FAMILY: Partner is former Casualty nurse Ken Hodges, aka Christopher Guard. The couple are expecting their first baby in March.
BORN: London, Great Britain
STUDIES: Went to drama school
TV CREDITS:Played a Theban Citizen in Oedipus the King (1984). Guest appearances on TV show The Bill. Allowed viewers a look inside her home on Through the Keyhole (1997)
FILM CREDITS: Spice Girls The Movie (cameo as a midwife)
PERSONALITY: Like the character she began playing in 1986, Cathy Shipton is obsessed with losing weight and Astrology. Cathy had almost given up hope of making a name for herself in the acting world when she landed the part of Duffy. The day before her interview for the role, Cathy sprained her ankle and had to have it strapped. She thought this might reduce her chances of getting the part but the producer Geraint Morris and the writers were fascinated to see how the hospital bandaged it. Just as Duffy's character broadened and confidence grew over the years so did Cathy's. In the beginning of the first series Duffy was no more than a young dippy nurse with a country accent but once she was raped this incident showed Duffy's real feelings for the first time. Cathy settled in to the role and as the role developed Cathy's acting in the part improved and made Duffy one of Britain's most well known TV characters. Casualty fans were upset when Cathy left the show mid-way through series 8. Cathy felt that after all her trials and tribulations Duffy was finally happy and at ease with her life (she had got used to her role as Sister, had a husband, a child and another on the way). 8 years on from the start of Casualty Cathy was now a household name and wanted to look for other acting roles. "I wanted to leave Duffy in a position of power. Over the years she's had a lot of knocks, she's raised a child she's suffered physical abuse, she's fallen in love and got married. Now the character's moving into a period of calm, and I didn't want her to become just part of the furniture. Drama is about conflict, so now that Duffy's got what she wanted, it's time to leave her". Cathy didn't have to worry about endless trips to Bristol (where Casualty is filmed) carrying her A-Z in case she got lost any more, for a while at least. At the end of series 12, though, Cathy returned to her role as Duffy for the end of series climax of Charlie and Baz's wedding. She had a chance to meet up with several former colleagues including Brenda Fricker (Megan), Clive Mantle (Mike) and Patrick Robinson (Ash). She obviously enjoyed her cameo because she was back at the start of the next series as a regular cast member once again.
OTHER TALENTS: Perhaps she should become an astrologer !
Written by Christopher Watson