Grey’s Anatomy: Why is Derek Shepherd returning? Patrick Dempsey speaks out

Grey's Anatomy: Meredith Grey fights for life in episode promo

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Derek Shepherd (played by Patrick Dempsey) – better known to many as McDreamy – was one of the original cast members of medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. He had an intensely passionate relationship with Dr Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) which made his exit storyline even more heartbreaking. Actor Dempsey’s time on the ABC series hasn’t come to an end though as he will star in the 17th season.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Grey’s Anatomy.

Derek and Meredith had an on-off relationship in the early days of Grey’s Anatomy as his previous marriage to Dr Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) got in the way.

Eventually, they were able to work things out and got hitched in season five in a low-key registry office after they gave their ceremony to Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and Izzie

Stevens (Katherine Heigl) after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic melanoma.

Fans were left heartbroken at the end of season 11 when Derek was killed off after being involved in a car accident.

Actor Dempsey hasn’t been in the drama since but will be returning for series 17.

Why is Derek Shepherd returning to Grey’s Anatomy? 

Dempsey will be reprising his role as McDreamy in the upcoming 17th series.

Six years after his character’s death, Dempsey decided to return to Grey’s Anatomy after he was inspired by the doctors and nurses coping with the coronavirus pandemic in real life.

Speaking on This Morning, Dempsey explained: “Ellen and I got together and we were like, ‘What can we do to inspire people?’

“And just bring attention to the frontline responders – the doctors and the nurses – and all the people taking care of us right now, they need to be honoured.”

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These scenes have already aired in America as Grey’s Anatomy season 17 begun in November 2020.

Dempsey also teased how his return to the medical drama is “very interesting” but fans are just going to have to wait to find out more.

Sadly, the wait for Grey’s Anatomy series 17 to start in the UK is taking longer than expected.

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Grey’s Anatomy airs on Sky Witness in the UK but there isn’t a set pattern between when the series starts in America and when it comes over here.

Season 16 began airing on ABC in late September 2019 but didn’t start on Sky Witness until April 1, 2020.

There wasn’t as long to wait though for season 15 as it began in late September 2018 and crossed the Atlantic the following month.

As of yet, there is still no UK release date for Grey’s Anatomy’s 17th season.

For those in America though, there won’t be too long before the drama returns.

Grey’s Anatomy is currently in the middle of a hiatus but will return next month.

Episode seven of series 17 will air on ABC on Thursday, March 11.

Grey’s Anatomy season 17 is available to watch on ABC. 

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