Doctor in Distress
There's trouble in store for Peak Practice's handsome Dr Will Preston
Like Dr Will Preston, the character he
plays in ITV's Peak Practice, Simon Shepherd knows only too well the stresses
and strains of modern living.
But the 36-year-old actor wouldn't dream of getting himself into the sort of
financial scrapes Will finds himself in. This week, the weak-willed doctor feels
under attack from all directions. At work, Dr Jack Kerruish (Kevin Whately)
continues to dazzle patients as well as senior GP Beth Glover (Amanda Burton)
with his bedside manner, while, at home, Will's wife, Sarah, wants the life of
luxury his pay packet just can't afford.
'Without thinking, he takes up an offer from a drug company to test medicines on
his patients for money,' reveals Simon. 'But he doesn't tell the other doctors.
When one woman gets sick, the pressure mounts.'
Best-known for his range of upper-class cads - he was the scheming Piers
Garfield Ward in the drama series Chancer and the possessive Edgar Linton in the
recent film version of Wuthering Heights - Simon admits he enjoys devilish
'I have been typecast,' says Simon, 'but I don't want to bite the hand that
feeds me. It makes all the difference if you work with actors you respect. Kevin
is great. If you think he's nice on telly, he's even nicer off it!'
Despite his flair for his latest role, Simon says he couldn't be a doctor. 'I'm
too squeamish,' he reveals. Although when he had to deliver a baby in a recent
episode, he had some experience to draw upon. Simon was present at the birth of
his twins, Billie and Arthur, now 18 months. 'It was an extraordinary
experience,' says Simon, who's married to stage designer Alex Byrne. The couple
also have another son, five-year-old Joe. With three children to budget for,
Simon says, unlike Will, he wouldn't live beyond his means. 'The most
extravagant things I buy nowadays are nappies!'
What's on TV, June 1993