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Last Night's View: Surgeon loses a cutting edge.

Byline: TONY PURNELL

ANTON Meyer (George Irving) made a welcome return to the operating theatre in Holby City (BBC1).

The smug heart surgeon wasn't feeling up to it, which was most unlike him. He suffered from muscular cramps, occasional weakness in the hands and shortness of breath.

Worst of all, he had difficulty projecting that wonderful voice of his. He feared it was the onset of motor neurone disease.

I do hope he is wrong because they can ill afford to lose him. Meyer is the lifeblood of the series.

He went to see specialist Sir Charles Merrick, played by Simon Williams, who told him not to jump to conclusions.

I thought for a moment the former Upstairs Downstairs star was referring to the fact that he was now reduced to playing bit parts, but it turned out he was talking about Meyer's symptoms. "Do you think I should stop operating? I don't feel able to give of my very best," said the great man.

"Fifty per cent of your best is better than most people," replied Sir Charles.

I couldn't agree more. You have to go a long way to find anyone fit enough to tie up Meyer's medical apron.

All the way to Chicago and ER's Cook County General Hospital in fact. Meyer sensed he was losing his grip - and not just on his surgical instruments.

He ducked out in the middle of one operation and saw his elderly mentor die during another.

"It was too much trauma for someone of his age," explained registrar Alex Adams (Jeremy Sheffield). Too much trauma for all of us, mate. Fingers crossed that Meyer gets back to his old self soon.

THE Church authorities are on a nice little earner with EastEnders (BBC1) - and not just for weddings and funerals. They also cop for cemetery visits whenever anyone's in trouble.

The latest was by bankrupt Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), who beat a path to his dad's grave.

It didn't look good for his creditors, since he appeared to have no money for flowers.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 15, 2000
Words:342
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