Amanda Burton on the trials and tribulations of playing Doctor Beth Glover
Amanda Burton suffers for her art. After four long nights filming Peak Practice in the wilds of the Derbyshire countryside, we find her drenched to the skin and nursing a heavy cold.
But there’s no time to rest or recuperate.
‘With 15 episodes in this series and nine months of filming, it’s a long haul,’ admits Amanda, who plays married GP Beth Glover. ‘But I’m still very excited about the show. There are some dramatic times ahead for Beth and her husband, fellow GP Jack Kerruish (Kevin Whately).’
In the first episode, for instance, Jack helps in a cave rescue operation to free a party of children. But, as he reaches them, there’s a rock fall and Beth fears for his life.
It’s just one of the many scenes in which the actors undertake daring stunts. ‘I’m never in danger and I have a stunt double for the really difficult scenes, but I probably do more than some people,’ says Amanda, who can be seen scaling a 50ft scaffold in the second episode, as Beth tries to reach a boy who’s trapped on the ledge of a factory.
‘The only time I was hurt was while we were filming a rescue scene for later in this series,’ reveals Amanda. ‘I had to wrench open a car door to stop someone gassing themselves and, as I pulled it open, I smashed myself in the mouth. I was bleeding profusely, but luckily the damage was inside. The director kept the scene. If he’d asked me to do it again, I might have hit him!’
The actress speaks warmly of the home life she shares in London with her husband, photographer Sven Arnstein, and their daughters, Phoebe, five, and three-year-old Brid. ‘It’s extremely hard to leave my family, but when I’m at home it’s a good time, packed with activities and lots of emotion.’
It’s also a chance for Amanda to switch off from Beth Glover. ‘The children never see the series – it’s an adult programme,’ she says. ‘Beside, TV stifles a child’s imagination. In our house, we choose not to have the television on. There are far too many other things to do.’