Jemma’s set to turn up the heat

Jemma Redgrave will have temperatures rising when she returns to our screens as Dr Eleanor Bramwell.

For in the new series, we discover more about Dr Bramwell’s private life as her romance continues with Finn O’Neill – and it promises to be streamy.

As Jemma explains: “Victorian life wasn’t as stuffy as we are led to believe. People did have sex as well as blazing rows.

“She is human, warts and all. I would like to have her as a friend. But I think she would be exhausting and demanding.”

Meanwhile, Jemma revealed that her number one fan is her three-year-old son, Gabriel.

The wee fellow is a regular on the set of Bramwell.

Jemma said: “He particularly likes the microscope. It’s great that I am able to take him to work.”


The day I had to saw off a man’s leg; INTERVIEW: Jemma Redgrave

Thought to shake things up a little so we’re having a few new/old interviews posted on the website soon. This is a fav of mine…

STAGING an underground train crash was tough enough for the makers of Victorian medical series Bramwell (ITV, 9pm). But there was one drama that was completely unrehearsed.

The set was invaded by 30 armed men in balaclavas.

Jemma Redgrave, who plays pioneering doctor Eleanor Bramwell, says: “They rushed out of one tunnel and disappeared into the other and totally ignored us. Later we discovered they were security services on a training mission. They didn’t seem the least bit fazed by seeing us. But we were all stunned – to put it mildly.”

The set for the dramatic opening episode of the new series was created at the now disused Aldwych London Underground station.

Equipment had to be manhandled down 165 stairs. But that wasn’t the only difficulty. In the train crash, Eleanor has to operate on a man whose leg has been crushed in a derailment. The problem was how to make the operation look authentic. The answer: a joint of pork.

“I have to say that working with a leg of pork under hot lights in a cramped set for several hours made the scene reek of authenticity,” says Jemma.

“Our producer was never allowed near because he would pass out at the sight of blood. But I relish the operations because I’m not squeamish. I find the medical aspects of the stories fascinating – and you don’t have to worry about motivation when you are sawing through a leg.”

In the new series, Eleanor is involved with a fellow doctor but her father disapproves.

“He thinks the man is a scheming opportunist,” says Jemma, who is married with a two-year-old son, Gabriel. “He thinks she’s a hussy.”

Jemma says it’s too early to say whether her own son will follow in the famous Redgrave acting family footsteps.

“It’s hard to tell what dramatic talent he might have,” she says. “When I was a child, I loved being around the theatre and becoming an actress was the natural thing to do.

“Having the Redgrave name was a problem only in that I didn’t want to let myself or my family down.”


The Holby City #Berena reunion was everything we wanted it to be and more

Last night’s Hobly City was gloriously gay. Not only did Dom and Isaac get it on, but trauma surgeon Bernie and consultant Serena were finally reunited. The air time given to LGBT storylines in this episode was way more than their straight counterparts. That’s thrilling enough, but what’s even more exciting is that #Berena proved themselves to be a canon-worthy same-sex female relationship on a BBC show. And neither one of them is dead. This is great news for LGBT representation on mainstream TV and phenomenal news for #Berena fans.

Let’s relive all the fun in a mini-recap. If you haven’t yet seen the episode, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer now.

It’s Bernie’s first day back on the ward and Serena has bought a new blouse and worn extra make-up for the occasion. She’s clearly as hyped as we are. She tries to chat Bernie up with some sexy “perforated ulcer” talk and they make eyes at each other over an unconscious bloke in the operating theatre. We’re all desperate for them to confess their true feelings, but it’s not until Serena’s nephew, Jason, thoughtfully locks them in an office together that things really heat up.

Bernie: What’s he doing?
Serena: I believe he’s playing Cupid.
Bernie: How’s that going for him?
Serena: Not very well given that you’re leaving again.
Bernie: I won’t. If you give me a reason to stay.
Serena: Will this do?

Bernie and Serena snog each others faces off and we all whoop with joy.

It was romantic, funny and beautifully played by actresses Catherine Russell and Jemma Redgrave

When we spoke to Jemma for the latest issue of DIVA she told us, “There aren’t so many relationships between women of our age, so it’s been huge and quite overwhelming that there’s been such an incredible response.”

You can read the rest of the exclusive interview in the November issue, in shops now or available for digital download here.

We are counting down the days till we can get another #Berena fix next Tuesgay.



Will Bernie and Serena reunite?

Bernie and Serena haven’t seen each other since their dramatic kiss in the aftermath of the helicopter crash and Bernie went abroad. So with Bernie due back at work, Serena’s understandably nervous and has made an extra effort with her appearance.

At the nurses’ station, the two doctors meet but remain polite and civil – but Serena’s nephew Jason puts his foot in it by asking his aunt if she’s told Bernie about what happened between her and old flame Robbie! Although Bernie pretends to be unaffected, secretly she’s heartbroken.

Later, up on the roof, Bernie confides in Dom that she has strong feelings for Serena. Back on the ward, Jason comes up with a plan to get the two women together – he locks them in Serena’s office! Will they finally admit their true feelings for one another?

Meanwhile, Inga’s envy over the closeness of Mo and Mr T continues to drive a wedge between her and her fiancé. But when she starts to sense there’s far more to Mo and Mr T than just friendship, it seems Inga will stop at nothing to keep her man.

Also, Isaac’s delighted when he receives a research grant and begins the hunt for a new research assistant. As Isaac’s beau Dom and ambitious Jasmine go head to head for the role, it’s obvious a lovestruck Dom will do anything to get what he wants…


Interview: Jemma Redgrave on #Berena

The Holby City actress talks to DIVA about the groundbreaking romance between Bernie and Serena.

