Rosie Marcel: From Holby City to bear country

PUBLISHED: 15:52 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:03 20 February 2013

Rosie Marcel

Rosie Marcel

Holby City actress Rosie Marcel is well known for playing the unstoppable Jac Naylor in the BBC soap. Away from the studio lights she is just as determined as she works hard to save bears, but that's where the similarity ends as Damion Roberts dis...

ROSIE Marcel's eyes are enough to knock even the most prepared journalist off guard.

Agreeing to meet in a St Albans coffee shop the day before she drives down to Cornwall to go hiking with her dog Ainu, the Holby City actress is instantly recognisable across the counter as she waits for her caf latte.

She has a natural beauty and a fairer complexion than the harsh lights, costumes and make-up in the Holby studios at Elstree allow her, but there's something about those eyes that can knock a man out cold so he forgets what his opening question was going to be.

The reason Rosie has invited Hertfordshire Life to St Albans is the same reason why she plans to go hill walking with Ainu that weekend. The actress is in training for a 50km trek across Romania in September with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to raise awareness of the plight of the country's European Brown Bears and money for the WSPA's bear sanctuary, the largest woodland bear sanctuary in the world.

'It's really important that we go out there and help re-home these bears in a sanctuary where they can live out their lives in their natural surroundings'

The 31-year-old actress is certainly a lot more compassionate than her on-screen alter ego, cardiothoracic registrar Jac Naylor, but you also get the impression talking to her that she can be every bit as determined too.
'I feel very passionate about this,' the actress says. 'It's really important that we go out there and help re-home these bears in a sanctuary where they can live out their lives in their natural surroundings.

'Some bears can be brought into the sanctuary without ever seeing grass, without ever seeing trees, without ever putting their feet on soil, yet they get released into the sanctuary and the first thing they can do is go straight to a tree and climb up it.

'It's just natural for them and we have to get them back into their natural surroundings.'

Rosie has always been fond of animals and has two cats, Lenny and George - 'They act just like the (Of Mice and Men) characters. They give these looks which are just so funny' - in addition to Ainu.

'I really enjoy the amount of green space in and around St Albans which allow Scott (Bunce, her husband of five years) and I to take Ainu for walks. We take her to Verulamium Park and go walking there, and we also go to Whippendell Woods in Watford.

'I was brought up in the city but I think I'm definitely a country girl at heart and there are so many beautiful parts of Hertfordshire where you can just go for nice walks and explore,' she enthuses.

'St Albans is one of the prettiest places in Hertfordshire. It has lots of listed buildings sitting amongst new buildings and it gives the place character. It reminds me of Richmond where I was brought up. 'I also enjoy the Herts County Show and went last year with Ainu and we loved it.
'I want to grow my own vegetables. I want to be like Brigitte Bardot and have a house and bring in rescued dogs to look after. Not to re-home, but just to look after them myself in my own sanctuary.'

In addition to animals, Rosie has a fondness for antiques, DIY and painting, which she can be found doing in her room at Elstree when she's not required on set.

'I'm self-sufficient and can sew. I've got my own drill and I can put up a shelf and do DIY and I can probably do without men, though I'm not saying I want to.

'I did art at Richmond College and do enjoying painting, but it's done in my own personal time and I don't sell any of it. I won't get much time to get the paints out in Romania though!'

Born in Richmond, Rosie moved to St Albans to be with her husband and after three series of The Vice and some time on The Bill managed to get a part on the Darwin ward at Holby where her character has raised hell ever since.
'Jac is honest to a fault. She has no internal dialogue and says whatever is on her mind. She's very determined and career hungry and will do almost anything to get what she wants.

'She's a great character to play and there's a great chemistry between myself, Joseph (Luke Roberts) and Faye (Patsy Kensit).

'Patsy is used to playing characters just like Jac, and now plays someone completely different in Faye and has shown great versatility. Luke's popular on set, and also with the ladies.

'We have been known to go out and hang out together and I think people find it a bit strange to see us all together getting on well and enjoying each other's company.'

One thing's for sure; there'll be no dancing and drinking come the second week of September when Rosie steps out in Romania for the bear adventure, and the actress has been working hard to build her stamina up for the walk.
'I've bought some walking boots and I've been walking around Hertfordshire and plan to do some hiking in Cornwall. I hope to build up the strength in my back and I'm also planning to do some surfing because it builds up your stamina.

'I'm a little bit lazy at heart. I do go to the gym three times a week but I love to sit back with some chocolate and milk at home, but saying that I'm really enjoying myself.

'I can't wait to get started. I really respect the work WSPA is doing out there and I'm so proud to be able to join with them and highlight the plight of the bears and the need to help them.

'I donate money to them every month and it's a wonderful charity and I'm every bit as passionate about this as they are.

'There is the possibility of us doing a rescue along the way but it depends on how things go but I want to do anything I can to help.'

To sponsor Rosie visit


WSPA Bear Adventure 2009
When: September 6-12.
Where: Carpathian Mountains, Romania.
Day-by-day: Day 1 London - Bucharest - Sinaia; Day 2 Zanoaga Lake; Day 3 The Church in the Cave; Day 4 The Romanian Sphinx; Bran Castle; Day 5 The WSPA Bear Sanctuary; Day 7 Return to Bucharest.
Why: To raise money and awareness for the 170 acre, $1.4m woodland WSPA Bear Sanctuary.

For more information on the
adventure visit

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