Kobina Eric "Ric" Griffin is a fictional character from the BBC medical drama Holby City, portrayed by actor Hugh Quarshie. The character first appeared on-screen on 9 October 2001 in episode "Rogue Males" - series 4, episode 1 of the programme.[1] Ric is the longest serving character in the show, having played the role for 18 years.

Ric Griffin
Holby City character
Hugh Quarshie as Ric Griffin
First appearance"Rogue Males"
9 October 2001
Created byMal Young
Portrayed byHugh Quarshie
Spinoff(s)Casualty (2004, 2005, 2017, 2019)
  • Consultant General Surgeon Deputy Clinical Lead AAU
  • Clinical Lead (AAU)
  • Director of General Surgery
  • Kumi Griffin (brother)
Significant other
  • Leo Griffin
  • Jess Griffin
  • Kofi Johnstone
  • Cleo Sullivan (stepdaughter)
  • Paris Khan (grandson)
  • Jacob Kilburn (grandson)
  • Darla Johnstone (granddaughter)
  • Erica Johnstone (great-granddaughter)


Discussing the storyline which saw Ric's oldest son Leo die from a heroin overdose, Quarshie said; "I don't think his death is a shock to Ric as he almost expected it. It's devastating for him, but in true Ric style he holds everything in and throws himself into work. The consequences of the tragedy are felt later down the line."[2] He drew on Ric's troubled relationship with his own father to explain his distant relationship with his children, assessing; "Ric had a domineering and violent father. He swore he'd never be that controlling with his own kids and as a result he was too hands-off."[2]

In July 2010, Quarshie revealed that Ric would be diagnosed with inoperable cancer, explaining: It's asymptomatic – you don't know you've got it until it's spread... It's so far gone, what's the point in having chemotherapy?" He stated that following the diagnosis, Ric would become close to Annalese Carson, the estranged wife of his colleague Michael Spence.[3]

As a long-standing cast member, Quarshie has been granted leave to pursue other projects including directing an episode of Holby City. Series producer Simon Harper has stated that the actor is allowed to ensure the character remains in the show for a longer tenure. The character remained off-screen for several months during 2015[4] and returned on 29 December 2015, where he was appointed clinical lead on Keller ward.

Quarshie appears as Ric in a two-part crossover episode with Holby City's sister show, Casualty, originally broadcast in March 2019.[5]


Ric arrived at Holby City Hospital in episode "Rogue Males" as a General Surgical Consultant.[1] It was revealed in the show's seventh series that he originated from Ghana, where his brother Kumi runs a hospital. He has been married five times - twice to Critical Care Consultant Lola Griffin - and has had several romances during his time on the show, including engagement to Senior House Officer Sam Kennedy, long term flirtation with former flame Diane Lloyd, and a brief marriage to Registrar Thandie Griffin. Diane and Ric got even more close in Ghana, while Keller ward was downsized and Diane hoped Ric would come back to Holby. He refused but eventually moved back. He had to put Diane under supervision while she was a consultant because a healthcare commission worker told him so. Diane committed suicide because she felt nobody supported her and when Thandie found out that Ric loved Diane, she broke up with him. Ric went to have a time alone with Diane in the mortuary and he had a breakdown.

Two of Ric's six children have appeared in the show; oldest son Leo Griffin, who Ric initially hoped would follow him into medicine, but died in series ten from a heroin overdose, and daughter Jess Griffin, who worked alongside him at Holby City Hospital as an AAU nurse. Through Jess and Leo, Ric had three grandsons. Two died as infants, but Jess's second son Jacob survived, and is still with Jess.

In the show's tenth series, Ric applied for the position of Director of Surgery, making an underhand deal to turn the position over to Connie Beauchamp in return for her support with his application. As each of the other candidates dropped out or were rejected, Ric was moments away from being offered the position, when he was called away to identify his son's body.

Later in mid series 11, Connie reminded Ric, that the director of surgery job was up and he had to pass it over to her like they had agreed. But Ric didn't and made out that he had resigned and had to give three months notice. Connie found out that he was lying. In the end Connie and Ric constantly battled each other, but Ric still holds down the position of the job.

Ric had recently introduced breathalyser tests as part of his zero tolerance policy. Annalese Carson failed hers. Ric promised to cover it up as long as Paul Rose supervised her in theatre. But Connie found out and reported it to Jayne.

A full investigation was held into the death of Steve Hewitt. He was a friend and patient of Connie's who died during an operation Michael Spence was performing. Ric had previously refused to operate on him as he was a zero tolerance patient, but his condition deteriorated. Michael Spence operated on Steve Hewitt. Annalese was the anaesthetist in the operation and she hadn't given proper drugs when he arrested and died on the table. His wife wanted an investigation, and Kathy Hewitt blamed Ric. An investigation was held and Connie discovered the hidden information Michael had tried to hide.

In episode thirty-five of series eleven Ric Griffin was informed by Jayne Grayson that she has lost confidence in his leadership as Director of Surgery and was planning to ask the board to re-advertise the position. At the end of the episode Jayne is seen handing a piece of paper with details of the director of surgery job to Connie.

During Season 17 Episode 32 The Ides of March (May 2015) Ric took an extended break from Holby to visit his daughter Jess in Australia, he returned on the episode Beginnings - Season 18 Episode 12 (29th Dec 2015) however was out of place upon his return due to his extended absence.


Quarshie has been nominated for several awards for his portrayal of Ric, and won "Favourite Male TV Star" at the 2008 Screen Nation Awards.[6] He was nominated for the "Male Performance in TV" award at the 2006 Screen Nation Awards,[7] and received a Mention in the same category in 2007.[8] Quarshie was named 23rd "Best Actor" in the 2004 BBC Drama Awards,[9] and came 22nd the following year.[10] He was long-listed for the "Most Popular Actor" award at the 2004 and 2005 National Television Awards,[11][12] and was also long-listed for the "Best Actor" award at the 2004 TV Quick Awards.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Rogue Males". Holby City. Season 4. Episode 1. 2001-10-09. BBC.
  2. ^ a b "Ric's heartbreak". What's on TV. England. 26 August 2008. p. 18.
  3. ^ "Holby City's Hugh reveals Ric's new battle". What's on TV. IPC Media. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  4. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (9 October 2015). "Holby City producer Simon Harper reveals more story teasers: 'We'll crack Hanssen open again'". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^ Writer: Michelle Lipton; Director: Steve Brett; Producer: Rebecca Hedderly (2 March 2019). "Episode 26". Casualty. BBC. BBC One.
  6. ^ "Screen Nation Awards Reveals Winners for 2009 Award Show" (PDF). Screen Nation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Screen Nation Awards". Holby Gazette. 25 August 2006. Retrieved 19 July 2010.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Screen Nation Awards Nominations 2007". Screen Nation. pp. 36–7. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  9. ^ "BBC - Drama - Best of 2004 - Best Actor". BBC Online. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  10. ^ "BBC - Drama - Best of 2005 - Best Actor". BBC Online. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  11. ^ "National TV Awards". Holby Gazette. 19 July 2004. Retrieved 18 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "National TV Awards". Holby Gazette. 4 July 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Welcome to the TVQuick Awards 2004!". TV Quick. H Bauer Publishing. Archived from the original on 6 June 2004. Retrieved 19 July 2010.

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