.

Although Loretta promised that the show will "look away from COVID," some of the upcoming episodes will return to the spring and summertime to make sure that the storylines add up correctly.

3. Jacob and Connie – will they, or won't they?

The clinical nurse manager and senior consultant have had viewers on the edge of their seats guessing they'll ever give things a proper go.

And it looks like 2021 isn't looking great for the pair…

Loretta teased: "Viewers were delighted to see Connie and Jacob's passion reignited but can their fledgling relationship survive through a pandemic?"

4. Faith, Dylan and Lev's love triangle continues

Loretta explained: "Faith didn't believe Dylan when he told her that he saw her husband kissing a man, but when we see her again, she's had some time to dwell on that and to wonder why Dylan would say such a thing.

"Lev is on a journey this series but so are Faith and consequently Dylan. There are lots of twists in this story to come."

5. Fenisha worries about her unborn child

The paramedic had no idea that her quick fling with consultant Ed Hardy would have ended up in her getting pregnant – considering she also has a boyfriend.

In the new year, the consultant finds out that she's still pregnant she begins to worry if his Huntington's disease gene has been passed onto the baby.

6. Viewers can expect a lot more of Jade Lovall

Back in July, the staff nurse had a special episode written by deaf writers Charlie Swinbourne and Sophie Woolley, focus solely on her and how she copes with her deafness whilst working in A&E.

After such a huge success, the show has decided to explore it further.

Loretta said: "We were delighted with the response to that episode – it was one that was very close to our hearts.

"Jade is a very important character to the show and we will certainly be doing more with her. We have a really interesting story for her which we are filming right now.

"The pandemic and specifically the wearing of PPE and masks has been extremely challenging for lip readers like Jade and we touch on that in our COVID episode."

7. A guest-appearance from Rosie Jones

When Spring hits, comedian Rosie will be making an appearance on the show and catches the eye of a certain someone…

8. Is love on the cards for Charlie again?

Charlie was left heartbroken earlier this year when his wife Duffy sadly passed away.

Although it seems that the nurse is in no state to look for someone at the moment, Loretta teased: "Duffy is the love of Charlie's life and it will take him a very long time to process her loss. But never say never."

9. The return of some familiar faces

Paramedic Ian Dean (Michael Stevenson) and Connie's daughter Grace (Emily Carey) will be reprising their roles next year, but Loretta has teased that there are plenty of other familiar faces making a return too.

She explained: "Happily, a couple of the characters that I would most like to see return will be doing so over the next 12 months, and at least one of those returns comes from a very unexpected direction.

"Watch this space… viewers are in for a treat!"

10. Newbie Leon Cook

Actor Bobby Lockdown will be taking on the role of paramedic Leon Cook.

He will hit our screens on the second episode in the new year.

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