Kevin Whately What’s on TV Interview – March 1994

Doctor in Love

There’s something about doctors which some people find irresistible. Especially other doctors. You’ll remember in the first series of Peak Practice pushy Dr Jack Kerruish (Kevin Whately) arrived in the Derbyshire village of Cardale and went into partnership with the beautiful Dr. Beth Glover (Amanda Burton). Now, at the beginning of the second series, which starts this week, Jack and Beth are partnership in every sense of the word. ‘Well, not every sense,’ says Kevin, ‘We still live in separate houses for a start. The producers decided against marrying of Jack and Beth at the beginning of this series because it would have made the story too boring. Their love life does not go very smoothly at all. It’s a very rocky road, it always will be with two such strong characters.’

Kevin ought to know about working with a partner, his wife Madealine Newton has starred with him in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Inspector Morse and an episode of Peak Practice, in which she played a mountain rescue ranger. ‘We enjoy working together but it has become more difficult now because one of us needs to be with the kids, Kitty and Kieran Madealine is very protective of them,’ says Kevin.

When he was in his teens, Kevin actually toyed with the idea of becoming a doctor. ‘I was good at biology at school and it sounded like a nice job,’ he recalls. ‘But after playing Jack Kerruish I realised how demanding it is. It’s a hell of a life.’ But the series has rekindled his interest. ‘I’m no expert but I do read the medical columns in the papers now,’ he says. ‘I am pleased with the way we’ve dealt with such subjects such as AIDS. One storyline in the first series involved in epileptic priest. We had a lot of feedback on that one. There was a girl who had an epileptic fit two days after the episode was screened. But her boyfriend had seen that episode and was able to help her. It’s important for us to feature that sort of illness because people can feel very isolated if they’re not aware just how many others are in the same boat.’

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