The characters you rarely spot in Holby City are getting their own show - and it's about time, too
Not everybody is lucky enough to get a starring role
When it comes to TV medical dramas, suave surgeons, dishy doctors and naughty nurses are always landing the big storylines.
Think George Clooney as Doctor Doug Ross in ER, Tina Hobley's Chrissie Williams on Holby City or Ellen Pompeo as Doctor Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy.
Whenever something huge happens, episodes almost always focus on these 'important' characters in the superstar roles.
Everybody in the background simply gets neglected, left to lick their wounds way out of shot.
Until now that is.
A brand new sitcom is about to hit our screens called Porters, which starts Wednesday 20th September at 10pm on Dave.
It's set to shine a light on the less-than-glamorous and often unseen world of, yep... you guessed it: hospital porters.
As anyone who's had a stay in hospital knows, these guys are just as important and valued as the doctors and nurses - so why aren't they depicted this way on TV?
Porters is written by genuine hospital-porter-turned-comedy writer Dan Sefton and follows the life of a deluded rookie called Simon Porter who dreams of becoming a doctor. That and being the best porter the NHS has ever seen.
Actor Ed Easton (Inside No. 9, Chortle Awards 2015 best newcomer for Gein's Family Giftshop) stars in the lead role, alongside Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum, Crazyhead) as self-styled "Queen of the Porters" Frankie and with Claudia Jessie (Line of Duty, Josh) as naive nurse Lucy.
The show promises to lift the lid on how "lurking beneath St. Etheldreda’s hospital façade is a secret subterranean world" where the porters live.
And Ed says there's certainly a bit of the Downton Abbey them-and-us mindset about the show.
He said: "Yeah, upstairs/downstairs, totally! It’s literally split like that. We’re actually filming the show in a real hospital and all the porters’ scenes are downstairs and all the doctor scenes are upstairs. So it’s definitely that upstairs/downstairs divide.
"I didn’t realise it was happening until the second week of filming. Every time it was one of our scenes with all the porters we had to trek down into the dungeon of the hospital, and then when we film with the doctors we’re back upstairs and everything looks bright and airy!"
Other familiar faces starring in the show include Matt Horne ( Gavin and Stacey ), Jo Joyner (Tanya from EastEnders ), Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars) and Hollywood star Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, The Hitcher, Batman Begins ).
Porters is Dutchman Hauer's first foray into British comedy. He plays Tillman - a character he describes as 'the Mother Teresa of a goodhearted bunch of idiots and fools (with a few exceptions)'.
Hauer said it was the famous British humour that attracted him to the part, explaining: "It’s such a fine mix, ambiguous, understated or over the top but always with wit, which is in the British DNA.
"A ‘limited edition’ with pleasure guaranteed."
Porters writer Dan Sefton said it was surreal working alongside Hauer - a living legend of the silver screen.
He said: "Blade Runner and The Hitcher are such iconic movies for someone like me. What's inspirational is that he clearly just does what the f*** he wants to, when he wants to. So this year he fancied doing a weird little UK sitcom because he thought it was funny. So he did."
Former hospital worker Dan also told how many of his on the job experiences from working on the ward as a teenager actually made it into the show.
He added: "I remember as a junior doctor going to collect money from the old mortuary at St.Thomas’s Hospital.
"If you signed a cremation form when a patient died, you got money, so the more of your patients died, the more you you made. The doctors who worked in Geriatrics did really well.
"They’d give you your ‘ash cash’ in a brown envelope and then you would go to the bar and get pissed. So the idea of friendly mortuary people was always in there."
Porters starts Wednesday 20th September, 10pm on Dave.