Paul Anderson is instantly recognisable on screen as a regular extra in Casualty, in fact he’s been with the programme for 30 years and he’s played a variety of characters in the show. Paul was kind enough to chat to me about his experience on the show as well as the 30th anniversary episode.
Hi Paul, thank you for talking to Break A Leg, so how long have you been working as a Supporting Artist on the show?
I’ve been in the programme for 30 years! I started off as a Doctor and then the following years Casualty moved from London to Bristol, completely and I became a Porter and I’ve been a Porter for around 28 to 29 years on the programme. My nickname is Oscar and they call me Oscar on the programme. Outside of the show, I am a dancer and I teach.
What’s it like being a regular part of the Casualty team?
It’s fantastic, I’m a fan, and even though there are weeks when I’m not in it, I’ll still watch it. 4 years ago I was very ill with Pneumonia and I still watched the programme every week, I was in hospital for 7 weeks but I still watched the programme! It’s brilliant, there’s all the great cast members that I work with and some that have come back after a time away and I’m still in touch with most of the cast members that I have worked with. It’s my life, really and now that the studios have moved to Cardiff I still commute, I travel from Bristol, backwards and forwards. We have a lot of fun here, a lot of the guest artists that come in say what a lovely bunch of people we are.
My role as a Supporting Artist involves working with the Assistant Directors who tell us what to do and there’s a bunch of us who are regulars here every week, and we help as much as we can as we know where we can be on the set.
What did you do before Casualty?
Before Casualty I was working in London doing some TV and commercials. I did a bit of Eastenders, The Bill and London’s Burning. When Casualty started I was doing the studio scenes in London and then they moved filming to Bristol, so that’s where I live, now.
Have you been part of the 30th anniversary episode?
Yes, I have, they’ve given me a nice little ‘bit’ in it as well. It’s been fun to shoot. When Charlie gets his 30 years celebration I’m there as well, part of that. It’s an epic episode, there have been train crashes, car crashes and plane crashes over the years, but this is the one!
Have you a favourite episode or a particular highlight?
It’s so hard to choose, one newspaper once quoted that I had done 500 episodes! I have so many favourites and as I watch it every week, too, I think they’re all good. This 30th anniversary episode is going to be something special, though.
Thanks to Paul for his time, he was a joy to chat to and I shall continue to ensure that I spot him when I tune in!