Diane Keen as Julia Parsons (2009)
|Portrayed by||Diane Keen|
|First appearance||13 January 2003|
|Last appearance||18 May 2012|
|Introduced by||Peter Eryl Lloyd|
Practice manager (2005-12)
Julia Parsons (previously McGuire) was a fictional character from the BBC soap opera Doctors, played by Diane Keen. She made her first appearance on 13 January 2003 and departed the show on 18 May 2012, after nine years of being in the show.
Julia begun working on reception at the Riverside Practice (later renamed to The Mill) in January 2003 alongside her ex-husband Mac McGuire (Christopher Timothy). The two began a relationship once again, which led to Mac proposing to Julia, which subsequently lead them to get married for a second time. Julia caught Mac kissing his previous ex-wife Kate McGuire (Maggie Cronin), so, furious, she forced Mac and Kate to leave, and they moved, with their son Ciaran, to Ireland. Julia, now divorced in 2007, bought Mac's share at The Mill, and became the Practice Manager. In 2007 her youngest son Liam arrived with his wife Ocean Kennedy, whom Julia took disliked, who later gave birth to Julia's grandson, Marlyn. In May 2007, Julia reluctantly sacked her friend Donna Parmar (Martha Howe-Douglas) due to patient confidentiality. Donna was replaced with another one of Julia's friends, Vivien March (Anita Carey). In May 2009, Julia persuaded her mentally ill colleague Ruth Pearce (Selina Chilton) to move in with her due to her instability, where Julia cared for her, until Ruth returned to work, healthy. In 2010, Julia supported nurse Michelle Corrigan (Donnaleigh Bailey) when she chose to work as an army nurse in Afghanistan. Michelle's mother, Vera (Doña Croll), was angry with Julia as Vera blamed Julia for Michelle's enlisting, however after much persuassion by Michelle and Julia, Vera began to reliaze that Michelle was doing the right thing. Months later, Julia fell ill with symptoms of delusions and confusion; later diagnosed as Lyme disease. Whilst at home recovering from the disease, she became the victim of a suspected sexual assault by her colleague Charlie Bradfield (Philip McGough). He was subsequently sacked from The Mill and reported for misconduct.
In 2012, Julia meets garage owner Martin Millar (Miles Anderson). After parking her car in the way of his garage and therefore meeting, the two begin dating. After the couple begin not to trust each other through various acts, the two break up. They later get back together, but when Julia googles Martin and finds out that he was accused of arson, they end their relationship once again. Martin later reveals that he has had five wives, and that he had a daughter with his third, Sarah. Julia is stunned by this, and rejects Martin. She meets up with Martin again, but when Martin says that he wants to retire and move to Wales, she once again rejects him, as she does not want this. They keep arguing about this, and whilst they are, their car crashes with another vehicle, and they are both knocked unconscious. Martin and Julia survive, and the two embrace. Julia's son Patrick (Alan McKenna) arrives, wanting to take her to his house, so she can recover. However, after thinking about whether or not she wants a future with Martin, she decides she does, and goes to live with him in Wales.
|“||It's about the biggest stunt we’ve done on Doctors. It’s really quite horrendous and it’s the ultimate cliffhanger. So it was great to be involved in that. It was filmed on one of the worst stormy days. So that made things a bit difficult. But it also made it look better, so much more dramatic. So it’s not looking good for Julia and Martin. Julia has been fighting him off because she doesn’t want to get hurt again. But Martin has a secret weapon – he makes her laugh. Anyone who can make Julia laugh is quids in.||”|
|— Diane Keen on her Doctors departure storyline and relationship with Martin.|
After Keen made the decision to leave the soap after nine years, Miles Anderson was cast, playing Martin, to coincide with the departure of Julia. Digital Spy said of her departure storyline; "Fans should also keep an eye out for a possible new love interest for Julia when she gets to know garage owner Martin Millar in a few weeks' time. It sounds like there's lots on the way for Julia in the next few weeks". Keen said of Martin's and Julia's relationship; "She's fighting it all the way, because she's had so many disastrous relationships in her life, so now she tends to take the negative point of view towards how something will turn out. Martin's really great because he won't take any nonsense and he's not taking no for an answer. He's forcing Julia to really give it a shot, and she needs that. She's obviously very attracted to him, too, so they could be very good together". Of the car stunt she said that it was filmed "on a mad, stormy, windy, rainy day". She called the stunt "phenomenal" and "amazing" saying, "In the end the scenes looked incredible because of that. It was very exciting for everybody, as we don't often get to do stunts like that on Doctors".
For her portrayal of Julia, Keen was nominated in the category of "Best Actress" at the 2005 and 2011 British Soap Awards. The character was selected as one of the "top 100 British soap characters" by industry experts for a poll to be run by What's on TV, with readers able to vote for their favourite character to discover "Who is Soap's greatest Legend?" Julia's car crash was nominated for the "Spectacular Scene of the Year" award at The British Soap Awards 2013.
- "Julia Parsons". Doctors. BBC Online.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (9 May 2012). "'Doctors' Diane Keen talks Julia Parsons exit - interview". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Julia's torn between Martin and Patrick". What's on TV. IPC Media. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Goodbye Julia! Diane Keen leaves Doctors". What's on TV. IPC Media. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (12 March 2012). "'Emmerdale' fire, 'Hollyoaks' Joel, Corrie reveal - Soap Scoop Q&A". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- Berrett, Caroline (8 May 2005). "Soap baubles; Corrie beauty Nikki sparkles in pounds 100k gems". The People. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- "Who is Soaps' Greatest Legend?". What's on TV. IPC Media. Retrieved 8 July 2012.