Amanda Burton has come a long way since strutting her stuff in Brookside, but there’s no doubt that her five year stint as Heather Haversham helped her prepare for some of the dangers of playing Peak Practice’s, most glamorous Doc, Beth Kerruish!
‘In the new series I had to go up a fireman’s cradle lift and climb through a castle ruin to rescue a boy in a building. It was quite difficult because I have no head for heights,’ revealed, Amanda.
Fortunately, a professional rescue team was on hand to keep an eye on Amanda and her co stars.
‘Even though we were up there for two days, the firemen were great,’ explains Amanda. ‘They made me feel confident, which helped calm my initial nerves,’
Great care is taken to ensure the safety of the cast when filming and also to make the situations look real.
‘Before you come to play a scene where you have a medical procedure you pretty much learn it by heart,’ explains, Amanda. ‘Even if things aren’t 100% right, if you look confident you can make it seem realistic.’
Ever so occasionally things do go wrong however, as Amanda witnessed first hand when she was injured during filming a scene in the current series.
‘I got a bit over enthusiastic with a car door when I was rescuing someone who was trying to commit suicide,’ explains Amanda.
‘I had to break into the garage and wrench his car door open and I wrenched it back onto my mouth. I didn’t realise I’d done it until someone noticed the blood. It hurt like hell. But we kept it in the take!’
Despite their apparent differences there are a lot of similarities between working on a drama and like Peak Practice and a long running soap such as Brookside.
‘Both shows require equally long hours,’ says Amanda. ‘You work very hard on a soap that’s going out three times a week, as indeed you work jolly hard doing a panto three times a day in the Christmas season.’
But five years as Heather Haversham during the 80s certainly equipped Amanda for playing strong women, and her new character Beth is no exception to that rule.
‘I admire her. I like the way Beth is strong and deals with things. She would be right there for you and she’s not frightened of saying exactly what she feels. I’m sure there are some similarities between us.’
Amanda has more in common with Beth than she ever did with accountant Heather Haversham on Brookie. ‘I wouldn’t have enjoyed working nine to five for business company, although I enjoyed dabbling in things like that,’ admits Amanda. ‘But in my career I prefer to be my own boss and have some sense of freedom!’