Their romance has been rockier than the picturesque Peak District countryside they work in, but this week Beth and Jack make it up the aisle…
‘Perhaps it’s fate,’ says actress Amanda Burton. ‘We had been having terrible weather throughout the making of this series – it was wet, cold and miserable. Then, on the morning we were due to film the wedding, the sun came out. And it stayed out for two lovely days while we shot all the scenes. It was magical.’
Magical, indeed. But the omens hadn’t always looked so good for Peak Practice’s warring lovers, doctors Beth Glover (played by Amanda) and her partner, Jack Kerruish (played by Kevin Whately), as their behaviour towards each other veered from frosty to furious.
Yet here they are in this week’s episode, proceeding serenely up the aisle of Cardale Church in front of guests who include partner Dr Will Preston (Simon Shepherd) and friends Isabel (Sylvia Syms) and Ken (Frank Windsor).
‘It’s a real country church wedding,’ says Amanda. ‘And quite lovely. I get to wear a very unusual outfit – lots of different layers of cream and other colours. It’s very pretty. The wedding itself is simply done. We don’t have bridesmaids, there’s no reception and no honeymoon. You just see the two of us setting off in a little horse-drawn carriage, riding into our future.’
And what does the future hold? ‘I don’t know,’ says Amanda, 37. ‘Beth hasn’t been married before and I don’t know whether marriage will alter her, whether it will soften her. It will be interesting to see what the scriptwriters do with both the characters during the next series. Personally, I don’t think either Beth or Jack should change a lot. I mean, I can’t see them sliding into one of those cosy, slipper wearing marriages.’
In real life, Amanda has been married twice. Of her first marriage at the age of 20, all she says now is that it was a youthful mistake. Her second husband, Sven, is a photographer. ‘Our wedding was very different from the Peak Practice affair,’ she says. ‘It was a simple register office do, and very small.’ They live in London with their children, Phoebe, five, and three-year-old Brid. ‘The children are usually in bed long before Peak Practice is screened,’ says Amanda, ‘but they see me act occasionally, and are just beginning to grasp that this is Mummy’s work. ‘Sometimes they come up on location in Derbyshire, which is lovely. But they didn’t attend the wedding scenes. It would have been too difficult to film with small children around.’
The wedding may go smoothly, but will Jack and Beth’s marriage be suitable for young viewers to see? ‘Ah,’ laughs Amanda, ‘I think there is a certain amount of brimstone still to come in that relationship. But they’ll make a go of it. Beth has made her decision to marry, and she will be very loyal to that.’