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Shelagh McLeod This Morning March 1996
Richard Madeley and
RM: Weíve now got an appointment with TVís sexiest new
doctor, actress Shelagh McLeod. They say on TV youíre never more then five
minutes away from a snog, well youíre about 25 seconds away from a snog here.
Itís from ITVís hit medical drama Peak Practice. Itís got a sure-fire
prescription for success. Itís got snappy storylines about the lives and loves
of a group of doctors in the lovely Derbyshire dales. Kevin Whately and Amanda
Burton have left the show, but new doctor Kate Webster is guaranteed to set a
few pulses racing....
(clip from Series 4, Episode 5, Will and Kateís first kiss)
RM: You barely touched lips then before you were getting him
up the stairs!
SM: I know! Forward girl!
JF: Your first appearance, is it coming up this week?
SM: No I was in episode one, Iím not in the next episode and
then I carry on and our relationship develops from then on
JF: So youíre sort of an item. Itís clear from that clip
that youíve both gone through divorces
SM: Yes, weíve both been fairly damaged so we go into this
RM: Itís happened very quickly. Do you watch the adventures of
SM: Yes I love it
RM: Isnít it great?
SM: Yes, Iím trying to get my hair done like Lois!
RM: Like Lois! Isnít it a mistake though that theyíve got
together? I think itís taken a lot of the tension out
SM: It has and her characters changed. Sheís become incredibly
sweet and I liked her when she was tough and feisty
RM: The reason I asked you was because, is there a slight
danger that you two have got together too quickly? Should there have been more
tension perhaps between the two doctors?
SM: Hard question. Well we donít actually get it together
until episode five and then we do have the usual spit spat relationship. Thereís
fallings out and will I move in? Wonít I move in? Yes itís always a problem but
I suppose if you bring it in episode 10, everyoneís waiting for it to happen, it
happens in the last five seconds and then itís over
RM: You feel cheated I suppose
SM: Yes and it was nice kissing Simon so you know, I enjoyed
JF: He and his wife are good friends of you and your
husband arenít they?
SM: Yes, we used to live literally two doors away from each
other in Shepherds Bush
RM: Does that make it more difficult? To play a love scene
with someone you do know socially, youíve had dinner with and all that
SM: Heís a very, very good friend and that is hard. Heís a
very, very good friend and itís very nice to kiss him. What can I say, it
blends, it was fine
JF: Do you regard this as being a major break for you?
It is a very popular series. It gets massive ratings
RM: I bet your agent does!
SM: I think she does too! Iíve been around for a long time,
Iíve done a lot of TV. I worked in the states a lot. I was there for seven and a
half years doing extensive TV work; A Team...blah ...blah. It is a big break in
that itís a hugely watched show and I don't think Iíve ever worked in such a
high profile show. So yes, it is a break.
RM: And what about the sexiest doc on the box tag which weíve
been relentlessly plugging all morning?
SM: Itís the first Iíve heard of it. Itís great, Iím really
RM: Well as Judy has confessed in the past there is something
ornately sexy about a male doctor to a lot of women - is there now?
SM: Well everybodyís in love with Will. Everybody's in love
with Simon Shepherd. I donít even get a look in. In Derbyshire everybody
stampedes me to get to him!
JF: Really? He gets mobbed does he?
SM: Yes he does, he really does. We stopped to get some milk
and suddenly he was swamped with these women and I was like Ďyeah, Iím in it
tooí, and they were going Ďreally, oh well move aside youíre a womaní!
RM: It wonít be long and youíll be swamped by the men
JF: So when did you go to America then? Itís quite
unusual for an English woman to make a career out there isnít it?
SM: Yes, I did it the wrong way round. I went before I was
anybody. I was fed up with England. I went over when I was 23, Iíd done a big
thing over here called ĎCream in my Coffeeí and I didnít work for 6 months
afterwards and I thought ĎSod this. Iím going!í. I went too Canada first, worked
there for a year and then went on to LA and worked in LA for seven years. I used
to come home but I was based there.
RM: You say you were in The A Team, with George Peppard and Mr
RM: It was such a laugh that programme
SM: I loved it, it was a big thing to get it
RM: Did you play a Brit?
SM: Yes I did and Mr T said I had soft hands! Thatís all he
said to me the whole show, I couldnít speak to him. I couldn't even think to say
JF: There have been rumours since, that actually it
wasnít a very happy show off set because George Peppard and Mr T couldnít stand
SM: Is that true?
JF: Well I don't know, thatís whatís been said
RM: Well the thing is George Peppard had been a star for
decades and Mr T came from nowhere, this is what we hear. We werenít there you
SM: Mr T was swamped with bodyguards. I mean he had 15
bodyguards and you were introduced as the guest star for that week and then you
went. George Peppard was lovely, a really nice man
RM: So why did you come back?
SM: Oh, divorce, personal things and also it was time to come
back. Iíd been there 7 years and my agent in London said to me ĎYou have to
decide where youíre going to be. You canít keep doing thisí. I was trying to
keep a career going here, I was trying to keep a career going there. So I came
back and put my toe in the water and thought Ďactrually, I want to live in
England now, I miss it and itís time to come backí. Iíve been to enough aerobic
RM: Well I was going to ask you about that. Did you find that
SM: Thereís a huge pressure to look good. If youíre looking
tired they start to bring in large lights and lots of make-up and tell you
Ďgo to a plastic surgeon!í. But yes there was pressure and Iím better at looking
at the machines in the gym then actually using them. Iím not very good at all
that. I used to make a pretence of going to the gym.
JF: You actually had a very severe operation on your
spine didn't you? Which must have caused some problems. Were you virtually flat
on your back for several months?
SM: Yes I was. 5 weeks in hospital and having major, major
fusions done to my spine, and complaining bitterly about it. I was the worst
JF: What would've happened had you not had that
operation? What was it called, Scoliosis?
SM: It would've got worse. I mean it was fine as
it was but my surgeon said 'Look you're fine now but when you're in your 50's or
60's you're going to have problems with your spine'.
JF: Was your spine curving?
SM: It was beginning to curve and he said 'If we
do something now it'll be fine but if we don't do it now'..and he kept saying
'You're over 30', and I said 'I'm not old', and he said 'Yes, but you're over
30. This is a serious operation, let's get it done now as appose to coming back
to me when you're 55 and you're in trouble.'
RM: It's fine now is it?
SM: Fine yes, probably stronger then anyone else's
RM: You can probably do it yourself now, after this series is
SM: I don't think so, I'm too squeamish.
It's the recovery period that's the tough bit. You've got to sit there and wait
to get better, that for me was the hardest thing because I'm not a patient
RM: No, you're a doctor person! Well
congratulations on Peak Practice
JF: Good luck with it and we hope
you'll be in it for many series to come