Recommended second chance
Former star of The Bill and Waterloo Road Alex Walkinshaw tells TV Choice about joining Casualty as a mature, but newly-qualified, nurse called Adrian ‘Fletch’ Fletcher…
What’s the back-story on your character?
He used to be a mechanic, but he lost his business. His wife came into the A&E with a sprained ankle and they ended up having their third child in resus at the perfect moment in his life. He looked around and saw the way the nurses are, and thought, ‘Do you know what? I’ve got some of those skills. I’ve got that bedside manner.’
You were also in Waterloo Road recently, but did you leave because of its move to Scotland?
The character just ran its course. And there was no need for him to go to Scotland. I was there for two series and that was me. That character would not have made the long journey up. He was a kind of weak, getting-it-wrong kind of bloke and I don’t think there was scope for moving on from that.
Did you have to audition for your new role? Or was it just offered to you?
The producers came up with the character and then when they were thinking about who could do it, they had a couple of us in mind. And then we came and auditioned, and that was that. It was very normal, very relaxed. I did a screen test with some of the other actors. Obviously, that’s nerve-wracking.
How long is your contract on Casualty?
Well, I’m here for a year. Then, who knows?
Were you a fan of the show before you joined it?
I grew up watching it. And like any of the long-running shows, you kind of dip in and out. At certain times of your life it’s not convenient. You’re out and about, or whatever.
Have you ever visited the room where they make the prosthetics for fake injuries?
Oh that’s a freaky room. Gruesome! Although, I’m not too squeamish. I know it’s all fake, but I don’t how I’d be faced with an open chest in real life.
Have you learnt any nursing procedures for the job?
We’re pretty close to doing it for real. There’s a bit of smoke and mirrors — we’re not actually putting needles in people or cutting people open — but we are going through it the way it would be done. So you do pick up procedures.
So how would you cope with being a nurse in real life?
The bedside manner, having a chat, I’d be fine with that. I think I’d struggle with poo, though. I think I’m with most people when I say poo is probably too much for me!