Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A bit of Holby nostalgia

Just a few words of excuse, I wish I could post more often, the content is not a problem! Words without images or video are a bit less spectacular, isn’t it? I desperately need a roomy office, a scanner, video editing software and a LOT of TIME! Well, I promise soon I’ll bring more subjects.
For the moment, I just want to express again my astonishment about Robert’s departure from Holby. OK I didn’t realize at the time of my previous post that indeed Robert had already left Holby! Why the heck it wasn’t announced somewhere? What’s the purpose of all those Holby sites? Even the BBC's Holby City official site didn’t mention it! Such a shame! Every departure of important characters is announced, so why it wasn’t for Robert?? I’m so annoyed for that! Like none is interested about that? Even in the radio interview the animator hesitated whether it was Robert’s last episode or not!
Whatever! At least his character didn’t died! Maybe he’ll be come back as a guest star? I wish he didn’t! It’s a joke, but I have good reasons! Why? Because I follow Holby City through BBC Entertainment, the international BBC channel which is broadcasting at the moment Season 10 (so I have enough Holby for a while! and once he's off I won't pay for it!).
For all fans in the world, you can get  BBC Entertainment from your cable / satellite supplier, but you’ve lost Robert’s best episodes from Holby. As a matter of fact I have also lost them too, as BBC Entertainment schedules are awfully wrong and made me lose 4 episodes about Mark's drug addiction, which seemed to be very interesting. I’ve seen some bits of a terrible quality in Youtube and Robert’s performance is quite impressive, as usual.
I totally ignore the reaction in UK about this storyline, I would have loved to know, but I’m sure that people were more interested in the love stories and who has slept with whom… However, I’ve found in Wikipedia that this storyline was criticized as it was “unbelievable” as Mark (Robert’s character) didn’t have a “good reason” to fall into drugs. Well, to me which was convincing with the scene in which he takes coke for the first time is that Mark hesitated, and probably felt that he should do that as he never did it before. You know that feeling, when you think you have lose “something” during your youth. Just remember when the “dealer” couldn’t believe that he had never taken it before.
However, I totally find incredible the fact that he wasn’t that impressed to know that Donna used to take coke (and not the red one!). I mean, “in real life”, what would you do if you’re a consultant nurse (whatever that means) and you know that one of the nurses takes drugs? Fire her!

Sadly, I’ve lost all the episodes about what happened next!
And back to Robert’s departure, thanks a lot to Irina, who transcribed the radio interview for all those who didn’t listen to it. Although she put it in the comments, it deserves a post! Thanks!!
Steve Wright in the afternoon
BBC Radio
2011 Jan 25 Tuesday

- RRRRobert Powell, the British television, film and stage actor, is here! Well-known for his current TV role as Mark Williams in Holby City… which, I believe, he’s leaving. I’m not a huge fan of the show, he’s leaving though. Robert Powell! Have you been struck off?

- (laughs) No. I’ve been there for 6 years – that was 5 years longer than I ever anticipated staying. It just struck me that it was probably time to move on and go back to roots.

- Are you able to do that, say “Well, I think I’d like to leave”, and they say “Well, you’re in the middle of the plot, you can’t go yet…”

- No, we’ve got plenty of time, we work on 12 months contract, and about 6 months before the end of your contract there will come up a discussion as to whether you’re staying or going… and I opted to go, really.

- It’s a good regular work, though?

- Yeah, but you can’t do anything… I mean, I’ve always said it all my life – I possibly disobeyed the rules for the last 5 years – but you can’t take that as a way of living. You can’t work just for the money, you’ve got to have something else, otherwise you might as well do another job, really.

- You’ve done so much in your life, and the role that brought you to the fore, all those years ago, the Jesus Christ role – has it followed you around forever… I mean, clearly, as I just mentioned it!

- (laughs) YES, it has followed me around forever.

- In a good or a bad way?

- No, in a good way. I was doing an interview for another radio program, I finished and then somebody said, ‘oh, can you get 5 minutes more, cause I’ve got somebody in for a Sunday program’, and the guy came on and said, ‘can I talk to you about Jesus Christ?’ And I said, ‘well, it was THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ago…’

- Do you bristle sometimes, do you want to say ‘I did loads of stuff before that and I’ve done loads of stuff since…’?

