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Cas Actor

Ian Bleasdale

Plays Josh Griffiths

DATE OF BIRTH : 1952

HEIGHT : 6ft

BORN : Upholland, Lancashire

LIVES : Lives with his family in The Pennines, ‘The Penines is where I feel most comfortable. There’s breathtaking scenery and I love walking and cooking and just drifting. It means I can switch off totally from work. That makes me sound a real pipe-and-slippers bloke, but that’s what I love doing. I suppose I’m a bit of an old git, really.’

WIFE : Married to Andie, a school deputy head. Even his wife forgets he isn’t a real paramedic, ‘She hurt her toe last year and expected me to know what to do, she was cross when I said ‘go to the hospital’ and when she did and found it was broken, she accused me of wrongly diagnosing it!’

CHILDREN : One son, Tom

FAMILY : His father was a policeman. He also has a sister who works in a hospital.

PREVIOUS JOBS : Ian used to be a school teacher, and jokes his mother took to her bed when he decided to chuck in his ‘safe job’ of teaching to go to the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. He has also spent a week on a building site mixing concrete.

LIKES : Flying helicopters, spending time with family, water colour painting, long walks

ON CHARACTER JOSH : ‘I love playing Josh especially now that he is to join a special front line team.. the main thing I’m glad about is that they haven’t softened the character up, I’d like him to grow harder because that’s what happens to paramedics, it has to.’

DESCRIBE JOSH IN LESS THAN FIVE WORDS : ‘Very professional, confident, calm and dependant’

ON SIMILARITIES WITH JOSH : ‘I have been playing Josh for a long time and talking to the men and women who do this job for real. They are all really remarkable and, although I’m now probably a bit of an anorak on the subject, I could never match the dedication and expertise that they bring to what they do. I’m just a poncey actor!’

ON JOSH’S BEST & WORST TRAITS : ‘There is one thing about Josh which is both bad and good and that is his obsessiveness. That is not too much of a problem, given the job that he does; he makes damn sure things are right. But that ultra-professionalism, to the exclusion of all other things, isn’t good for him. He has had to cope with the terrible loss of his family and threw himself into work. But it’s time he lightened up.’

ON JOSH’S MISFORTUNES : ‘Poor old Josh. Sometimes I think it’s amazing he still gets up in the mornings, he’s really had more than anyone can take.’

ON PLAYING A PARAMEDIC : ‘I certainly couldn’t do it for real. Playing Josh has given me the confidence that I could cope with the first aid, the ‘there theres’, even the overdoses, strokes and falls. But dealing with the relatives is too tough.’

ON JOSH’S MOTORBIKE PHASE: ‘Whenever I was bored on location, I could take off for a short ride and be saluted by policeman.’

ON WHO JOSH WOULD GIVE THE KISS OF LIFE TO : ‘If I’m being naughty I’d say new ambulance technician Nikki – after all, he can kiss Colette at home!’

ON CASUALTY : ‘I think it’s a really good drama, when it’s good, it’s the best thing on television.’

REAL LIFE CASUALTY INCIDENTS : In his teens, he was involved in a car accident in the Lake District which nearly cost him his sight, ‘There were cuts all round my eyes and I was lucky I didn’t lose my sight. I had 30 stitches in my face at two in the morning at an NHS hospital. I remember how reassuring the ambulance crew were and how good the doctors on duty was. Now you can’t see any scars and that’s down to the skill of the doctor who stitched my face back together.’

ON RESEARCH FOR ROLE : Ian regularly attends call outs with real life paramedics, ‘The paramedics I drive with say it’s great because the patients are so surprised to see someone out of CASUALTY at a genuine incident, it takes their minds off what’s going on. While they’re busy looking at me, the paramedics can get on with their work.’

HEALTH ADVICE HE IGNORES : ‘I walk very quickly past the gym.’

HOW HE KEEPS IN SHAPE : ‘I love walking when I’m at home in ‘Bronte Country.’

HOW HE RELAXES : ‘Cooking. I really do enjoy it and find it very satisfying, probably because it is so far away from what I’m doing the rest of the time. I also collect wine, on a very small scale.’

FAVE FOOD & MUSIC : ‘I love all kinds of food and love cooking – the one thing I hate is parsnips. Favourite singer is Randy Newman.’

TELEVISION CREDITS : Sherlock Holmes; Ruth Rendall – No Crying He Makes; The World of Eddy Weary; Emmerdale Farm; The Brittas Empire; First of the Summer Wine; No Job for a Lady; Brookside; Boon; A Sense of Guilt; Take the High Road; Soldier Soldier; The Bill; Drop the Dead Donkey; All Creatures Great and Small; Mission Top Secret; Heartbeat; Andy Capp; Making News; Casualty; Casualty – Get Real; Hospital Heroes; Tati’s Hotel; Doctors; Lewis

* Ian was a quarter-finalist on Celebrity Masterchef in 2009.

FILM CREDITS : Last Bus to Woodstock; To Be The Best

THEATRE CREDITS : Talking to Planets; September in the Rain; Spend, Spend, Spend, School for Scandal

BOOKS : Appears in ‘CASUALTY : The Inside Story’ by Hilary Kingsley and ‘Casualty : Behind the Scenes’ by Rachel Silver.

AGENT : Brown & Simcocks, 504 The Chandlery, 50 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7QY.

Gallery : Ian Bleasdale

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