Sunday, 26 July 2009

Interview with Adam Croasdell


In May 2009, EastEnders landed themselves a new doctor, Dr Al Jenkins, in the form of TV heart throb Adam Croasdell. Already, Dr Jenkins has been rushed off his feet, having to deal with a pregnant and distressed Heather Trott, and capturing the attention of the women on the Square, as well as finding himself briefly caught up in the tangled relationship that is Tanya and Max. But luckily for me, Croasdell managed to find time in his hectic schedule to pleasure me with an interview. And with that, we enter the world of of an EastEnder...

From what age did you know you wanted to become an actor?
I think I must have been around 7 or 8. I'd wanted to be an astronaut, but because maths wasn't my favorite subject, a little heartsore, I let the idea go. Later, with a great amount of joy, I realised that I could still be an astronaut, as an actor.

Before you joined the cast, did you watch EastEnders?
No. Of course, I knew what a phenomenon the show was, but I hadn't watched much of it at all.

When you first went to audition for the role of Dr Jenkins, did you think it went well?
The day I auditioned didn't start well. I arrived at the Elstree train station suited and booted and ready for my meeting. Unfortunately, I only had Zones 1-3 on my Travelcard, and realised too late that I was in Zone 6. The station assistant spot-fined me 20 even though I tried to explain it was an honest mistake. When I finally got out into the carpark outside I loudly proclaimed to anyone who'd listen, "I will never come to Elstree AGAIN!" Needless to say it's a little cringeworthy going past that station attendant every day on my way into work now...
So I guess - sort of astoundingly- the audition after that didn't go badly.

Gosh, what a stressful way to go to an audition! Well, clearly it didn't affect the audition - how did you react when you found out you got the part?
Deep, deep joy.

Who do you have a strong rapport with among the cast?
All of the Masood Family - they're all brilliant, Neil McDermott, Nina Toussaint White, Charlie Clements, Rita Simmons, Sam Janus, Scott Maslen, Sid Owen, Charlie Brooks, Cheryl Fergison and Linda Henry.

It sounds like a close-knit cast! Are there any characters, past or present, who you admire?
June Brown's ace.

If you could play any other character on the show, who would you choose?
Syed. Marc Elliot and I often joke about switching roles, because so many people used to mix us up when we first arrived.

Now you mention it, I can see a similarity! Are there any storylines you'd like Dr Jenkins to be involved with? Any hopes for his character?
At the moment, I'd really just like to get my teeth into any juicy bit of storytelling. Something meaty (in a vegetarian kind of way).

Are you often recognised out in the street?
Yup. It's happening a lot now. I find it kind of funny each time it happens.

Do you think you could be a proper doctor?
I am a proper doctor... Ha.

What have been your highlights from working on EastEnders so far?
Getting to meet and know the cast and crew a bit. Also meeting members of the public on the street who really love the show. I like it when that happens because it seems to give them a break from reality for a bit, and in this recession, that can only be a good thing.

It definitely sounds like Albert Square is the perfect place for Dr Jenkins! I can only hope we see a lot more of you on our screens, as I am sure everybody will agree you make a delightful Doctor. It's been a real pleasure, thanks!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Upfront and Personal - Coleen Nolan


British singer and television presenter Coleen Nolan released her autobiography, Upfront and Personal, in April of this year, following its launch with a promotional tour around the country. To date, the 44 year old star has sold over 54, 000 copies, and I am just one of the many to purchase. As soon as I began to read the first page, I knew there was no going back. From the very beginning, I was hooked...

'Upfront and Personal' takes us through Coleen's life from when she was just a tiny baby, with a drawer for a cot, right to the present day where she shares her world with her much loved family: Ray, the boys, and Ciara. Across the 360 pages that make up the book we are invited into Coleen's memories as we travel back to the beginning of The Nolan Sisters (later to be renamed as The Nolans), exploring the depths of their musical career. Coleen releases her emotions when she tells us about her abortion, and then there is her marriage to Shane Richie, with which we are taken on a rollercoaster ride. We see her career falling and rising, she shares with us her family troubles and the tough times they had to face together. And of course, we are able to read about her relationship with Ray, who she married towards the end of 2007.

There is so much information in this one book, and it's mixed through with such strong emotions. At times I struggled to get my head around the fact that this one woman has had to cope with so much yet she always pulls out strong in the end. I learned a lot about Coleen, a lot of things I thought I already knew but in fact discovered so much more depth to it. It also gives clear explanations and truths to the lies and stories the press seem to find room to twist.

I adore the detail Coleen has included in the final few chapters about the presenting industry. For me, this is always going to be useful, and it has opened my eyes further to the career I some day in the near future hope to succeed in. A lot of emotion was also brought out of me, as Coleen talks deeply about many painful events. Just reading about her times of heart ache drew many a tear to my eye. There were some beautifully weepy parts too, such as her 40th birthday and her wedding day with Ray. When she talks of her mother's Alzheimer's, it is so wonderfully written that it is enough to break even the toughest of people.

I could not recommend a more fulfilling autobiography than 'Upfront and Personal'. It is full of families and careers, love and lust, honesty and secrecy and everything in between. I've never read such levels of emotion and cannot believe the strength in the book. There's no surprise that it a number one best seller. Join Coleen as she takes you through the highs and lows of her life in an enjoyably emotional read. It's magical.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Good Luck, Fern (and Happy Birthday!)


Good luck, Fern (and Happy Birthday!)
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities
In 1999 Fern Britton joined the team at This Morning and over the past ten years she has became one of the most loved presenters across Britain. Sure, throughout the duration there'll have been many ups and downs, but Fern simply gets on with it. And put her alongside the equally fantastic man that is Phillip Schofield and you'll discover more laughter in a pair than you could ever imagine possible!

It's not going to be the same without Fern on This Morning - tuning in always put a smile on my face. I wish her the best of luck for whatever may come her way; I am sure many new doors will be opened for her from here. And also, happy birthday Fern! What a special and memorable day this will be for her!

I'm sure Holly Willoughby, who is set to take over Fern's role in September when the new series begins, will be wonderful. It's gonna be a big change for This Morning viewers, so I can't imagine how strange it will be for those actually involved with the show itself. Fern will be missed by many but it's definitely not the last we've seen of her!

Best of luck!