Porters interview - Jo Joyner (Dr Kelly)

Jo plays Dr Kelly, the face of the overstretched, undervalued NHS in Porters.

Porters interview - Jo Joyner (Dr Kelly)

What is Porters about?

Porters is about the antics of three very lovable porters who are what feels like almost 'backstage' at a busy hospital.

What's Dr Kelly like?

Dr Kelly is like the face of the overstretched, undervalued NHS! She hasn't slept for weeks, probably not had a chance to stop for a toilet break and has seen such real trauma that she's quite low on sympathy for the basics like broken bones! She's sharp, sarcastic and impatient, but only because she's busy saving lives!

What drew you to this show?

The writing was genuinely laugh out loud funny. There's not many comedy's you can read and they have you laughing on your own just from the page. I think because it's written by someone who has real experience of a working hospital, you get that flavour. But also, every part is a character, there's not a tiny part that's wasted and I think that's always a sign of a great writer. It's also why they've attracted such a lovely lot of cameos from great people.

What's it like working with Rutger Hauer?

I didn't have (many scenes) with Rutger sadly! But he has an amazing presence, was very calm and lovely to everyone and, as you'd imagine, looks great on screen.

Did you research what life is like for a doctor?

I didn't have a lot of time between finishing Ackley Bridge and then starting on Porters! So I didn't really research. But I did try and add what I know of doctors to the part. On paper Dr Kelly was supposed to be very precise, smart and together. So makeup were a bit surprised when I walked in and said 'can you give me big circles under my eyes, throw my hair up, I want to look like I haven't slept in days'!

Is there a divide between the doctors upstairs and the porters downstairs?

There is a divide but Simon's character really doesn't see it! He thinks that by being a porter he's well on his way towards becoming a doctor. Bless him!

Watch a clip from Porters

Have you had a lot of fun with the other cast?

One of the best parts about the job was working with them and watching them in action, especially the younger ones. I think they do a fantastic job and Susie and Ed have a really great chemistry together. They were all very welcoming and really made the job for me- there's a lot of young talent in the show and I'm looking forward to watching it just to see them all again!

There must have been a lot of corpsing on set...

There was a little bit! Not too much though, the nature of a pilot (series) is that you're usually under quite a bit of pressure to set the show up, create its style and make things work in quite a short space of time. So as much as we'd have like to spend the day laughing, the director was very quick to reign us all in!

Would you like to come back to film more Porters?

I'd love to. I think the show has a lot more to say and like I said, the young cast have something really special together.

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