Being the only actor to have had a major role in both medical dramas, fans have fond memories of Clive Mantle’s character, caring Consultant Mike Barratt. Clive joined CASUALTY in 1993, and appeared in five series before making his debut in HOLBY CITY in 1999. Kindly he shared his memories with holby.tv…
Having appeared in CASUALTY and HOLBY CITY, do you have fond memories of working on both shows?
Extremely fond and happy memories of CASUALTY, as it was luckily at it’s height when I was there. Not that that had anything to do with me, but it was watched by 16 million people regularly and was consistently well written. Less happy memories of HOLBY, as I only really enjoyed the surgical scenes and the odd head to head with George Irving and doing the crossword with Jan and Thusitha.
Did you take any keepsakes with you from your time playing Mike Barratt?
I was given my stethoscope, which luckily has not come in handy. Keepsakes from CASUALTY will be memories of Jane Gurnett, Steven O’Donnell, Ian Bleasdale, Dona Croll, Derek Thompson and working hard and laughing a huge amount. Plus meeting the real experts, Geoff Hughes, Peter Salt and Clive Hadrell.
Did you enjoy playing the character of Mike?
I loved the man and immersed myself in his love for helping people at their most critical moments in life. It was a privilege to be able to portray such a constructive and likeable man, and to try to attempt to illuminate for the audience some of the complexities of life in a hospital.
Can you remember your first scene/ words filming on CASUALTY? Were you nervous when you first joined the show?
I just remember bicycle clips, helmet and 14 takes. Extremely nervous but I soon settled in.
Do you still keep in touch with any cast members from CASUALTY or HOLBY CITY?
Ian Bleasdale from CASUALTY and George Irving from HOLBY. George and I went to Everest together and once you’ve shared a tent with someone at 18,000 feet, you are pals for life.
Do you ever watch either show now?
It sounds rude – but no. I don’t mean to be rude at all. I just do not have the time. I never watched hospital dramas before I was in CASUALTY, so I see no reason to start now. I prefer to do other things and TV plays a miniscule part of that.
CASUALTY celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year, why do you think CASUALTY is still a success today?
I’ll leave that to others to judge. But congratulations to the old girl for staying the distance! It is a remarkable achievement, considering how many producers have tinkered with it over the years.
Did being in CASUALTY and HOLBY CITY increase your medical knowledge in any way?
We were so embarrassed by our lack of first aid knowledge, I encouraged some of the cast to go on a city life saver course, which teaches you the ABC of keeping blood and oxygen circulating around the body until proper medical help arrives. It should be compulsary in every school.
You’re appearing in a theatre production of ‘Killing Castro’ which starts this month. What can you tell us about the play?
It’s an exciting, funny and ultimately sinister look at the CIA’s attempts in 1960 to kill Castro. They hatched plots about exploding cigars and poisoned socks, amongst others and it’s a timely reminder to be very sceptical about those in authority, their motives and their ability.
You’ve appeared in a large number of acting projects, what do you consider some of the highlights of your career to date?
Stage; Lennie in Of Mice and Men, TV; Robin of Sherwood and CASUALTY, Film; White Hunter Black Heart.
What other projects are you working on?
I have just written my first novel for children, ‘The Adventures of Freddie Malone’ which hopefully will get published.