- I possibly did when I was a little closer to it but now it’s unbelievably flattering that thirty five years later people remember it.

- I always do that –if Martin Shaw comes on , I say, “Right, let’s talk immediately about The Professionals” – I just do that to annoy people.

- (laughs) You talk about his hair - that what he would talk about, that would really make him happy. (both laugh)

- Anyway, from 22nd of March Robert is taking to the stage at Bath Theatre Royal, in “Jeffrey Bernard is unwell”, in the play Robert takes on the lead character – a journalist, whose life is devoted to alcohol, gambling and women. Now this was really from an era where journalists worked * for getting their stories and their leads in pubs.

- Yeah, indeed, I think there was a tradition for that… for people occupying bar’s stools for a very long time and being able to file a pretty good material as a result of it, because everybody was in there and anybody who knew anybody was in the pub… I think times are changed now, a little more strict, which is unfortunate.
- Describe how you see the character, in an actory kind of way for us…

- In an actory kind of way, Jeffrey Bernard is a man who is an alcoholic who spent whole of his life trying to kill himself through alcohol – as he called it, “a downhill struggle” – “reach for the ground”, it’s the title of his autobiography which I think is great. And he made it, but he actually lasted until he was about 67, before he managed to kill himself. He was a complete wreck…

- So you gonna have obviously make-up a little bit… you’ll have to look terrible…

- (laughs) Yeah… Going through what Keith Waterhouse has written in the play… and Keith was a friend as well, and another habitué of pubs and liked several bottles of wine… Going through what he has written, the man is a person who survived for a long time, he had four marriages, women found him irresistible, he was very attractive and the photographs of him are stunning - he looks like an actor. ** a girlfriend from Peter O’Toole from the Old Vic - and look what happened later – O’Toole ends up by playing him – brilliantly, I have to add. I never saw O’Toole play it but I can see it in my mind. I now go through the play desperately trying to commit it to memory – I have to shake off this shadow of O’Toole. .. Yeah, Bernard is a man who [felt] self-hatred which is an underlying thing with most alcoholics.

- He was a clever guy and a good journalist…

- He was a very good journalist and his column that he wrote for The Spectator called Low Life, which was really the personal anecdotes about his own, rather wretched experiences – but very very funny.

- You don’t see people like this anymore, do you?

- No, you don’t…

- And would they survive in a work place?

- No, they wouldn’t. I think they are other substances that you can use for stimulus but they’re not quite as obvious as alcohol. But I still think it’s probably… I gotta say I’m completely naïve ‘cause I discovered that it is far more widespread than I ever imagined. And people look at me with astonishment that I’m not aware of it.

- And the other thing is that you’re not a real doctor…

- (laughs) No, I’m not. ***

- Good luck with that.

- Thank you

- It’s 22nd of March, “Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell”, Robert is the lead character, obviously, and it’s Theatre Royal in Bath. How long are you doing it?

- We’re going on the road for 11 weeks. So we’re coming to a theatre near you sometime in March, April or May.

- And possibly then it’s the West End, because it hasn’t been in West End for some time…

- That is an open book, you always keep that as a possibility. I mean, if it goes well enough, I would love to bring it further than 3 months.

- I’m still watching all the war shows you doing - could you just say, ‘in September ’39 Hitler finally invaded Poland”… in the voice?

- In September 1939 Hitler finally invaded Poland.

- See, how you can get better than that? That’s why we don’t get any work on history channel. (Robert laughs) You can see Robert’s final episode of Holby City tonight on BBC1 at 8 pm, today and you can see him onstage in “Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell” at the Theatre Royal in Bath from 22nd of March. … Good to see you. Robert Powell!

- Thank you very much.

* can’t get the word here

** can’t get what exactly he says but it should be equal to “Have stolen”, “Nicked” or something.

*** I think there’s something else host says in addition which amuses Robert even more, but I can’t get it behind their laughing. )

1 comment:

Irene said...

I enjoyed making the transcription. By the way, I have mp3 of the interview, if someone's interested. ) My e-mail is

The fact there's no announcement and all that about his leaving the series is a disgrace on their part. (

Quite a task to "catch him out" in the episodes... Wish it could be possible to watch "Mark-storyline-only" edit! :-) Pity there's no earlier episodes to be found in web. Anyway, all I can find and watch - I like a lot.