Shelagh McLeod What’s on TV Interview – January 1997

Actors Simon Shepherd and Shelagh McLeod are leaving Peak Practice this week, but first their characters havesome unfinished unfinished business to sort out…

Life has been hard for Peak Practice doctors will Preston and his girlfriend Kate Webster, since their new baby Emily was diagnosed as having Cystic Fibrosis. Trying to accept the fact their child has a life threatening disease has taken its toll on the couple’s relationship.

‘Kate has been rejecting everyone around her especially Will,’ explains Shelagh. ‘It was her way of coping.’

This week, Kate realises she must take the situation in hand or risk losing her partner. ‘Kate hears about a new Cystic Fibrosis unit near Bristol,’ says Shelagh. ‘She goes to visit and comes back full of hope, but she tells Will they must move away from Cardale to the West Country right away so that Emily can start her treatment.’

This isn’t the only proposal Kate has in mind. ‘Will asked her to marry him at the end of the last series but she wasn’t ready,’ smiles Shelagh. ‘Now Kate knows it’s the right thing to do, she invites him out to lunch, then asks him to come to the register office. It’s a surprise and not something I’d do but after the brutal days Kate and Will have had with Emily at the hospital, I understand why she does it.’

Shelagh, who lives in Surrey with her husband Marek admits the emotional scenes following the birth of her screen daughter affected her deeply. ‘The baby’s diagnosis was particularly harrowing for me,’ she explains. ‘Last year, my little girl Katherine, who is now 20 months old, was rushed into hospital with an asthma attack. She had become very ill one night and I didn’t know what was wrong with her. It was very worrying. Imagining what it must be like when the diagnosis is a serious as Emilys brought the memories bubbling back. It really upset me,’

Having filmed her last scenes for Peak Practice last August Shelagh still misses the series. ‘I loved working with the crew, and Simon Shepherd. He was like a brother to me.’

Comments are closed.