Eve Myles: ‘Frankie is no Florence Nightingale’

Torchwood star Eve Myles talks to TV & Satellite Week about her new drama Frankie, which premieres on BBC1 on Tuesday at 9pm and follows the moving but heart-warming cases of a Bristol-based district nurse…

How would you describe your character, Frankie Maddox?
“She is a very dedicated professional and is incredible with her patients and their families. Nursing is not a job, it is her life and she thrives off it, but the flipside is that she is a party animal, she has got flaws and she is not a superhero or a Florence Nightingale.”

Does her work impact on her private life?
“Yes, her private life suffers a lot. Her partner, who is played by Dean Lennox Kelly, says that she puts work first all the time, but she sees it as doing what she has to do. She will drop everything to go to a patient.”

What range of cases do we sees?
“Everything from children to the elderly, real life and death situations, as well as happy scenarios. There is no cut-off point for these professionals, they get landed in it all the time and they have to be chameleons and adapt to different classes and ages.”

Did you speak to anyone for research?
“We have an ex nurse and midwives on set to help with medical procedures and my neighbour is a nurse, my auntie is a midwife and my partner’s auntie was a district nurse so I have bored them rigid picking their brains for information! We really show the human side to nursing and all the people I spoke to are chuffed to bits that they are getting shown in a drama and not being shown to be heroes, even though they are unsung heroes, they are just completely modest.”

And how does DJ Ken Bruce fit in?
“District nurses spend all their time in the car, it becomes their office and the ones I spoke to said that as soon as you close your car door your music goes on. Frankie loves Radio 2 and particularly ‘Kenneth the Bruce’ as she calls him, and she interacts with Kenneth like he is her friend. It was written especially for Ken and he read the scripts and was keen to do it, so he is the other man in Frankie’s life.”

Was it appealing to do something so different from Torchwood?
“Completely, it is lovely to have actors and not green screen! Gwen was a such a tough character and an ordinary girl caught in this extraordinary world, which was very heightened because it was sci-fi, whereas Frankie is softer and calmer and just an eccentric lunatic who has got an incredibly important job that she loves and I think if she saw an alien she would die.”


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