Kevin Whately & Amanda Burton Woman Magazine Interview – March 1994

It takes practice for women to lust after you.

Perhaps it’s those gentle caring eyes and the smooth bedside manner – but after years of playing Inspector Morse’s dull sidekick Lewis, cuddly Kevin Whately has become an overnight sex symbol. Medical men, especially on TV, do seem to have a certain something. Is it because apart from your lover, the doc’ the only chap who can ask you to disrobe? Or is it the godlike power over life and death that even the humblest GP seems to possess?Whatever the reason, Kevin is having trouble accepting his new status as Peak Practice’s super hunk Dr. Jak Kerruish.

The softly spoken Geordie says ‘I’m amazed at people’s taste. I’m a reluctant sex symbol. When people recognise me in the street I find it very hard to deal with.’ He admits Dr Jack could not be more different from Lewis. ‘He’s tougher and more worldly. He drives a classic car, and has an eye for the ladies.’ Kevin is amused to be playing a Romeo, but says ‘I don’t think Jack’s aware of being a flirt he just likes women. Lewis was a bit boring,’,he laughs. ‘But that was part of his function. But even Lewis was a departure for me because, in the past, I tended to get cast as over the top Georgie lads. In real life, I’m really very shy.’

If Kevin wants any pointers on becoming a pin=up. He need look no further than co-star Amanda Burton, who plays Dr. Beth Glover, his professional partner, and some time bedfellow in this series. Amanda, who attracted a battalion of male fans in her Brookside role as Heather Haversham, is relieved to be hiding her shapely curves under a baggy sweater in this role. ‘I must admit, I feel very comfortable in her unglamorous clothes.’ she says. ‘Beth’s basically a career girl who doesn’t have time to slap on the makeup or bother about her appearance too much. And in that way. the series is realistic. She’s a typically overworked GP.’

The series about a doctor surgery in Derbyshire proved to be a huge TV winner last year – nearly 13 million viewers tuned in to catch up on the on-off romance between Beth and Jack. Amanda says ‘It’s a good screen relationship. It’s feisty and strong. Beth’s single minded and that hasn’t changed in the second series, which is great. It’s not about bedroom romps, but more about the meeting of two minds. Beth and Jack both hold out for their own causes and their own territory.’

Amanda won’t give any more away, but does concede ‘Their relationship develops more this time around, it moves along. You’ll just have to wait and see.’ She adds with a wry smile.

Amanda is full of praise for Kevin ‘We feel relaxed with each other and that’s what chemistry is about. It’s not about measuring the size of each other’s dressing rooms.’

Kevin 42, who had the role of Dr Jack specially written for him once toyed with the idea of becoming a doctor himself, but decided the lengthy training would be too much. ‘Biology was my favourite subject at school’ he says. ‘I seriously considered the idea, but opted to be an actor in the end.’ There was another problem too. ‘I’m afraid of needles’ he chuckles. ‘They make me go weak at the knees.’

Kevin researched the role by spending time with his own GP near his Bedfordshire home and playing Dr Jack has given him enormous respect for the real thing. ‘It’s a tough job,’ he says. ‘They have to keep everyone at arm’s length and can’t afford to get emotionally involved. It’s like being a priest, they face dreadful dilemmas every day. Sometimes just listening and talking is the cure.’

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