Actor Tom Chambers joined the cast of HOLBY CITY in January 2006 as registrar Sam Strachan, and has since built up a legion of fans, who have enjoyed his storylines; from his fling with Connie which has resulted in her pregnancy and his over-involvement in patient cases which have landed him in trouble many a time.
We talk to Tom about his time on the show so far…
You’ve been on Holby for over a year now – are you still enjoying your time on the show?
Much more than ever before. It took a long time to feel comfortable with the medical jargon and equipment when there’s a camera in your face!
The new Series Producer Diana Kyle and Executive Producer Tony McHale are so committed to improving the show that there’s a good working environment on the show at the moment where we’re constantly trying to better what we’ve done.
Your character Sam is extremely popular with viewers (you were voted favourite male of the series last year in our holby.tv poll) – why do you think your character has such a strong fanbase?
No idea! I just try to turn up on time and learn my lines. I love playing Sam and finding different ways of doing things. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions and storylines – some are not as easy to manage as others and it’s always a challenge to find the most natural and interesting way to deliver.
What kind of fanmail do you get? What’s the weirdest fan mail you’ve ever received?
It’s been pretty tame, I’ve had the odd present – usually something to do with cars as I’ve always loved driving since being a kid.
You’ve had some great storylines so far – what have been the most memorable for you to do?
For me it’s mostly about moments – being slapped round the face twice in one day was definitely memorable as I filmed the scenes back to back.
The storyline with the homeless prostitute was a challenge. Sam, trying to help but making stupid mistakes and having to suffer the consequences – it could have easily been seen as sleaze if you didn’t get the balance right. There’s more to come on that which I can’t talk about.
With Connie’s current pregnancy and his relationship with Chrissie, there seems to be some exciting storylines brewing – can you hint anything about what lies ahead for your character in upcoming months?
I can’t comment but I’m sure you can guess there’s added tension.
Some of the scenes with Connie work amazingly well because we do genuinely get worked up and we like to keep it that way until filming is finished. It’s a useful tip to let the frustrations come through in your work – it makes good viewing.
Last year there was a bit of controversy over scenes which seemed to be cut from the episode where Sam and Connie were about to kiss in the office before the end credits. Can you shed light on the scene filmed and what viewers might have missed?
It may have given off the wrong idea, it may have been too risky. The producers work very hard to get the right image at the right time and it may have just looked out of place. It’s still a mystery to this day…
Do you find it embarrassing filming passionate scenes?
You know it’s the weirdest thing. You’re being directed. It’s like your dad looking over your shoulder. It’s the most unromantic and impassionate instruction. Your concentration goes on hitting the right marks and adjusting for the cameras… anything but the kissing!!
Who are your closest friends on Set? Do you socialise much with cast outside of work hours?
Luke and I joined at the same time so we’ve always had a kinship and on our dressing room corridor we have Patsy, Rosie, Phoebe, Rakie and Jaye so there’s always some banter going on, it’s like being back at school. I think we’re lucky because the guests we have on the show often comment on what a good atmosphere Holby has.
Have there been any funny/ pranks or embarrassing moments on Set that you can share?
Paul Bradley who plays Elliot is one of the funniest people to work with – when the cameras aren’t rolling he’s very good at turning difficult moments into humour when everyone’s feeling the strain to finish the day.
You’re celebrating your 30th birthday next May – do you have any plans?
All my friends are turning 30 around the same time so we’re all hoping to go to Spain together as one big group.
Do you enjoy travelling? What would be your favourite holiday destination?
I love the outdoors whether it be the hills of the Peak District or on the British coast but snow ski-ing has to be my favourite.
Do you have any future work ambitions or a dream acting role?
I hope to work in film one day. Most TV has very little rehearsal and I enjoy the development time you get with film. The problem with a lot of film at the moment is that it doesn’t look like anyone could do it. The attraction for me is when it looks humanly possible. That’s what inspires me lying awake at night, it’s what Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly have in common, watching them makes me creative.
Would you ever consider going on a reality TV show?
I would hate to go on a reality TV show unless there was a challenge or a goal in mind. They are great to watch but for me I’m not sure what the point would be… having said that I’ll no doubt have to eat my words… in this industry you never know where exactly you could end up next!