Actor Jeremy Sheffield has proved to be one
of the most popular to come out of Holby City. And, much to the
joy of the show's fans, he returned to the series earlier this
year as hunky doctor Alex Adams.
Holby has done for Sheffield, what ER did for
George Clooney. As the resident handsome doctor, Sheffield has
acquired an army of female fans.
But with so much more choice now open to him
as an actor, it was with some reluctance that he returned to the
In his time off he tried different roles,
each one far removed from Holby's Alex.
He says: "It was quite hard to come back
because I did so many other things in the break. "In some ways
it's nice to come back, as Alex was prom- oted and turned up in a
heli- copter, which was quite cool.
"But it's a bit weird and the reason for
wanting to do other things is that I'd played Alex for two years;
though he's a great character with great storylines, it's still
the same character."
While taking a break from Holby, Sheffield
played one of the many love interests of Liza Tarbuck's Linda
Green, a "sleazy, racist, bare-knuckle fighter" in BBC 3's Grease
Monkeys, and a man who loses his memory in one of the BBC's
In Hearts of Gold, he plays yet another
dashing doctor, but this time one practising in 1930s South Wales.
Hearts of Gold is a Romeo-and-Juliet-style
story of love against the odds, the tale of spirited working-class
nurse Bethan, played by Kate Jarman, who falls in love with
Sheffield's dapper doctor. As Dr Andrew John, Sheffield abandons
modern medical practices for a pre-NHS era in which matron ruled
the roost and nurses were not allowed to be married.
"Andrew comes from an educated conservative
background but doesn't fit the mould," he says.
Will he avoid doctor roles in the future?
"I've no problem with what I'm castable as,"
he laughs. "I'm a middle-class Englishman so I'll be cast as
middle-class Englishmen. They're usually intelligent men who can
be complex, so it's fine."
When Sheffield got the part of Alex he
decided to be honest about his sexuality. But while he's the first
openly gay actor to get leading-man status on British TV, it is
not something he thinks is a big achievement: "It's just what it
is. It's out there. To me, it's not a big deal, so I don't know
why it should be for anybody else."
When he got the Holby job he was chasing work
in Los Angeles.
"Working there is definitely something I'm