As dreamy Dr Andrew Attwood in Peak Practice, Gary Mavers has won an army of female fans and being voted sexiest medic on telly. But after six years on the show the Liverpool born actor is finally hanging up his stethoscope.
‘I’ve loved the job and the character and I didn’t want to get to the point where I didn’t enjoy it any longer,’ explains 36 year old Gary. ‘When you have responsibilities and a family is a big decision, but I think it’s the right thing to do for my career and to keep things fresh. I barely stopped work in the last couple of years. In between filming Peak Practice I was busy making the dramas, Blue Murder, and The Unknown Soldier. It was tiring but to be honest doing those things was what kept me in Peak Practice, knowing that I was allowed to go off and stretch my wings.’
Eventually the strain of working in Derbyshire while his wife Sue and daughters Abby and Olivia stayed at home in Liverpool became too much. Gary says ‘It’s only 80 miles away but it took two hours with a lot of it down winding country roads. The last two years were very hard. I had a gruelling schedule with no time off, and I was trying to keep my family life going. I ended up commuting an awful lot. I’ve always said acting isn’t a difficult job but the hours are long and the travelling took it out of me. For me family is what life’s all about. The first couple of years of a kid’s life is when you form a relationship with them, and I wasn’t around for a lot of that. I missed my youngest Olivia’s first steps, her first words and all that kind of stuff and it hurts.’
Since he finished filming Peak Practice, Gary has been taken a rest from acting and making up for lost time with his family. He says ‘I’ve been mowing the grass and taking the kids to school and I love it. I’d like more kids because family life is everything to me.’
Even so, he does have fond memories of his time working on the show. ‘Working on it was a real eye opener and I found myself learning an awful lot,’ says Gary.
‘Looking back some of my happiest memories were the worst times when we got snowed in or when we were doing weeks of night shoots because the camaraderie was so good. But I haven’t been sad to leave because now I’m really looking forward to the future.’