The boyish charmer who shot fame in Pride and Prejudice is now making hearts flutter in Peak Practice
Was it hard taking over from Simon Shepherd?
No, I settled in quite quickly. The rest of the cast made me very welcome, and I was able to work with Simon before he left the show. Not having seen the series before may have helped me bring something new to it.
What is David like as a doc?
Old-fashioned, idealistic and very hard-working. He’s committed to the kind of bedside medicine which involves looking after his patients for as long as it takes. That’s something that happens less and less in today’s society.
Have you had much experience of doctors?
Thankfully, no. I had an emergency operation to remove my appendix when I was 13, but since then I’ve had a pretty clean bill of health.
Was Pride and Prejudice fun to make?
It was fantastic. The show really launched Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (who played Darcy and Elizabeth), but it also boosted everyone else who was in it. If people like what you’ve done, they’ll remember you.
Was you childhood a happy one?
Very happy. My dad’s job in the Royal Marines took him to Australia, and I lived in Adelaide until I was nine. When I came back to England I was teased at school for my accent – and for the fact that I couldn’t play cricket.
Would you go back to Australia?
It would be a great place to bring up my seven-year-old daughter Anna, but I’m established over here now. I’d end up playing the token Pom if I went back for good.
Where did you meet your wife?
About 12 years ago, Michelle – who’s now a psychotherapist – and I were appearing in David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity In Chicago. Our characters had no sympathy for each other, but of stage it was a different story.
Have you been out of work a lot?
I’ve had a couple of spells where I was unemployed for a few months, which is soul destroying. The adage about success breeding success is very true – if you go to interviews looking like a failure, you won’t get far.
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve done?
Cycling 1,800 miles across the desert from Perth to Adelaide. The guy in the bike shop reckoned we’d never make it, so it gave me great pleasure to send him a card when we did!