New Zealand’s best-loved drama, Shortland Street, sees the arrival of another dashing doctor this week.
Callum McKay (Peter Mochrie) is a senior GP who has been appointed head of the new Primary Care Clinic (PCC) and he is more than ready to give the hospital a good shake up.
Charming and confident, Callum has a healthy ego and is very clear about what he wants. “He is a visionary,” says actor Peter Mochrie. “He thinks Shortland Street hospital should step into the 21st century and up the anti. He moves at the speed of light and he doesn’t care whose toes he treads on.”
Hell-bent on success and popularity, Callum has courted controversy in his past and it appears he has brought this attitude to Shortland Street.
Callum arrives at Shortland Street with glowing references from everyone – except Justine Jones. The ambitious surgeon is the one dissenting voice opposed to Callum’s employment at the hospital. The two have worked together before and Peter concedes there is “a certain competitive rivalry going on, yet a scorecard feeling of respect.” Peter admits Callum can be a “snake-oil salesman” and at times quite tactless, but has a clear vision for the PCC and hopes his achievements will win over his colleagues. “He will show them through results that there is a mean to his ends and an ends to his means.”
Callum’s boldness and assurance is not confined to his business activities. He has a keen eye for the ladies and an uncanny ability to wrap them around his little finger immediately. Peter admits Callum is “very charming” and “so sharp he will cut himself.” Which eligible bachelorette will catch Callum’s eye?
Off-screen, Peter is one of Australia’s most well-known television actors and has starred in Water Rats, Murder Call and Restless Years. He says Shortland Street’s “world-wide reputation” made the decision to work in New Zealand very straight forward.
“It’s fast and furious and I love it here. It’s like bungee jumping, some days without a cord,” laughs Peter. “They [the cast and crew] are all very professional and very friendly and I’ve been welcomed with open arms.”
Shortland Street, weeknights at 7.00pm on TV2.