Oliver Coleman says being Casualty‘s new paediatric specialist Dr Tom Kent is like child’s play…
Your character, Dr Tom Kent, proved himself a hero in last week’s episode when road accident victim Izzy was airlifted to safety. Is Tom’s first official day in the ED as eventful?
“Yes, Tom is immediately tested when he has to save the life of Izzy’s younger brother Will, who’s fallen from a window. But, at the hospital, a situation occurs which really puts Will’s life in danger. Tom is very caring and likes to do things by the book, but he’s really just a big kid himself, acting the fool to make kids feel better. It’s great fun to play.”
What else do we know about Tom?
“No one in the ED really knows anything about him; he talks to the other doctors and nurses, but mostly prefers to keep himself to himself. His personal life is very secretive at the moment, but I’d certainly say he’s a bit of a ladies’ man.”
Clinical lead Nick Jordan gave Tom the job in the newly refurbished ED. How do they get along?
“Tom could be perceived as a bit of a lone ranger, but he’s not; he and Jordan work really well together and challenge each other a lot. When Tom initially turned down Jordan’s job offer, he was happy doing his own thing – but he soon realised he could learn a lot in the ED.”
Have you always wanted to play a doctor?
“As a kid, I always wanted to do that thing where they snap the rubber gloves on, but I’ve discovered it actually really hurts! My mum was a paediatrician, who trained at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, so when I got this job it did feel a little weird. I have called mum for advice and she’s been a really big help.”
Has it been daunting coming into Casualty as it celebrates its 25th anniversary?
“Definitely. Seeing Derek Thompson, who plays Charlie, was when it really hit me. I’d always enjoyed watching Casualty as a kid then, all of a sudden, there he was in front of me. I don’t want to be the one who makes a mistake; I want to carry on the tradition and, 10 years down the line, be remembered for doing a great job.”
Casualty continues on Saturday, January 14 at 8.40pm on BBC1.