When Major Bernie Wolfe hit Holby City’s wards, a certain group of viewers snapped to attention.

The maverick trauma surgeon had been airlifted out of Afghanistan and was mumbling about a colleague called Alex. Gender neutral name? Conspicuous lack of pronouns? Sudden reluctance to be in the same room as the handsome doctor husband she hasn’t seen in months? It could only mean one thing.

When Alex showed up – played by Heather Peace, no less – Bernie and her backstory came tumbling out of the closet, but the relationship that really caught viewers’ attention was with Serena Campbell, the Shiraz-swilling, seemingly-hetero consultant, fond of telling Bernie how terrific she is.

While most shows can’t put two ambitious women in the same room without turning them into rivals, Bernie and Serena bonded from the start, and actress Jemma Redgrave was happy to step out of her scrubs (probably not literally – we didn’t ask) and talk about why #Berena is still so groundbreaking.

“What’s really been lovely is to build a friendship, and a friendship between two women of a certain age who are both professional women, who have a shared language. That was really easy for Catherine and I, because we had that shared language anyway. They really like each other and support each other and everything comes from that. Anything that happens beyond that is luck, but I think the chemistry is very good.”


You can read the full interview here. Enjoy!

Holby’s Catherine Russell on THAT kiss: ‘Serena didn’t see it coming but, when it did, I think she was all for it!’

Holby’s Catherine Russell on THAT kiss: ‘Serena didn’t see it coming but, when it did, I think she was all for it!’

There were shocks aplenty in tonight’s Holby City when, after a traumatic day at the hospital, Bernie kissed Serena! We chatted to Catherine Russell – aka Serena – about the big moment…

Holby City fans were left stunned by Tuesday night’s episode, which ended with trauma surgeon Bernie Wolfe and AAU stalwart Serena Campbell kissing!

As Holby was dealing with the aftermath of the catastrophic helicopter crash, there was further drama when AAU ward manager Adrian ‘Fletch’ Fletcher was accidentally stabbed by a patient.

Bernie and Serena battled to save their friend and colleague and, as he was moved to intensive care, an exhausted Bernie and Serena sat on the floor outside theatre where Bernie told Serena she blamed herself for the fact Fletch was now fighting for his life!

As Serena reminded Bernie of how great she is both personally and professionally, then came a big shock, as a relieved and grateful Bernie leaned in to kiss Serena!

We got the lowdown from Catherine Russell – aka Serena – about how it happened, why it happened and what’s next for #Berena…

Well, that was quite some episode Catherine! Just remind us about events leading up to THAT kiss?
“Well, with Bernie feeling incredibly vulnerable, Serena’s desperately trying to reassure her it wasn’t her fault and tells Bernie she’s absolutely brilliant, fantastic and marvellous! And that’s when Bernie responds in an extremely relieved and grateful manner. It certainly comes as a surprise to Serena… but it’s not a disappointment!”

So how did Serena react?
“Well, Serena’s surprised and she does pull away initially. Serena totally didn’t see it coming but, when it did, I think she was all for it.”

In the scene leading up to the kiss, Serena and Bernie [Jemma Redgrave] are slumped on the floor outside theatre, emotional and exhausted, having just operated on Fletch. How did the two of you find the emotion for the scene?
“It was the day after the Brexit vote and both Jemma and I had spent the entire day bursting into tears and being really genuinely upset. That was the very last scene being shot on that day, so we were both genuinely knackered, upset and deeply stressed out and we did the read through for that scene sitting on the floor and the director said: ‘That’s it, don’t move, do it like that.’

“So while there are not very many silver linings to the Brexit vote I can say that that was one of them – I think the scene benefited from that because there was no acting required, we were just really p***** off!”

Bernie and Serena have become great friends in recent months – but has there ever been a sense that there were those sorts of feelings between them?
“Well, I think there has certainly from Bernie’s point of view, though I’m not sure either of them were aware 100 per cent that that’s where it was going. That said, I think it’s bloody obvious to everybody else that that’s where it was going!”

Ah yes, we’re aware there’s a #Berena trending on Twitter…
“Yes there is. On my Twitter feed, people have been talking about this for months and referring to #Berena – almost from the very first moment Jemma and I were on screen together, people spotted it, right from the word go!”

So do you think Holby fans will be pleased to see this latest development for Bernie and Serena?
“Oh yes! I’ve had messages, Tweets and letters from fans all saying that they want us to get together and they really think it’s brilliant. Lots and lots of great responses. So I think and I hope that people will be delighted.”

Do you hope the storyline generally will have a really positive impact?
“Well, from the perspective of a lesbian viewer, there’s so little out there on regular TV that they can look at and go: ‘That represents me, there I am’, that I feel a great responsibility to get this right and I hope we are getting it right. And I think for those people it will be really quite significant. Over the years, gay men have had role models on TV shows, including Holby, but there are very, very few gay women. So I think and hope there will be a good deal of support. At the end of the day, love is love.”

What’s it like working with Jemma?
“Oh, she’s hilarious and we really have so much fun. It is such a delightful place to work, we all get on so well and it’s a joy to have another woman of a certain age on set to play with.”

How do you think Serena and Bernie will deal with what’s happened in upcoming episodes?
“The aftermath will be interesting because the kiss happened so much in the heat of that particular moment, after that particular day – it happened when feelings were running high, people were feeling vulnerable and tired and it came out of that. So it’ll be interesting to see how Serena in particular feels about it in the following episodes.”

Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.