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Romance on set for lucky Luke.

ON scrubland near a destitute South African township, Dr Joseph Bryne and Dr Linden Cullen are being held at gunpoint. The men kneeling with their hands behind their back are a world away from the sterile wards of Holby City Hospital and probably wishing they were back there again instead of on a dangerous hunt for nurse Faye Morton.

Yes, Holby City is about to get more action-packed than usual this week in a special episode filmed on location in Cape Town.

The show sees the normally placid Joseph (Luke Roberts) and Linden (Duncan Pow) pair up to rescue Faye (Patsy Kensit), who is being held by thugs on the instructions of her ex-husband Lucas, whilst he takes their son to hospital for a potentially fatal operation.

Confused yet? So is Joseph, Faye's sometime boyfriend, who knew nothing about her secret son or the existence of yet another ex-husband. But the mystery doesn't stop him getting on a plane to South Africa.

"Joseph senses there's a reason behind everything and there must be a rationale for this unexplained business," explains 30-year-old Luke.

"I think he does trust Faye and he already knows she has a chequered past, rather like his own. He sees them as similar souls, so he jumps on board.

"Besides, he is passionate about this woman. I think it's the first time he's really engaged those feelings.

"And after all, it's Patsy Kensit!" he laughs. "You're going to get on that plane aren't you?"

Joseph and Linden break into Faye's husband's house and find a cleaner locked up who tells them Faye has been taken by men to a local township. The pair set off to find her - looking like action heroes out of a buddy film.

"It was definitely 'buddy buddy' all the way," agrees Luke. "I think we did the Lethal Weapon thing BBC style!

"It was a good romp. It's a yarn episode and it's quite liberating for us. My character is kind of an anti-hero.

"Although he's no Indiana Jones, it was quite fun to have the tables turned. And when you're shooting in Cape Town, you can't really complain!"

The hunky actor jokes he is now "hated" by the rest of the cast because of the jaunt, especially after he'd already filmed an episode with Patsy in Dubai.

But he says it was an amazing experience.

And as luck - or fate - would have it, Luke met his current girlfriend, Noellie, in a very short break from filming on the second to last day of their trip.

"She was sightseeing on a hill that we weren't supposed to be filming on, because of weather conditions. It was too windy to go up the cable car to Table Mountain and as a result, we ended up on Signal Hill.

"She was aiming for Table Mountain and she drove up the wrong road and ended up at Signal Hill too. I managed to stray and wander off-set for about two minutes before I was called back by the director!"

Model Noellie (so named because she was born on Christmas Day) is African by birth but lives in Montreal, Canada.

"It's very long distance so it's a bit of a nightmare but we're going to give it a go because we think it was rather fortuitous to bump into each other at all!"

Luke returned to Cape Town after filming had finished to spend a week with Noellie, but the reception they received as a mixed-race couple was surprising.

He said: "We got very mixed responses, which didn't quite live up to the 'Rainbow Nation' I expected. When you're out there filming, you're protected and not really aware of the cultural clashes around you.

"I would go back to Cape Town, though. South Africa is a beautiful country and some of the stuff they've been through is horrendous, so to see that it's stable at all is good."

The South Africa episode is framed with a narrative by Linden, in a confession box, relating the events of the trip to a priest.

It soon becomes clear from his voiceover, that he had an ulterior motive in going to find Faye - and is actually Joseph's love rival.


Faye Morton (Patsy Kensit), Linden Cullen (Duncan Pow) and Joseph Bryne (Luke Roberts) on set in Cape Town
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2008
Previous Article:overheard.
Next Article:At the front of the Cyw; cymru CYW, S4C Digidol daily from Monday 7am-1.30pm. English subtitles available.

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