Amanda Redman has spoken of the unexpected silver lining of working during the COVID pandemic as she said that it had been the "happiest time" she'd spent making The Good Karma Hospital.
Redman, 64, stars in the ITV drama which is about to launch its fourth series and said that she and her cast mates, who include Neil Morrissey, Nimmi Harasgama, Amrita Acharia and Raquel Cassidy, felt like a close family by the end of filming and living in a bubble.
The series films on location in Sri Lanka, and Redman told Yahoo UK and other press that it was her happiest time there: "I had a bit of trepidation before I went out there because I just couldn't imagine what it would be like, but actually, in my opinion it was the happiest time I've spent there."
Redman, who plays Dr Lydia Fonseca, continued: "We were in our bubbles, it was just us in this hotel and we did become this family, we became incredibly close. We knew each other very well anyway, but I think we got to know each other so well.
"We ate together every night at a big long dining table, almost like being at boarding school, and we would have sundowners outside.
"We would do a 5 o'clock swim when the waves were lovely and gentle, we just got incredibly close, it was lovely, I really enjoyed it."
Morrissey, 59, co-stars as bartender Greg McConnell and said the cast WhatsApp had been full of plans for group swimming and evening activities each day.
Redman added that Morrissey had done his best to get the party started as she said: "We all did different things - we had a disco, Neil was the disc jockey, Nimmi threw a party, we watched films...it was really special."
Talking about his turn as a DJ, Morrissey joked: "I delved way back into the 70s and give the players what they want - T Rex or Dua Lipa, I could provide all."
Show creator Dan Sefton, whose first career was in medicine, told how he had returned to frontline NHS work during the pandemic and planned to continue as a doctor part time.
He said: "It was nice to be able to do something useful...having something to do was much easier than for most people who were sat at home getting worried.
"I was at the hospital getting worried."
The Good Karma Hospital returns to ITV for series 4 later this month.
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