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Gary Mavers & Saskia Wickham    Good Morning    February 1996

INTERVIEW BY: Nick Owen

NO:    Tomorrow night sees the return to our screens of Britainís favourite medical drama Peak Practice. However in this new series thereís been a slight reshuffle in the doctors rota. Central characters Kevin Whately and Amanda Burton have said goodbye to the country town of Cardale and have left itís surgery under the solid command of Dr Preston and itís new locums Andrew Attwood and Erica Matthews. Sadly things donít seem to be getting off to such a great start.

(clip from Series 4 Episode 1, Will and Erica arguing as Andrew looks on)

NO:    And with us now Gary Mavers who plays Dr Andrew Attwood and Saskia Wickham who plays Dr Erica Matthews. Good morning to you both.

GM:    Good Morning

SW:    Good morning

NO:    And good luck with the new series. I mean youíve been it it before (to Gary) you were in the last series werenít you?

GM:    Yes, I came in 6 before the end of the last series

NO:    And now youíre in for the first time

SW:    Yes, brand new

NO:    And one of the first things you did was get soaked on the river bank

SW:    Completely yes, completely drenched

NO:    What happened that day then?

SW:    What happened in the actual filming?

NO:    Yes, you didn't have to go in did you?

SW:    We actually had to shoot it twice because the first time a lot of the cameras didnít work, so the first time we shot it I did go into the water and do everything but the second time.....

NO:    The camera's didnít work so you had to do it a second time?

SW:    The second time we did it was in December and I said ĎI donít think soí Ė so they got a stunt double to go in to the river

NO:    Prima Donna!

SW:    Prima Donna completely

NO:    But it still had to look authentic

SW:    It had to look authentic so we got covered with buckets of cold water which - I might as well have gone in to the river, and of course I had to do the underwater stuff which we did in a swimming pool which wasn't heated and was outdoor

NO:    So itís not all cosy is it, being an actress?

SW:    No

NO:    Whatís it like coming in to an established series like this which has done really well up to now? Itís quite a pressure on you, isnít it - in a way?

SW:    I havenít thought that is has been. Itís been other people saying to me Ďitís a pressureí. I think youíve got such a good head start because itís very established and itís got a great bunch of people who are already there. And because Gary and Simon were there whoíve done it before it wasnít completely brand new, and my characters very different from the one Amanda Burton was playing. I just hope people like her as much!

NO:    Now, Gary, in the beginning of this new series things are not going too smoothly are they - in the practice?

GM:    No , obviously Kevin and Amanda have left now

NO:    Youíre understaffed, thereís a flu epidemic

GM:    Yes, thereís all kinds going on. Itís in complete chaos when the series starts. Ericaís come into the practice, things donít go according to plan

NO:    Is there going to be some love interest flying around?

GM:    Yes, thereís plenty!

NO:    I sense there might be some lovey dovey going on. Are you going to tell me whoís going to love who?

SW:    Erica loves everybody!

NO:    Why do you think itís such a success?

GM:    Well I think itís partly to do with the beautiful locations we film at

NO:    The Derbyshire Peaks are absolutely magnificent arenít they?

GM:    I think the people who watch Peak Practice like to think they can identify with the doctors

NO:    Did you actually investigate a doctors life before you took this part?

GM:    No, Iíd be a liar to say that. We have a nurse on set all the time so when you have to examine someone in a certain way or give an injection in a certain way, sheís always at hand to tell us exactly how to do it

NO:    Do you actually do injections?

GM:    Well we don't actually do them but very nearly

SW:    Theyíre quite good fun, my sister-in-law is a GP

NO:    So whatís she told you about it?

SW:    Sheís an inner city GP which is a bit different but you get a sense of the lifestyle they lead. She has a beeper when sheís on call, you go for the weekend - she has small children - and suddenly her beeper goes and she has to go off. It could be someone whoís got a headache or a brain tumour and youíve got to make that decision.

NO:    Thatís the big thing isnít it - coming in with something that could be really simple and in fact itís life threatening.

SW:    I think being a GP is the hardest part of doctoring because you have to know about everything and everybody always wants and answer. People aren't necessarily coming in because theyíre very ill, theyíre coming in because they want to chat or something. They're lonely or theyíve got psychological problems. So thereís a lot you have to learn about.

NO:    Now youíve always been in this business (to Saskia) but you came in to quite late didnít you Gary? Tried other things in life

GM:    Yes I suppose I have a certain affinity as the character of Andrew. I worked as a carpenter, as a butcher, as a chauffeur, did just about every job before I decided to embark on a career as an actor. Just like Andrew, he was an electrician and decided he wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor. I was 20 when I went to RADA. It was a big change from what Iíd done before. Iíd never done acting before but I suppose weíre the same in that we both entered what is thought of predominately middle class professions and against all odds here we are

NO:    Absolutely, well good luck with the new series

SW:    Thank You

NO:    Starts tomorrow night

SW:    9 Oíclock

NO:    Peak Practice ITV, Iíll be watching and you (to Gary and Saskia) keep apart for the beginning Ė youíve got to do your job

           
           
           
   


 

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