Total TV Guide – 8-14th March 2008

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Simon MacCorkindale as Harry Harper in CasualtyDoctor On The Move

After six years as consultant Harry Harper, Simon MacCorkindale tells us why he’s after a new challenge

Simon MacCorkindale is very happy with the storyline that sees him leave his role Casualty this week.

There are all kinds of unpleasant ways I could have left,’ he says. ‘I could have been murdered by an ungrateful patient, for instance! So I’m delighted to be leaving with Harry’s dignity intact, via the moral high ground! And I’m glad to be leaving on a story that might make people think.’

Since Ruth’s suicide attempt, Harry has been considering releasing her diary – which reveals the scandal of long hours and immense pressures faced by young doctors – to the press.

‘Harry knew he was playing with fire, but he probably thought he could get away with it,’ says Simon.

However, when the story appears in the local paper, alongside Harry’s picture, it soon becomes clear that his days are numbered.

Simon, 56, is currently on a five-month tour of the UK with the thriller Sleuth, before, hopefully, taking the play into London’s West End.

‘I had about an hour-and-a-half’s holiday between leaving Casualty and starting rehearsals he laughs. ‘But it’s great to be back in front of a live audience ‘Being on the show has been wonderful, but there comes a time in your life when you really need to look for the next challenge and move on. Stepping out of my comfort zone is a little scary but it’s also exciting.

‘I’m also looking forward to spending more time at home on Exmoor, where my wife [actress Susan George] and I run a stud farm breeding Arabian horses. And I will get the chance to learn to ride again.

‘It may sound strange, but although horses are a big part of my life, I don’t actually ride that well!’

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