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George gets to heart of the matter; TELLY.

AS cardio-thoracic surgical consultant and clinical chairman Anton Meyer, George Irving has stolen more than a few hearts.

But tonight he could be in danger of losing his own after he overtakes a slow driver and provokes a road rage incident that results in him getting shot.

Will he live or will he die? And does anyone care anyway?

"Of course, " says George, who has grown fond of his alter-ego. "I do like him. I envy his certainty.

"He's quite manipulative, but for the greater good of the place. He is a great humanist, he actually has the highest regard for his staff.

"He's a perfectionist and a purist in terms of his job and I've been accused of that. I guard my private life in a similar kind of way to him, though not as jealously as Anton does. And people do tell me I can be quite frightening on occasions."

And who can blame him. Because before George, 48, from South Shields, found his niche in acting, he used to teach English to groups of foreign businessmen who had come to London to learn the language - a job for which he had to use his harder side in order to get results.

"I was always more tired at the end of the day than the other teachers because I not only taught them the language, I felt as though I had to entertain them, too."

Always interested in education and current affairs, George is in no doubt as to which public figure, past or present, he most admires.

"I've got a friend called Jim Robinson who was one of the four men convicted for the murder of Carl Bridgewater in 1979. They were released a few years ago after serving 18-and-a-half years for a murder that they didn't commit. I played Jim Robinson in a BBC film about the case and I went to visit him in prison.

"What astonished me about him was the fact that at that stage he had served 15 years and I think I spent more time laughing in that visiting room that anything else.

"He had to pick up his life from scratch - they got no help from the system - so I've got huge admiration for Jim, he's a fine man."

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Title Annotation:Media
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 9, 2001
Words:385
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