BUSY this week with interviews for major TV series due to be screened later this year and next.
There are some great tales to tell – but not just yet.
One series on screen a little sooner is The Royal, back on ITV1 from this Sunday night.
I’ve always been a fan of both Heartbeat and The Royal and never miss an episode of either show.
The critics hate both with a passion.
Do they ever bother to watch? Somehow I doubt it.
Both Sunday night favourites are still huge hits because they deliver what viewers want.
Their casts and crews produce high quality dramas perfectly suited for that time of the week.
And there’s no sign of an end to this TV success story.
A new series of Heartbeat is on the horizon, while a seventh series of The Royal will be screened in 2008.
Comedy star Gareth Hale has just started filming scenes as a new regular cast member of The Royal.
He will play ex-Merchant Navy Officer Jack Bell, who steps in to his cousin Ken’s shoes as a porter at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital.
Michael Starke, who played Ken (pictured above), is now starring as kebab shop owner Jerry Morton in Coronation Street.
But thanks to the time lag between filming and screening, Ken has yet to leave The Royal.
In scenes to be screened next year, Ken will depart to run a B&B in Torquay, paving the way for the arrival of Jack.
Unfortunately, Jack is squeamish and faints at the sight of blood.
Next year’s series of the 1960s hospital drama will also feature a guest appearance by Sean Wilson, who was, of course, Corrie’s Martin Platt.