Sunday Mirror March 2000 by Pauline McLeod


Caroline's very romantic. She's the first and only woman to send me flowers and I cried. We'd met in March 1997 on a tour of Noel Coward's Salad Days, but I left the company before she did.

Ten months later I asked her to marry me while we were in Paris. I know it is a really romantic city, but I didn't really plan it.

I had a week off from the theatre run I was in so I went over to see Caroline who was in a production there.

We decided to go up the Eiffel Tower because we thought it was something lovely to do as a couple, even though it was freezing cold. The inspiration must have been divine as

I never thought, "Oh, this is the Eiffel Tower, it'll be a good moment to pop the question."

It came out of my mouth as, "Marry Me!" - more of an order than a proposal. Caroline could hardly hear me as the wind was howling so I had to repeat it two or three times.

We got a Japanese tourist to take a picture of this wonderfully romantic moment, but what came back from the developer's was a photo of a tuft of my hair.

I didn't even have a ring to give her. I was really skint, but out of the blue, my mum gave me her engagement ring. It was given to my grandmother as her engagement ring, then she gave it to my father for my mother. I hope we'll carry on this tradition.

I should have got Caroline a better wedding ring than I did, but she wanted one that matched mine and as I lose things easily we bought three for me. As Dr Morgan is single in Peak Practice, my wedding ring goes into a little Tupperware box when I'm filming. So far I haven't mislaid it. I've had a few more romantic scenes in the show, but I only ever get my kit off down to my boxer shorts. No disrespect to the actresses, and indeed, men I have done love scenes with on stage, but the whole thing raises about as much interest in me sexually as a cup of tea. In Monogamy, the play I'm doing with Caroline at London's Riverside Studios next month, we don't even snog. If we did, I think that might somehow be a bit voyeuristic. It's a very funny play about the shards of a fairly broken relationship. The first time we did it we had just got married and all we wanted to do after rowing on stage for 60 minutes was to go home and have a cuddle.


Both of us broke a personal rule when we fell for each other... never have a thing with the person you're playing opposite.

I've seen the trauma it causes. One minute the couple are all lovey-dovey and can't work properly and the next, they're arguing and can't work. It just makes life less complicated if you don't get involved.

But we did fall for each other and, as it was definitely a one-off, it was all right.

I was so shocked when Joe asked me to marry him that I wasn't quite sure I'd heard him right. I made him say it again as it sounded so nice.

He's very romantic, quite impulsive and buys things simply because he's thinking of me. We write each other letters when we're apart and he writes straight from the heart.

I've been appearing in touring version of Blood Brothers and one night I took over the starring role when the leading lady wasn't well.

It was in Edinburgh, but Joe jumped straight on a flight and came up which I think was a very romantic gesture.

It was my birthday recently and we spent it together at the cottage Joe lives in when he's filming Peak Practice. I thought we were going for a walk or a pub lunch when he said, "Someone's got the sort of car you like". He dragged me over to this bright red MGF convertible. He pulled at one of the door handles and as it opened, he said: "Why don't you sit inside it?"

I told him I couldn't, as it belonged to somebody else. Then he pulled out a key and said: "Well, you'd better get in and drive it because it's yours."

We got married in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, and my stepfather who's a vicar, married us. My brother, who's an opera singer, conducted the choir. But poor Joe had been filming in white water rapids all week, and had picked up a virus. His wedding breakfast was doing somersaults all the time.

Since we've been married the first question I ask a new landlady is: "Do you have a video player?" so I can tape Peak Practice They tend to look at me rather peculiarly until I explain about Joe. And funnily, there's never a problem if I ask if my husband can come and stay.

I don't have a problem with seeing him on screen in a sex scene with someone. It's not as if it's a surprise. I've probably already read the script and met the actress. It is just a job.

I do miss him like mad, but we kind of laugh at our situation. Work is so good for both of us now, but there'll come a time when we don't have any and we'll be together in our home, waiting for the phone to ring.