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Fair City actress Stephanie Kelly forced to leave show due to illness- she’s replaced by Charleigh Bailey

Fair City actress Stephanie Kelly was forced to leave the show due to an illness.

In a change to casting following extenuating circumstances, the character of Sash Bishop will be played by Charleigh Bailey this week, beginning tonight, Wednesday night.

Charleigh will also be the understudy on Thursday night and for a special double episode on Sunday.

With Stephanie unable to make it to set to film her scenes, RTÉ bosses made the quick decision to take on a replacement to keep the current storyline moving.

Sash Bishop is currently embroiled in Ritchie Lennon’s gang and she has been forced to move drugs out of her daughter Olivia’s buggy.

After Zak Dillon got caught up in the criminal world, it is his father Tommy and Sash who are facing the scary consequences in Carrigstown at the moment.

Charleigh Bailey is familiar to the cast and crew of Ireland’s favourite soap having once played Kelly Allen between 2011 and 2016.

On casting Charleigh, Executive Producer Brigie DeCourcy told RSVP Live they needed to keep the character of Sash on screen and she couldn’t be written out for a week.

She said: “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.

"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”.

It was a case of all departments coming together to get Charleigh ready for filming in Montrose; working through scenes and movement in rehearsals, wardrobe shopping for outfits and jewellery, make up and getting her kit together.Brigie also said “like the story being played out at the moment between Sash, Tommy and Carol, they have all pulled together like a family”.Since these episodes were filmed, Stephanie Kelly is back on set once again and she will be seen on screen again in the near future. Fair City airs this week on Wednesday and Thursday night, with a double episode broadcast on Sunday night on RTÉ One.

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