Casualty’s Harry Harper is in for a big shock this week when he finds out his ex-girlfriend Ellen is pregnant. Actor Simon MacCorkindale talks to David Hollingsworth
Q: Harry dumped Ellen last week. Why did he do that?
A: ‘The split was down to the pressure on him by senior staff members. They felt that the relationship was inappropriate because of him being in such a higher position to her. He just feels as though the relationship compromises both of them and it therefore should have no future.
Q: How does Harry react when Ellen says she’s pregnant?
A: ‘It certainly throws a spanner in the works! His instinct is not to believe her thanks to her past deceit. But when he discovers she’s telling the truth he responds in a very caring and considerate manner. He wants to do all the right things and she wants to have the baby.’
Q: Are you having a good time in Casualty?
A: ‘Yes, I’m enjoying the show. It’s a terrific bunch of people and a well-oiled machine. It’s maintained a standard over a long period that it should be very, very proud of.’
Q: What do you get up to on your days off?
A: ‘I have my own production company which has a lot of things in the pipeline. I also have my stud farm on Exmoor in Somerset, where I breed Arabian horses. That’s another very big passion in my life. I do that with my wife [actress Susan George].’
Q: Do you enjoy the fact you run the stud farm together?
A: ‘Yes, I do. I developed the interest from Susan. As her passion for it increased, my knowledge grew and so did my interest. It’s been 12 years since we started and we have over 40 horses now – it’s a full-time business in itself.’
Q: Would you like to act together again one day?
A: ‘Yes, we would. I directed her in a movie and we did a couple of episodes of various shows together, but the chance to properly act together has never really presented itself. We always said we wouldn’t go out looking for a project ourselves, but if someone offered us one we would very much like to do that.’
Q: Finally, what are you planning for your 54th birthday on 12 February?
A: ‘Planning isn’t something you do much of when you’re in a show like this! You kind of go, “Oh, I think I’m free that night so let’s go out for dinner.” So I’m sure we’ll go out and do something.’