TV Week: “Tom’s well-earned break” Blue Heelers August 22nd 1998

TV Week
August 22nd 1998

John Wood is off to Bali – his first proper holiday in his entire career!

John Wood can not remember taking a genuine holiday during the course of his working career. Sure, there’s been the odd break or two, a few quiet days here and there, but really, that’s about it until now.

John, who plays Blue Heelers Tom Croydon, is planning a trip to Bali with his long-suffering wife, Leslie, and he’s feeling pretty good about it.

“Leslie and I are looking forward to it immensely,” he says.

We’re going for 10 days with a group of friends. We’ve never done it before and it’s time, it’s absolutely time.”

You may be tempted to ask why he’s waited so long, but it doesn’t take much to figure it out. He’s an actor and when you’re in the acting profession and you’re offered work, you grab it with both hands.

“In acting, it tends to be a feast or famine,” John says.

“If the job’s there you take it. If you knock it back to take a holiday, you might come back and find out you don’t have a job.”

With a schedule that includes a top-rating weekly series, hours and hours of publicity commitments and a healthy theatre career, spare time is a luxury for John.

To make matters worse, John is one of those rare men who can’t say no.

“It is hard to refuse, very hard,” he says.

“Particularly if it’s work Being a charity or something like that. How can you say no when you’re asked to appear at a primary school fundraiser, especially when it’s clear how much it means to those asking. They think it’s going to change the world and that makes it hard to knock it back, but you have to sometimes.”

John is becoming only too aware of this. He is currently suffering from asthma and has only recovered from a bout of bronchitis and laryngitis, following a stint treading the boards in the classic David Williamson play The Club.

What concerns him is that he has always burned the candle at both ends.

In the past, however, his body has coped with it

“I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come, an indication that I no longer have the stamina,” he says.

“Theatre is important to me, I don’t want to have to give it up.”

John loves his theatre, but he has no intentions of giving Blue Heelers away either. He’s been with the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning series since it started in 1994.

Being a Heeler has lost none of its gloss for John.

“I’m not sick of it at all, no, definitely not,”

“He (Tom), and the other characters, have a degree of complexity that keeps them interesting. They aren’t two dimensional, they have all the foibles of normal human beings and I think they, and the series, retain a sense of freshness.”

Blue Heelers will soon celebrate the screening of its 200th episode and John can’t quite believe it.

“I thought it would be a successful show, but I never thought it would be this successful for this long, not in a fit,” John says. ” To do one or two series, fair enough, but this many … it’s unbelievable.

Original content copyright TV Week.