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Bound to end in tears for the family pet; Kevin Whately stars as hubby Jack whose marriage is on the rocks in hilarious new comedy WHO GETS THE DOG? SUNDAY, STV, 9pm.

It's not just the adults who suffer when a marriage goes wrong - it's the dog too.

Morse and Lewis star Kevin Whately stars in a new ITV comedy which explores the problem of what happens to the dog stuck in the middle of a crumbling relationship.

Whately plays a probation officer, Jack, married for 30 years to midwife Jenny (Alison Steadman). But it's far from happy in the end.

Kevin says: "They're both working different shifts, they hardly ever see each other, the relationship has gone a bit stale and he has an affair.

"They just drift apart and stop talking. Jenny goes off to see their solicitors to talk about a possible divorce and that's where the problems start. In the middle of all this mess is their dog Bounder.

"It all becomes very complex and very painful - but it's a really superb comedy, which a lot of people will identify with.

"At the age I am I've had a lot of friends who have been through very much the same sort of thing and, for me, well, it all rings painfully true. It's funny, and also poignant, even if it is a bitter divorce battle." The show is written by Guy Hibbert, who also penned Omagh, The Russian Bride and No Child Of Mine, and will no doubt win the popular actor even more fans.

And after two outings as Lewis in the spin-off to the Morse series, Auf Weidersehen Pet star Kevin has signed up for four more series of the Sunday night police drama.

He said: "We start filming in late spring. I doubt that Lewis will have a 20-year-run - but we'll see! After all, he is approaching retirement age right now. But I'll tell you what is interesting - when we were making the show, most of the cast and the crew stayed in the Randolph Hotel, in the middle of Oxford, and some of the other guests were American tourists - most of whom were huge fans of the original Morse, which is shown in the USA.

"And they were delighted when they found out we were going on with the stories."

It's all a long way from when Kevin's career adviser scoffed at the suggestion he could be an actor.

He said: "I can remember doing all sorts of school plays and things, and even back then a teacher asked me if I wanted to become an actor, but that seemed out of reach.

"The careers master had hysterics when I mentioned it as a possible option.

"He told me I'd never make a living at that. Then he asked what else I thought I could do, and, since I had an A Level in Economics, I joked that I might have the makings of a tycoon and being enormously wealthy might present itself as an option.

"So I then joined an accountants firm in Newcastle - some of the time I quite enjoyed it, but it didn't feel right somehow.

"It wasn't where I wanted to be, long term.

"And then along came the theatre which was being in the right place at the right time for me.


STUCK IN THE MIDDLE ... Jenny and Jack with Bounder
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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