Former Waterloo Road star Christine had a guest role in Casualty 18 months ago playing nurse Linda, who helped her old nursing friend Jessica Harrison (Gillian Kearney) move to America following the meltdown in her personal life. Now mischief-maker Linda’s back... Linda makes quite an entrance on her return, as she bursts in the ED in her party dress! She seems to be a bit frisky – is she supposed to be tart with a heart? "I wouldn’t call Linda a tart! She’s a party girl, but she does have this attitude that she’s young free and single and she likes to enjoy herself. I think she’s fun and outgoing. She can be quite cheeky and child-like sometimes, but she also has a heart of gold and she cares about people. She’d do anything for anyone." But she also upsets Charlie from the word go… "Yes she does! She turns up hung over from the night before, then she’s getting changed in the toilets and Zoe says to her, ‘You’re doing the walk of shame, aren’t you?’ And she says, ‘You have to have shame to do the walk of shame.’ So she doesn’t make a good first impression." Charlie describes her as a ‘rotten apple’! "He does, yeah. I think he will become very fond of Linda though." And then we discover that Linda has suffered from a miscarriage... "Yes, she blames her partying ways for that. She is trying to be more sensible, but she just ends up throwing caution to the wind. You’ll see her grow as the episodes go on. She’s up and down. She tries and tends to mess up. But it makes her more interesting because she’s not just like this... tart. She’s got stuff going on as well." Looking ahead – is romance on the cards for her? "That hasn’t been mentioned! You’re not the first person that’s asked that. I honestly don’t know!" You’ve just had to relocate to Bristol for the show, and filming of Casualty is about to move to Cardiff! "Yes, at the end of August. After years and years of packing a case and travelling with the job, I’m used to it. It was exciting coming to Bristol, which I think is a great city, and I’m looking forward to moving to Cardiff. It’s an adventure isn’t it!" Obviously many viewers are going to know you best as Waterloo Road’s school secretary and learning support assistant Davina Shackleton. After playing her for nearly three years, were you happy to leave? "It wasn’t that I’d had enough at all, but the character had run her course. In three years I got to work with so many lovely people, including Jason Merrells and Eva Pope. I really enjoyed playing Davina and being in Manchester as well. And all the younger cast were brilliant. But it was time to go..."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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