'Holby City' fans in tears as show favourite is killed off in final ever episode

Rosie Marcel as Jac Naylor in Holby City (BBC)
Holby City's last episode included Jac Naylor's death. (BBC)

Holby City aired its final ever episode last night after 23 years on screen, leaving viewers devastated by the death of one of their favourite characters.

Surgeon Jac Naylor, played by Rosie Marcel, had been battling a brain tumour in the BBC One medical drama and the last ever episode showed her coming round from surgery which was hoped to save her life.

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But Jac had signed an advanced do not resuscitate order and so when she suffered a blood clot post-op, her devastated colleagues had to allow her to die.

Jac donated her organs to other patients and was heard making a final speech where she finished the episode by saying: "This is what the NHS means to us. Not a badge on a cabinet minister's lapel, not a number down the side of a bus...It is all of us doing the best we can in impossible circumstances.

"It is something to believe in. It is home."

Jac Naylor as Rosie Marcel in Holby City (BBC)
Jac Naylor had been suffering from a brain tumour. (BBC)

Fans were left in floods of tears by the show's sign off as one person tweeted: "OMG Holby City what a way to end the final series. Fabulous donor sequence then what the NHS does on a daily basis. Not a dry eye in the house. Jac Naylor final speech."

Another committed viewer wrote: "I watched Holby City for about 11 years since 2011 along with Casualty. Jac Naylor was my favourite character in Holby and that final ever episode was heartbreaking to see her die. The end of an era… 23 years, 1104 episodes Holby City, 1999 - 2022."

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Someone else added: "you mean i’ve just watched jac naylor die and holby city end forever and now i’m just meant to get on with life, not happening."

Another person wrote: "Never cried watching Holby City until tonight can't believe Jac died still crying now heartbroken."

Jac Naylor Rosie Marcel Holby City (BBC)
Jac Naylor's final words left viewers in tears. (BBC)

Fans were divided over whether Jac should have been killed off, with one person tweeting: "i get that killing jac was supposed to give this “holby city is over” feeling and show dedication to the nhs but it was already hard to lose the show, why send it out like this? i don’t know."

But someone else wrote: "The fairytale of jac surviving would have been too unrealistic. But they handled her death in such a beautifully poignant way. Oh holby you will be missed."

Holby City cast BBC
The show has ended after 23 years. (BBC)

Another viewer agreed: "It was the perfect way for her to go. She slipped away quietly on her terms. No fanfare, no machine rapidly beeping, no one trying desperately to bring her back with CPR. And then, saved even more lives by donating her organs. A Queen to the end."

Read more: Save Holby City petition signed by 30,000 fans

People also shared their disbelief that the popular series had been axed, with one fan tweeting: "I still cannot believe #HolbyCity was axed when viewing figures were so high & it's fanbase so loyal.I've spent 23 years of my life watching & all involved are done a great disservice by the cancellation.They didn't even get an extended episode to send it off!"

Someone else added: "I can’t bring myself to watch the last episode of#HolbyCity If I leave it unwatched then it’s not over. @BBCOne WHY!!! #Berena forever Even fictional hospitals are under threat from budget cuts

#SAVEHolbyCity I’ll miss the occasional reappearance of Bernie & Serena FOREVER!!"

Watch: Holby City axed after 23 years