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Then there were four

We're going to be seeing a lot more of Dr Tom Deneley in the future.....

Gray O'Brien has his fingers crossed. He's hoping that Peak Practice fans will grow to love him over the coming weeks. His character, handsome Dr Tom Deneley, was written into the series a few weeks ago, as the man who hopped into bed with Dr Joanna Graham and got her pregnant. But Gray's just learned that Tom is to become a permanent fixture in Cardale. He will be joining the other three doctors at The Beeches, as a partner, from the start of the next series.

'It's been amazing,' says Gray. 'I was asked to come in for a couple of guest appearances and it's just grown from there. I never expected to be asked to stay for good, but I'm thrilled to bits'.

But fans should not assume his arrival means a happy ending for Joanna Graham. 'There's lots of twists and turns to come,' hints Gray.

Joanna and Tom indulged in a night of passion at a college reunion a few weeks ago. At the time, she was still getting over the split from her surgeon lover, Martin Henderson, while Tom was also dealing with a separation from his own wife, Meg. When Joanna subsequently learned she was pregnant, she decided to keep the baby, and later plucked up the courage to drive to Scarborough, where Tom is a GP, to tell him the news. But when she arrived, Joanna was shocked to find that Toms wife had returned to beg him to have another got at saving their marriage.

Joanna went home without letting him in on her secret. However this weeks Tom arrives unexpectedly in Cardale. So will Joanna find the courage to tell him this time round? And how will he take it if she does?

'There had never been a love affair between them before the reunion,' explains Gray. 'They had always been close friends, although I think there may have been a little spark there. Tom and Meg don't have children, but he would like a family, so it's hard to say he'll react if Joanna tells him the news. You'll have to wait and see.'

It's a welcome return for Gray, who is married and lives in Glasgow. He was last seen regularly on TV two years ago in BBC1's hit medical drama Casualty. His character, senior house officer Richard McCaig, was written out after developing Multiple Sclerosis. 'I took a long break after Casualty,' says Gray. 'It had been very hard work and I needed some time just to take stock. It was great doing all the things I never had time for, like catching up with family and friends, reading, and just walking around Scotland.

'It was a real luxury. But I'm ready to start work again, and I can't think of a better place than Peak Practice. Everyone has been welcoming and I can't wait to join them permanently.'

What's on TV, March 2000