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I wish I were brave......

...says Saskia Wickham

Peak Practice's new doctor, Erica Matthews, is bright, impulsive and, above all, brave, Whatever the danger she rushes in to help. However, Saskia Wickham the actress who plays her, is a self-confessed coward, 'I'm nothing like Erica!' Saskia sighs' 'She's fearless and does all the things I wish I could do. I remember once being at a pop concert when my then boyfriend was a bouncer. As soon as a fight broke out, I ran the other way. The worse time was when I was with a boyfriend in a hotel room and someone broke in,' remembers Saskia. 'While my boyfriend leapt out of bed screaming at the man, I hid under the bedclothes. I was shocked at how cowardly I was. There was my boyfriend risking his life and all I could hope was that he'd be killed and not me!'

However, some might consider stepping into Amanda Burton's shoes in Peak Practice to be a brave move. 'She's a hard act to follow,' says Saskia, best known for her role as Alex in Boon. 'Amanda was brilliant as Beth Glover. But my character is totally different and it helps that Kevin Whately also left because the whole set-up at The Beeches practice has changed.

Conveniently for her Peak Practice role, acting and medicine are in Saskia's blood. Her father is actor Jefry Wickham an her sister-in-law Jo is a GP. 'I've talked to Jo a lot about the job,' says Saskia. 'I'm not sure I could be a doctor myself. I don't think I'm as selfless as she is. On the day of Jo's wedding, I was really upset because I had tonsillitis and felt too ill to attend. Then, just before the ceremony, there was a knock at the front door. It was Jo, complete with her doctors bag! She was more worried about making me better then getting ready for her wedding. After she'd gone my uncle came round, gave me a huge whiskey and told me to get up and go, which I did. I've never told Jo which medicine made me better that day!'

What's on TV, March 1996