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Fair City star gives update on health after recasting confusion

An understudy was cast in the show while the actress was unwell

Sash Bishop will be played by Charleigh Bailey this week on Fair City. Pictured with Tommy (Geoff Minogue) and Carol (Aisling O'Neill)

Clodagh Meaney

Fair City star Stephanie Kelly has given an update on her health after a stand-in actress played her character Sash Bishop on the soap this week.

The Dubliner took to Instagram to clear up the confusion and give fans an update on her wellbeing.

"Hey Guys! I've had lots of messages of concern and some questions so just wanted to say I am perfectly fine, I was very sick a few weeks back so had to opt out of filming Fair City for a few episodes,” she said.

"I am already back filming and will be back on screen in the next couple of weeks."

Thanking her understudy for taking over the role, she added: "Also a big well done to Charleigh Bailey who is doing a fab job playing Sash in these episodes!"

With soap regular Stephanie unable to record the programme executives quickly decided to put understudy Charleigh on screen in the role instead of writing the character out of the show for a few episodes.

Speaking about the casting, Executive Producer Brigie DeCourcy said that the decision to cast Charleigh was made very quickly: “The character of Sash is involved in our main storyline and has significant impact to that story. To write Sash out for four episodes at this stage in the story would have looked very odd to our viewers, sending her on an emergency down the country or what have you,” she explained.

“Charleigh knows the ropes, she’s been with us before, she’s an incredible actor and the cast and crew have been brilliant working with her, supporting her and viewers will see Charleigh fit in as Sash as though she has always been there."

Charleigh has appeared on the show in the role of Sash Bishop for the last two episodes and is also set to reprise the role for a double-bill on Sunday night.

The character of Sash Bishop has been a huge part of the soap’s main storyline as she was recently forced into dealing drugs by gangster Richie Lennon.

Sunday night’s episodes will see the return of Detective Yates who Carol calls upon for help, although he makes it very clear that they are not friends.

Wondering who is going to come looking for the heroin, Carol fills Zak in on some of the trouble he caused for everyone while he was in prison.

Answering Carol’s call, Yates appears. Yates is indignant when Carol asks him for information about Ritchie. Carol tells Tommy how hopeless she feels. Zak listens in as Carol and Sash figure out the next step. Meanwhile Zak tricks Tommy into revealing a stash of heroin is hidden at the Station.

Zak, who recently returned from Kilkenny after going on the hunt for a gun, asks to work one last shift at the Station before he heads back down the country. With Tommy thinking Zak is acting shifty, the station is raided. Carol covers her distress as the Gardaí inch closer to the drugs hiding place. Carol is shocked when the heroin isn’t in its hiding place. Carol and Yates have a showdown when he admits to organising the search of the Station.

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