Holby Wiki - Casualty and Holby City
Holby Wiki - Casualty and Holby City

John "Abs" Denham is a nurse who worked in the Emergency Department of Holby General Hospital from 2003 to 2008.

Time in the Emergency Department (2002-08)

Charming but eccentric loner Abs was a sensitive soul whose pity for scheming nurse Ellen got him into very hot water. Abs had originally developed feelings for Ellen's half-sister, Nina, but when Ellen lied to her about the danger she faced from her supposedly abusive father back home, Abs agreed to get married simply to help her get a visa. It eventually became clear that Ellen's motives had not been genuine, and she was acting simply out of malice towards Nina. She left for a short period, during which Abs reunited with Nina - however, they were soon harassed by a loan shark to whom Ellen owed £15,000.

Abs struggled to keep up with the payments, and not only got beaten up, but had items repossessed. However, after being beaten up himself, the loan shark was fatally injured and Abs was free of Ellen's debt. Immigration officials also informed him that they would not be investigating his marriage to Ellen any longer, leaving him free to enjoy his time with Nina.

Once Ellen returned, Abs demanded a divorce. However, Ellen soon revealed she was suffering from cancer, and although both Abs and Nina supported her throughout, several months later Ellen was killed in an unrelated incident, run down by a motorbike, leaving Abs a widower. His relationship with Nina disintegrated during this period.

Abs was shot on New Year's Eve 2007 while out at a night club with Kelsey but he escaped with just a minor injury to his arm. In protest against Charlie's redundancy, he called an unofficial work-to-rule, but after a patient died as a result, he realised he'd taken things too far and called it off.

Abs eventually became disillusioned with the NHS and left to put his psychiatric skills to use in the wider community.

Charlie's anniversary (2016)

Abs in his video message to Charlie.

In August 2016, Abs recorded a video message for Charlie, congratulating him on his 30th anniversary of working in the ED. In his video he told Charlie that he was the best, and to keep in touch.

Behind the scenes

James Redmond played Abs Denham on Casualty from 2003 until 2008. He reprised his role as Abs for the 30th anniversary episode in 2016.