What’s it like joining a fast-moving show like Casualty?
Well, I’m really chuffed to have got the role. It’s great to come into the show. When you’ve done theatre for ten years though, you’re used to having four weeks of rehearsal to find your character and doing tech runs of the show. But on Casualty, you turn up on your first day with your script learnt, you have a quick chat with the director, meet the actors on set, run the scene once or twice and then shoot. So, yes, it is a fast process, Plus, there’s a crew of 30-odd people watching the scene, so it’s a lot of pressure.
Is the medical dialogue difficult to get to grips with?
It can be. I’ve had a few words like “tachycardic” and terms such as “sats at 95 per cent” – at first, I had no idea what I was saying and had to consult a medical dictionary. But it’s been a lot of fun learning these things.
Are you squeamish?
Not really, in fact I find it all fascinating. I was walking down a corridor the other day and came across the prosthetics department. And I got to see all these injured legs and hands hanging on shelves. The level of detail is brilliant; it all looks very realistic. Poor Robyn puts her foot through a rake in my opening episode and the props people brought out this prosthetic that I did, at one point, think was real.
How are you finding juggling acting and parenting?
I’m based in Cardiff during the week because we’re contracted Monday to Friday. Occasionally, depending on storylines, you might do a three-day week, which allows me to come back to London more often. Home is north London – I like to be close to my daughter Betsy, who’s four this year. So I get to play Dad when I’m not playing Lofty!
Does Betsy now think that Daddy is working in a hospital?
At Christmas, we did get her this little toy medical centre because she knew that Daddy was going to be in Casualty. So she puts on her own little doctor’s jacket and stethoscope, which looks really cute. The trouble is that she’s just started pre-school and she’s been telling her teacher and friends that I’m Doctor Lofty. I have to keep telling her that I’m not quite a doctor yet, but she’s definitely asking for an upgrade.