THE SUN, THE TV MAG, JANUARY 20 - 26 2001

RED - HOT RECRUIT

Sam Callis is set to be a firm favourite

Blue Watch return with a scorching new series of London's Burning and a hunky new firefighter in Adam Benjamin. "Adam's an East End boy with a finger in lots of pies. He chats up every woman he comes across," says actor Sam Callis, who plays him. "I used to be a bit of a lad but now I've got a lovely girlfriend called Osmin who is a computer programmer. She thinks it's hilarious that I'm suppost to be this sort of hunky charmer."

As the new series begins, the firefighters have swapped their old station for an ultra - modern home. But with bigger and more ferocious fires to deal with, from a terrorfying tunnel inferno to a horrific hospital blaze, the series promises more dramatic shouts than ever before.

It's not just the station that's changed. Sally Fields (Heather Peace) is just trying to cope with her grief, following the death of Joe Walker at the end of last series. Meanwhile, a happy event is just around the corner for Pearce (Michael Garner) as his wife is about to give birth.

As for Sam, he admits that, although he is lined up as the show's new heart - throb, his mates have dubbed his "Fireman Sam" after the kids' cartoon character.

Sam, who's 27 and from Sussex, says: "It was inevitable. Now everyone calls me Fireman Sam. I probably deserve it because I've played so many practical jokes on my friends in the past."

Still he knows that landing the action - packed role more than makes up for being teased. Sam went through tough training with real firefighters to get a feel for the job, then spent four days finding out what it was like to work in a busy London fire station.

"Going out on fire calls screaming down Oxford Street, weaving in and out of traffic in the middle of London at 2am was great," he says. "But the biggest fire we dealt with was in a telephone box!

"Making the show is real boys' own stuff. The first time I went out to film a shout, we were all engulfed in flames - it was an amazing experience and I came out of the building with a big grin on my face. I hadn't even thought about whether I was scared of heights, but the first piece of filming I did was spent the day 100ft up on a firemen's ladder.

"By then, it was too late to say I didn't like it"

 

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