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Gemma Atkinson: 'To shape up for summer is all about consistency'
By SP_COP on June 28, 2014 | From www.express.co.uk
Gemma Atkinson: 'To shape up for summer is all about consistency' The Casualty team race to a train crash this week, but is Tamzin’s love life also going off the rails? Gemma Atkinson reveals all…

A train crash isn’t the only thing to set hearts racing in this weekend’s dramatic episode of Casualty. Viewers have witnessed the burgeoning sexual chemistry between paramedic Tamzin Bayle (Gemma Atkinson) and her colleague Jeff Collier (Matt Bardock) since she returned to Holby City Hospital at the end of May.

But when the pair are called upon to help at the scene of a terrible rail accident, Tamzin and Jeff are forced to confront their feelings.

“Tamzin and Jeff have always had an attraction, especially as he’s got her out of trouble in the past,” says Gemma, 29. “It’s more than just physical, but they are also aware that they are both in relationships with other people. Jeff is unhappily married to Dixie (Jane Hazlegrove) and Tamzin is getting ready to marry Dave (Paul Stocker). They know there’s a lot at stake and that people could get hurt. They’ve been trying to fight it but in this episode it all comes out in the open and they have to decide whether to go with their heads or their hearts?

“Viewers are going to want them to get together because their story is quite sweet. It’s a scenario that many will be able to identify with – finding the right person at the wrong time. But there will be a few curveballs and surprises that viewers won’t be expecting.”

Gemma, who first found fame playing Lisa Hunter on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, says shooting the train crash scenes were particularly exciting, if exhausting.

“We shot those scenes overnight, from 4pm until 4am, so everyone’s body clock was all over the place,” she says. “But the train sequences look amazing and it’s a great episode. Really dramatic. The good thing about playing a paramedic is that we always get to go out on location and shoot exciting things like this.”

Having first aired in September 1986, Casualty is the longest-running prime time medical drama in the world. Nearly 28 years later the show is still going strong, attracting more than five million viewers each week.

Gemma admits she is delighted to be back in Casualty, having left the show in 2012.

“It’s brilliant,” she says. “When I got the call asking whether I’d like to come back and play Tamzin, I was beaming from ear to ear. Now it’s like I was never away, because everyone is still so friendly and welcoming. To be honest, I was a bit nervous when I first returned because I didn’t want to play Tamzin differently from last time, or for viewers to have gone off her. But I soon settled back in.

“Tamzin’s a lot more mature and confident. She’s come back to Holby and has learned a lot, so she’s more self-assured.”

Gemma says playing a paramedic has made her appreciate the amazing work of the emergency services.

“Having watched paramedics, I’m in awe at how calm they stay in dramatic situations,” she says. “We have real paramedics, doctors and nurses on set with us to oversee everything and make sure we do everything as accurately as possible. It’s harder to learn lines, though, as often I’ll be running through the scripts and come across medical words I’ve never even seen before, let alone pronounced. But it’s surprising how quickly you pick up medical jargon and I think I’ve picked up some first aid skills, too.”

Despite her new-found medical knowledge, Gemma is keen to leave real emergencies to the professionals.

“Matt and I were on location and as we only had a short break for lunch, we nipped to the local supermarket still wearing our uniforms. We then realised that if anyone in the supermarket became unwell and keeled over, people would assume we were real paramedics who would know what to do.

We left pretty sharpish just in case,” she laughs.

As well as her acting, Gemma is known for her enviable physique and has modelled for numerous magazines. With filming for the current series of Casualty now over, she will have a chance to show off her bikini body as she jets off to film a new project.

“I’m off to the Caribbean for two months to shoot a comedy. It’s not a bad place to be sent on location, I must admit,” she says....
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