There should be a revolving door on the Peak Practice surgery. No sooner is Simon Shepherd back in, than Joseph Millson is ready to hang up his stethoscope. After two years of doling out antibiotics as dedicated Doc, Sam, Morgan, he’s sent packing on his wedding day in this week’s highly charged episode.
So why is Joseph, 26, so thrilled about Sam’s enormous sendoff? ‘Apparently I’m the first doctor ever to leave as a bad guy,’ he chuckles.
‘It’s more fun to do than just going out with a tear or getting run over. Playing a doctor is like being a straight guy in a comedy act, your job is to feed guests. So, for a change I get to do all the twitching.’
Joseph was surprised at how sad he felt after filming the final scenes. ‘When it came to the last show, I went over to give a hug to the crew. I got back to my camper and phoned my wife and just burst into tears.’
So why leave Peak Practice after just two years? ‘It’s just too early in my career to get stuck, and the deal was that if I wanted to stay I would have had to stay six years in all. It was now or never.’
But Joseph’s got another motive. Leaving Peak Practice he says is his last grasp at youthful freedom before settling down to parenthood with his actress and singer wife Caroline Fitzgerald. ‘It will be six months to a year before we start trying for children but I’m broody as hell,’ he says.
Before that though he’s off on a world theatre tour of George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss. ‘I just begged for an audition,’ says Joseph. ‘It’s the kind of theatre I’ve always dreamed about.’
Still, once he sewn his theatrical oats and settled into fatherhood Joseph is keen to return to our screens. Here’s an idea, peak fans will know that Dr. Sam is packed off to Africa, the same destination as previous practice doctors Jack and Beth, played by Kevin Whately and Amanda Burton. ‘Maybe Sam will meet up with them for a spin off,’ jokes Joseph.