Series 18 BBC Press Pack – August/September 2003

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Simon MacCorkindale Plays Harry Harper, Consultant

Simon MacCorkindale as Harry Harper in Casualty

Simon describes Harry in five words

The Master Of Everyone’s Destiny!


How has Harry developed over series XVIII?

“As well as having to deal with an NHS consultant’s hours, Harry has had to come to terms with the loss of his wife while looking after his five children. He finds it a very difficult juggling act and he can’t just walk away from them. He is haunted with the guilt of not being where he should have been at the time of the fateful car accident.”


What has Harry got in store for series XVIII?

At the beginning of series XVIII, Harry tries to come off the anti-depressants on which he has been dependent since his wife died, but finds the withdrawal too much too cope with. Rather than go back to hid GP, Harry starts to self-prescribe the pills, using another patient’s notes and forging Lara’s signature in episode four. His daughter, Tally, discovers what Harry has been doing. In desperation, she ask Simon Kaminski for advise and unwittingly gives him the power he needs to gain the upper hand over his boos in episode nine. With this evidence, Simon begins to blackmail Harry in episode 10. Lara confronts Harry about it and he confesses. He and Lara still have a very strong relationship and she will help him get his life back on track.


What have been your professional highs and lows since starting in Casualty?

“Professionally speaking, I can’t really think of any lows. Casualty is a strong show with a great ensemble cast and I like being amongst them a great deal. I love the community spirit. Everyone is so mutually supportive. It is easy to be negative about the challenge of making episodic TV. It’s not easy turning shows out at this speed. We in the cast certainly earn our money. But I love flying on the hoof. The low, if anything, is that the constant demand on everyone’s time and concentration is tiring. I, for one, have been in every episode since I started, i.e., 56 shows in a row – the drawback being that I can’t plan my real life much in advance. But I enjoy playing a leading man and my character is multi-faceted and interesting to explore.”


What have been your personal highs and lows since starting in Casualty?

“Watching our stud farm near Exmoor evolve has been a personal high of late. I look after a lot of the administration of the farm and get involved in the building and dirty work, too. The horse business is really riding high at the moment and we are doing really well, with 57 horses. It is our biggest year of breeding yet and so we’re at a crunch time. The low is perhaps that I don’t ride as much as I’d like to because time is tight. I do try to get home most days when I don’t have too early a start or too late a finish. I certainly like to be home for supper.

“My wife and I are also enjoying personal success with our production company, Anglo Films International. We are still working on a series of original films for UK television based on the Dick Francis canon of novels. We’ve also got a movie in the pipeline and a TV series made out of South Africa. As I barely get more than three days off in a row, I haven’t managed to get out there but it’s all very exciting.

“Other than that, I don’t have much time to relax or be by myself. Every now and again I spend the night in my apartment in Bristol but bedtime reading normally consists of scripts for the next day. My one-and-a-half hour drive to Exmoor is time to listen to the radio if I can turn my mind to it. And Susan and I love to go to shows when we can.”


Simon MacCorkindale’s vital statistics:

Age: 51
Married: to actress Susan George for 18 years
Born: Cambridgeshire
Lives: Near Exmoor

Joined Casualty for the start of Series XVII in 2002

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