Belfast Telegraph

Ellen Pompeo jokes about Patrick Dempsey's Grey's Anatomy departure

Ellen Pompeo has to work harder on the set of Grey's Anatomy now her on-screen partner Patrick Dempsey has left the cast.

Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo is amazed by how much she gets done now Patrick Dempsey has left the show.

Patrick stunned fans of the medical drama when he quit the show exactly a year ago, and his character, Dr. Derek 'McDreamy' Shepherd, was killed off.

Ellen, 46, admits not having her pal around the set was big deal for her and she had to make some major adjustments.

"Everybody thought because Patrick was leaving that it (show) wouldn't do well, but it's doing very well," she told U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. "It's amazing how much you get done without a penis!"

All jokes aside, Ellen admitted the cast missed the 50-year-old "dearly" and his absence meant she had to push herself even harder as an actress.

"It's, 'How do I act without him?'" she confessed. "It's more challenging for me. I'm more invested. I have to work harder to find my groove without my missing part."

While Ellen is still enjoying her time on the Shonda Rhimes show, her former castmate Katherine Heigl opened up to shock jock Howard Stern last week (ends22Apr16) about the difficulties she faced during her stint on the programme.

"I had never done therapy until a couple (of) years ago," she confessed, as she opened up about the behind the scenes tensions which led to her eventual departure in 2010. "I started going because of the scrutiny. I was not handling it well. I was feeling completely like the biggest piece of s**t on the bottom of your shoe. I was really struggling with it and how to not take it all personally and not to feel that there's something really deeply wrong with me."

Heigl's drama was not helped by the fact the actress refused to submit herself as an Emmy Awards candidate, because she felt her character and storylines didn't warrant consideration.

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