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television: Jen prefers cutting corpses to rows with rough Rebus; BEST OF THE WEEK REBUS: KNOTS AND CROSSES FRIDAY, ITV, 9PM.

Byline: By STEVE HENDRY

Jennifer Black has won a coveted role playing Ken Stott's boss in Rebus - but she reckons she's in the wrong job.

The actress has no complaints about starring as Chief Superintendent Gill Templar in the latest instalment of the hard-hitting Scots cop show - but she would really rather be prodding dead bodies as a pathologist.

Jennifer, one of Scotland's most respected theatre actresses, applied to do a forensic medicine course at Edinburgh University before acting got in the way and she would still love to study it at some point.

She said: "I should really be the pathologist in Rebus because I'm fascinated by all of that.

"I'm intrigued by how forensic scientists manage to fit things together. I'm a fan of the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and it would be a dream for me to be in that.

"I love autopsy programmes too. The funny thing is I can't watch shows which feature live flesh and blood. I can't watch a show about plastic surgery because you know it's a real person. But dead bodies are fine.

"I may yet study pathology, it's just difficult because as an actor you never know what you are doing next. But it does fascinate me."

In Knots And Crosses, Jennifer will be seen bawling out Ken Stott as she battles to keep Rebus under her thumb.

She has to come down hard on the maverick detective when he is blamed for the collapse of a murder trial and investigated by internal affairs.

Taking on the famously grumpy Rebus is not something many people would relish but Jennifer claims Stott is a pussycat in real life. She said: "I think Ken quite likes being shouted at. He's great to work with and very generous.

"He's such an amazing actor because he has this ability to make everything look as if it is completely fresh for the first time."

Jennifer also dismissed reports former Vice star Stott was looking to give up playing Rebus, having grown weary of the workload.

She said: "It's demanding because we are filming for five months and he is in every scene. But he's certainly not said to me he's unhappy playing Rebus."

Despite spending most of her career treading the boards, Jennifer has appeared in major Scottish films and TV shows. She was Denis Lawson's wife in Local Hero and the nurse who tended to George Henderson (John Murtagh) in River City.

She also played Victor's (Greg Hemphill) wife Betty in a Still Game Hogmanay special, which saw a drunk Isa (Jane McCarry) vomit on her.

She joked: "I said yes to Still Game before I'd seen a script. I love it.

"We had no idea Isa was going to be sick. We were just told to keep going, whatever happened.

"That's the wonderful thing about this business - you can go from tragic heroines to career policewomen to being covered in sick in Still Game."

CAPTION(S):

Ken Stott as grumpy cop Rebus with screen sidekick DS Siobhan Clarke (Claire Price); Jennifer's top cop Gill Templar has to bawl out grouchy Rebus after he is blamed for the collapse of a murder trial
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 2, 2007
Words:530
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