Interview taken from TV Times 20th - 26th January 2001:
What a way
Starring in TV's top emergency drama is clearly a risky business. Only one actor survives from the original cast, and some of his best mates went out in boxes!
|This week sees the return
of London's Burning, which has been a ratings winner for
ITV every since the series - based on a TV film by Jack
Rosenthal - first came nee-nawing onto our screens in
1988. But the boys (and more recently, girls) of today's
Blue Watch would barely recognise any of their Eighties
forebearers. One by one the old guard have been written
out, some simply quitting the Fire Service, others making
the ultimate sacrifice to boost the show's ratings.
Vaseline, played by heart-throb Mark Arden, was the first of them to die, drowned back in 1989 when he heroically tried to save a driver whose truck had fallen into Surrey Docks. Sub Officer John Hallam (Sean Blowers) was killed when he fell througha glass roof in 1996. But the worst was still to come. In the explosive final episode of the last series, one of the last two surviving members of the original cast, Sicknote, played by Richard Walsh, disappeared under a collapsing wall in a factory fire.
Now only one remains. "Sicknote was my great mate" reminisces Glen Murphy, the sole survivor from the eighties. "And good luck to him. Richard is a proper RADA-trained actor; when he left he went straight into work on an Oscar Wilde play. I can just imagine him in a cravat!"
2001 - a new and improved Blue Watch
|1. Connor Byrne as Rob "Hyper" Sharpe continues to live up to his spiky reputation, but at home provides a shoulder to cry on for his new flatmate Sally||2. Sam Callis plays Adam Benjamin, a veteran fireman brought in to replace Sicknote. Adam's a charming wheeler-dealer who encourages others to participate in his dodgy schemes.||3. Edward Peel plays John Coleman, the station commander. Viewers get an insight into his softer side following his romance with councillor Alison Hemmings||4. Glen Murphy plays George Green. Softened by his new love Andie, George has even learned to cook! But his career hangs in the balance after he is accused of theft.|
|5. Ben Onwukwe plays Stewart 'Recall' Mackensie, who's euphoria at falling in love with pub landlady Elaine is spoiled by the arrival of his son, would-be firefighter Ben.||6. Heather Peace plays Sally "Gracie" Fields, who's still dealing with the death of her lover Joe. Throwing herself into work, grieving Gracie remains one of life's fighters.||7. Fuman Dar joins Blue Watch as Ronnie "Hi-Ho" Silver. Teased straight away when the lads discover he's a virgin, he finds support after he confronts an horrific emergency.||8. Michael Garner plays new dad Geoffrey 'Poison' Pearce, a hate-figure who's lost none of his venom now he's been promoted to Watch Commander.|
|1988 - What's become of the Old Watch?|
|1. John Hallam Sub Officer was killed in 1996 falling through a roof. he was played by Sean Blowers, who is still acting but has now mainly moved to behind-the-camera safety as a producer of short films.||2. Josie Ingham, Blue Watch's first female firefighter, was played by Katherine Rogers until 1991. Today, along with regular TV roles, Katherine woks in theatre and is directing The Taming of the Shrew in Cardiff||3. Sidney Tate Station Officer, turned to drink, failed his medical and was taken off-duty in 1992. He was played by James Marcus who now combines a writing career with appearnces in series such as The Bill and Heartbeat.||4. Mike "Bayleaf" Wilson quit in 1994 to set up a restaurant. James Hazeldine spent much of last year with the National Theatre. he's Pandora's dad in the forthcoming BBC series "Adrian Mole - The Cappuccino years"||5. Bert "Sicknote" Quigley disappeared in an explosion in the last series. Actor Richard Walsh, who was back on TV in the Heartbeat Christmas Special is soon to tour in Oscar Wilde's Present Laughter||6. Leslie "Charisma" Appleby - so called because he didn't have any - quit in 1992. Gerard Horan was seen in The Sleeper at Christmas and has just filmed a new BBC series The Quiet Policeman.|
|7. Tony Sanders quit the fire service to start a posh designer shop in 1991. He was played by Treva Etienne, who starred in ITV's The Last Train in 1999 and is now winning awards as a director of short films.||8. Malcolm Cross that smooth ladies man, left to move abroad with his lady lodger in 1992. Rupert Baker, who played him, stars in the play Naked Justice which opens at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Friday and later comes to London's West End||9. George Green (Glen Murphy) soldiers on. "In the new series, we've got a fantastic new fire station in East London which is 30 minutes nearer my home" he says "After all this time I deserve an extra half-hour in bed!"||10. Roland "Vaseline" Cartwright, a slippery womaniser, was killed off in 1989. Last year actor Mark Arden starred in An Inspector Calls in the West End. He'll be back on TV in Roy Dance is Dead, a new series for C4||11. Kevin Medhurst left Blue Watch in 1996, though he did turn up again for Geoff's stag party last year. he was played by busy actor Ross Boatman who - like Mark Arden - is in C4's forthcoming Roy Dance is Dead|