Actor Simon Shepherd
gets to grips with his hectic doctors life…..
Simon Shepherd didn’t
need make-up for the bags under his eyes in his role as Peak Practice’s under
pressure doctor, Will Preston.
A punishing filming schedule in Derbyshire, combined with frequent trips home to
London to see his family - wife Alex six-year-old son Joe and two-year-old twins
Arthur and Billie – was more than enough to exhaust him.
But Simon insists he wouldn’t change a single thing about his hectic life. ‘I’m
delighted Will has a more integral part to play in Peak Practice now,’ says
Simon, 36. ‘My role really develops and I have a chance to explore his inner
Although Will appears smooth and dynamic on the outside, his marriage to Sarah
(Jacqueline Leonard) is in crisis. ‘It soon becomes clear that Will is very
unhappy at home, as well as having to cope with a very demanding job,’ says
Simon. ‘I relished the opportunity to show that side of him.’
As well as getting to grips with Will’s emotions, Simon had to master that
practicalities of a doctors work. ‘If you don’t believe that you’re correctly
measuring someone's blood pressure or listening to a patients chest, then the
viewers certainly won’t!’ he laughs. ‘I hadn’t studied biology since I was a
schoolboy so I had plenty to learn.’
To help with medical matters, a real-life GP, Derek Cooke, was present on set to
coach Simon and his co-stars Kevin Whately and Amanda Burton. ‘I’ve realised
that country GP’s don't have an easy time,’ admits Simon, who made his name as
the suave and scheming Piers Garfield Wards in ITV’s Chancer.
‘Not only are they on call all the time, they have to deal with a wide variety
of situations,’ says Simon. ‘Going to the doctor will never be the same for me
What's on TV, March 1994