Shelagh McLeod The Mirror Interview – March 1996

Stunning actress Shelagh McLeod is set to pump up the pulse rate tonight in the smouldering doc drama, Peak Practice.But it’s a slow burn before she beds handsome doctor Will, played by Simon Shepherd.

Canadian-born Shelagh, 36, joins the Peak Practice cast after Will advertises for a new partner – and she wastes no time warming up the Derbyshire countryside.

The actress enjoys playing her character Kate, and she found her love scenes with Simon less embarrassing than she expected. ‘I do find those sort of scenes quite hard,’ she says. ‘But in some ways it was easier because Simon and I are great mates. And he’s a good-looking guy too. You should see how they like him in Derbyshire – half the county are in love with him,’

Even though there are no really racey scenes between the pair, the passion sizzles under the surface and they grow closer over the next few episodes. ‘There are romantic and tender scenes’ says Shelagh. ‘We’d discuss them beforehand, and, to be honest it was all rather technical.’

Shelagh – who arrived back in England in 1991 after eight years in America – has a nine-month old daughter Katherine, with her second husband, property developer Marek.

In America she appeared in The A-Team and she has starred in The Chief, The Bill and wartime series Wish Me Luck over here.

Dr Kate is an ambitious woman in her mid-30’s who sets out to get her forceps into Will from the start. Sadly for the dishy doctor she’s a tough woman to pin down.

‘Kate has a bit of history behind her,’ says Shelagh, ‘and she takes no nonsense from people. I think she really takes to Will, although towards the end of this series she is unwilling to give him total commitment. Peak Practice is a great break for me. Hopefully, I will be there for a long time. We will have to see. The only down side is the cold. It’s freezing up there – but I’m having a great time.’

Shelagh has some real life medical experience. When she was an 18-year-old drama student she needed money during the holidays, so she took a job as an ancillary nurse at a hospital.

‘It was very interesting,’ she recalls. ‘I was just taking temperatures, that sort of thing. But on one occasion I was allowed to watch a hernia operation. It was pretty bloody, and I felt quite sick at the sight of the knife going in. But it was fascinating at the same time.’

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