What’s On TV – 10th September 2002

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Bad day at the office

As Casualty returns for a new series, Harry Harper is going to wish he hadn’t got out of bed.

Thanks to Holby.TV for this article

Consultant Harry Harper is spending what he hopes will be a nice day out at the fair with his kids. But you just know that, this being the first episode in a new series of CASUALTY, disaster is looming.

Sure enough, it’s not long before Harry is dealing with one of the biggest and goriest disasters ever to hit Holby – a crash involving the air ambulance which is called to an emergency at the fair.

‘There’s a lot of blood but I’m okay with that,’ says Simon MacCorkindale, who plays Harry. ‘I run a stud farm with my wife (actress Susan George) and we’re used to all sorts of mucky things.’

The helicopter crash aside, the new series picks up where the last ended in June.

Fans will be relieved to hear that Nikki has survived the brutal attack which left her close to death. But poor Lara is facing manslaughter charges, following her act of self-defence against a violent police officer.

It’s Harry’s ordeal, however, that dominates the episode. When he arrives back at the hospital, he’s dismayed to find that lives have been lost, despite his heroic action. And it doesn’t help that his son Jordan is among the injured.

Still a relative newcomer to the cast, Simon – who starred in the soap opera Falcon Crest and various other US shows – is set to become a bigger part of CASUALTY, having just signed a three-year contract to extend his role as Harry. But he’s very keen to ensure that he isn’t sucked into soap style storylines.

‘I think you lose something if you make someone like Harry run-of-the-mill,’ says Simon, 50. ‘There’s a bit of push-me-pull-you going on between myself and the producers over this, but I think we will find a good balance.’

Simon doesn’t even mind that the warehouse in Bristol where CASUALTY is filmed is a far cry from the Hollywood sets that he’s known for most of his acting life.

‘I find myself saying things like ‘Where’s my Winnebago?’ but it falls on deaf ears,’ laughs Simon. ‘In Hollywood, it starts to become about status and whether mine is bigger than yours. It’s very silly. We’ve each got our own dressing rooms here and that’s all you need.’

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