Blue singer Antony Costa takes on a very different job tonight when he guest stars on Casualty. He’s playing a man called Matthew, who finds himself with burns injuries after being hit by a flare during a football match.
“The make-up was amazing, but quite frightening,” Costa tells us. “They have it down to a fine art at Casualty. I’d get into the chair at 6 o’clock and within an hour, I was completely transformed. What’s scary is how differently people then start to look at you. I went for lunch in the canteen with all the make-up on and I was aware just how much some people were judging me.”
Such are the extent of Matthew’s burns the character ends up getting transferred to a specialist unit. All of which meant that Costa got to do a stint on both Casualty and Holby City – so how did he find his medical experience?
“I found my feet quite quickly. I’m outgoing as it is and I first did Casualty in 2010, so Sunetra Sarker [Zoe] and Derek Thompson [Charlie] remembered me. Derek even said, ‘You again?!’ Everyone made me feel part of the team.”
It turns out though that there was also plenty of real-life drama to contend though, what with Costa’s real-life fiancée Rosanna Jasmin going into labour with their daughter Savannah part-way through filming.
“I was in in two ‘hospitals’ in two days, from the Casualty set in Cardiff to an actual hospital in Harlow, Essex. It was intense. I was ripping my make-up off and getting ready to be there for the birth!” says Costa. “I’ll never complain about a headache or tummy ache again after what I saw my missus go through.”
And after such a dramatic experience, does Costa want more acting gigs? “Deep down, it’s my passion. I’d do EastEnders all day long! I could be a Carter or maybe a Branning. I don’t think we see enough dramas on TV – and nobody does them better than BBC or ITV.
“I love being back with the Blue boys. Blue will be a part of me for the rest of my life and it’s due to the band that I get to do things like this. But if parallel opportunities happen on the way, then great.”
Casualty can be seen tonight at 9pm on BBC1