Gray O’Brien GMTV Interview – September 2000

INTERVIEW BY: Eamon Holmes & Fiona Phillips

EH: When it returns tomorrow, Peak Practice promises to be as dramatic as ever. One of it’s new stars who made his mark at the end of the last series, Gray O’Brien alias Dr Tom Deneley joins us this morning. Doctor, very nice to have you in the house.

GoB: Good morning

FP: That’s a very nice beside manner you have

GoB: Thanks very much. I still don’t know what that means

FP: No I don’t either

GoB: No idea

EH: You’re in grieving. What an end to the last series where Dr Tom lost his partner and he’s left bringing up baby and all that

GoB: Yes my goodness. It was quite a sad ending to the series wasn’t it? Haydn’s gone and it was really…..

FP: You’re left almost speechless by it

GoB: I am speechless about it because it’s six months ago since it was on screen

FP: I guess so and even longer since you filmed it I suppose

GoB: Well no, six months. I think it went out about four weeks after we finished shooting it. I just remember being stuck in a field in Cromford in Derbyshire in the snow and the hail, and Haydn lying there with all this fake blood lying around, but it really looked, I mean standing over her shooting that scene, it was horrible. Real tears I think that was

EH: Well here’s a bit of an insight as to how it’s all made and where it’s made and the the weather conditions, and what we’ve done actually Gray, we have gone behind the scenes, Andrea McLean has. Here’s a wee look behind the scenes of Peak Practice and we’re talking more to Gray after we get the sneak preview

AM: Welcome to Ashover, a quiet village in the heart of the Peak District. Some of you however, may recognise this place as a village called Cardale, home to Peak Practice. Television history dictates that TV doctors set hearts racing and Peak Practice is no exception

JM: To have someone nice come to your bedside and nurse your ills is everyone’s fantasy isn’t it?

AM: You’ve (to Gary) done some very torrid love scenes if you don’t mind me saying. Are you going to miss doing those?

GM: I think I’ve kind of done them to death now, I’ve done that many. I wouldn’t mind not taking my shirt off in the next couple of years

AM: Now Simon, I don’t mean to be rude but what are you doing here?

SS: I’m back in the show. Not at the beginning of this series but I come back in to the series

AM: And how do you come back in, is it a big dramatic entrance?

SS: I’m not telling you any storylines because I’m under strict orders not to. Yes it’s a very dramatic storyline and the storylines they’ve got lined up are fantastic. Dr Will is back and he’s back with a vengeance!

AM: Now Gary, you are about to break thousands of women’s hearts because you’re leaving the series aren’t you?

GM: That’s right yes. I’ve had five lovely years with the show. I think it’s inevitable with any long running series with long running characters it suddenly becomes a little bit stale. We’ve done all the storylines and there’s kind of nowhere else to go with it. So I think it’s time for me to move on.

EH: So, Gary Mavers out, Simon Shepherd in. Revolving doors.

GoB: It’s great. I was looking at something over the weekend in the press and they say how after ten series can it continue with new cast all the time. I think it’s really good for the show and Maggie O’Neill, Simon Shepherd and myself, I think it’s a good group.

FP: We always have this discussion because people are constantly coming in, leaving, every time we have a discussion with someone its ‘is it good for the series?’, and it’s shown it has otherwise it wouldn’t be in it’s tenth series

EG: But a big commitment form you to move down and actually live there

GoB: Yes it was a big decision actually because I had done Casualty for quite a period of time and it’s definitely difficult to go back into a show where you’re away from home, because we are living in Derbyshire. So my wife and I talked about it for a month and we decided ‘let’s go for it’.

EH: It would have been easier to go to medical college wouldn’t it

GoB: I think after I’ve finished this I could probably have done medicine.

EH: Is it true, and I can’t picture this with your image, do you potter around the garden?

GoB: Yes I do. Actually I was away on holiday and I came back and the greenhouse, the tomatoes have come up but my courgettes have done nothing. I tried it because I’ve got Victorian greenhouses and I think they have to be used. I think Lynne thinks something’s going on because I spend hours in there. They do take a lot of time, I’m going to have to get some books for next year.

FP: I think that’s lovely.

GoB: I don’t talk to them

FP: Do you not?

GoB: No

FP: Maybe that’s why you’re having trouble

EH: Great seeing you, hope all goes well with the new series. We’ll be tuned in tomorrow night to see it and it was fascinating to get a look behind the scenes there

GoB: Thank you

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