Raf became a victim of Henrik Hanssen's son Fredrik, who'd targeted the hospital's staff in a shooting rampage in this week's two-part special.
Actor and Strictly Come Dancing semi-finalist Joe McFadden, who played Raf, recently caught up with Digital Spy to give his first reaction to the tragic scenes and explain why it was time to go.
You definitely had a shocking exit…
"I know! It certainly came out of the blue and was quite unexpected, but it was also brilliantly dramatic. As an actor, you want to have a dramatic exit and you really hope that people will sit up and take notice. It's nice to have a bit of impact when your character goes, rather than just being transferred to another hospital or whatever.
"It's also nice that Holby trusted me with that and they thought viewers would miss the character. I think they said at the time that they only kill the characters they really like, so it is a compliment! (Laughs.) It also gives the other characters something to react to when I've gone, and hopefully Raf will be remembered."
How did the decision to leave Holby City come about?
"I've been there for four years now and I felt that I'd played everything Raf possibly could do. I would have hated for him to just hang around at the back of the shot, not really doing much. It's nice for him to go out on a high when he's still quite loved by the viewers. They'll hopefully feel the loss of him.
"With Strictly happening this year as well, it just felt like the right time to go and hopefully it will open other doors for me. Going out on the Strictly dancefloor to perform live to all those viewers has given me a hunger to do live entertainment and theatre again, because it's obviously been a long time since I've done it.
"I've had such a brilliant time on Holby, so it would have been too easy to get comfortable and stay forever. It's given me the energy and enthusiasm I needed to get out into the world again."
Has it been hard to keep your departure so secret?
"It was really hard, actually, especially while being on Strictly. I filmed my final scenes a while ago now. When you're not on the show, you want to be able to tell people, but I absolutely understand why they had to keep it a secret. The producers wanted maximum impact, so they didn't want there to be any spoilers. It's nice that it'll be out in the open now."
Is there a part of you that feels sad about your exit being so final, as you can't come back?
"There is an element of that. It would have been nice to have that safety net, and perhaps I would have gone back, but I'm a great believer in closing doors firmly. When it was decided that my character was being killed, there was part of me that was relieved about it.
"It's something that's happened to me before. My character in Take The High Road was killed and it was a good feeling, because that chapter of my life was done.
"Holby is so nice a job that it would have been tempting to ask them to go back. It's not really good to repeat yourself, so that's why it's a good thing I'm leaving. I want to have no safety net for a while."
What was your last day on set like?
"It was a surreal experience, actually. It was a really nice last scene, although I didn't have much to do, I just had to lie down and be a corpse! I'd been really excited to work with Paul McGann, but that was our only scene together and I happened to be dead! But we did have a chat on set and it was nice to meet him, even though we didn't get to properly act together. I had my leaving party a few days later.
"In a way, it didn't feel real, and I don't think it will until I've finished on Strictly and I'm at home looking back on it all. It's been nice to be occupied. It would have been really difficult leaving Holby and not going onto something else, so it definitely softened the blow. It's really worked out absolutely for the best that I've had this to throw my energy into."
What does the future hold for you?
"I can tell you I'm doing an Argentine Tango and an American Smooth on Strictly this weekend, but other than that, I have no idea!"
Do you think your Holby tragedy might encourage people to vote for you more on Strictly this Saturday?!
"Hopefully – although I hadn't really thought about that, to be honest! (Laughs.) It's a nice thought! It's great that the Holby viewers are very active online and a lot of them have come over to Strictly, and vice versa with Strictly fans also coming over to Holby.
"The great thing about social media is that you read about people who've started watching and have gotten into it. It's a great programme that I'm proud to have been associated with, but all good things must come to an end."
Will leaving Holby free you up to do the Strictly tour?
"It absolutely does, but I don't know if I'm doing it yet. I think they're in the final stages of putting it all together and we don't know the line-up as of yet, but I'm definitely hoping to do it."
How are you feeling about doing the Argentine Tango this weekend, which is a tricky dance?
"It is a tricky dance, but then none of the dances are simple. They said that about the Rumba, but then it ended up being one of our best dances. I'm in great hands with Katya. We just throw ourselves into it, try not to think about it and try to make it look easy. So I'm not worried, but maybe I should be! I'm just delighted to still be in it."
Have you thought about winning?
"Absolutely not. That thought has never entered my head. I've very consciously just taken it one week at a time. At the beginning I was looking around everyone saying: 'They're really good, and they're really good'. Katya said: 'Don't do that, just concentrate on yourself as that's the only thing you have any control over'.
"So that's a technique that's worked so far. We're going out there, just doing our dances well and hopefully entertaining people. Other than that, it's in the lap of the gods."
What would it mean to get to the final?
"To get to the final would be brilliant, just because you could say you've done every episode. At this stage there's no shame in going home, because you've done Blackpool, you've done Movies Week, you've done Musicals Week. But to get to the final would be putting the icing on the cake, because you haven't missed any of the experience. It'd be quite a surreal experience watching at home. So it'd be great to get to the final, I'm not going to lie!"
Holby City continues on Tuesday (December 12) at 8pm on BBC One.
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