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Interview with Tom Richards

Tom Richards, October 2001


Former Sons and Daughters star, Tom Richards, who played David Palmer for much of the series' run, visited Europe in late-2001 and spent a few days in the UK. While here, he agreed to be filmed for a interview for this website. The filming took place in St. James's Park in London.

There are links, below, to RealVideo clips of Tom answering the questions, and further down the page is a full transcript of the interview, which includes one-or-two bits that aren't included in the video clips. The RealVideo clips require RealPlayer 8 to be viewed, and the file size and length of each clip is given.

RealVideo Clips

Question 1: How were you cast as David Palmer? (263Kb, 27secs)

Question 2: Did you get on with your on-screen family? (123Kb, 13secs)

Question 3: What did you think of how far-fetched the storylines got at times? (192Kb, 20secs)

Question 4: Who should David have ended up with: Beryl or Patricia - and why? (396Kb, 40secs)

Question 5: You left the series some months before the end: why was this? (159Kb, 16secs)

Question 6: You made an appearance in the very last episode: were you happy to go back and do that? (150Kb, 16secs)

Question 7: How did you find working with Belinda Giblin's 'Patricia', compared with Rowena Wallace's Patricia? (206Kb, 20secs)

Question 8: You're currently making a documentary about Sons and Daughters. How did it come about? (238Kb, 25secs)

Question 9: Do you have a favourite storyline from your time in Sons and Daughters? (304Kb, 31secs)

Question 10: Do you have a least-favourite storyline from your time in Sons and Daughters? (149Kb, 16secs)

Question 11: Did you ever approach the storyliners with ideas for storylines for David? (190Kb, 20secs)

Question 12: What do you think it was about Sons and Daughters that made it so popular? (156Kb, 16secs)

Question 13: Are you, or were you, anything like David? (133Kb, 13secs)

Question 14: Can you really drive a truck?! (247Kb, 25secs)

Interview Transcript

Website: How were you cast as David Palmer?

Tom Richards: I don't really know, actually! I mean, Don Battye, who was the man in charge of all that at the time - I knew Don from other shows, and I guess I was just brought along to do the audition, and then a selection came from the executives from Channel Seven. [Aside] Do you want me looking at you?

Website: That's fine. Yeah, wherever.

Tom Richards. OK.

Website: OK. Did you click and get on with your on-screen family?

Tom Richards: Oh, I certainly did - we were all quite friendly. Leila and myself had worked together many, many years beforehand - but we were all very friendly.

Website: What did you think of the storylines and how far-fetched they got at times?

Tom Richards: It didn't really worry me, actually, because, you know, I've since found out that people could relate to some of them, even though they were far-fetched. But, at the time, you think, "Well...", but normally you'd go and do it; part of your work.

Website: OK. Who do you think David should have ended up with: Beryl or Patricia? Who was best for him?

Tom Richards: Actually, there's a blonde-headed girl down the road...!!! [Laughter!] I think he... I think he should have ended up with... probably with Beryl.

Website: Yeah? Why?

Tom Richards: More his type, friendly family...

Website. Right.

Tom Richards: I think he was out of his depth with Patricia.

Website: What was the attraction, then?

Tom Richards: With Patricia?

Website: Yeah.

Tom Richards: I think it was just her charm and beauty of that age. He followed her and still liked her; that type of thing - something he couldn't have; couldn't control - but really was more related, more of the same level, as Beryl.

Website: You left the series some months before the end. Why was that?

Tom Richards: I was offered a movie.

Website: Oh, right.

Tom Richards: It never came about.

Website: Oh, right - that's a shame.

Tom Richards: And then I was going to go back in the show again, and then the movie came back on, but then it came off again, so... it never happened.

Website: You did make an appearance in the very last episode, so you were happy to go back and do that, were you?

Tom Richards: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah. Good fun.

Website: Brought the story full-circle, didn't it.

Tom Richards: It did.

Website: That's good.

Tom Richards: Back to Belinda...

Website: Yep.

Tom Richards: Belinda Giblin.

Website: Different Patricia, but...!

Tom Richards: Yeah, bit different!

Website: Just out of interest...

Tom Richards: Just as different!

Website: How did you find the two Patricias - I mean they were obviously very different actresses, and they...

Tom Richards: Didn't worry. I'd worked with Belinda many years ago...

Website: Right.

Tom Richards: And working with Rowena... so they were just... When you're doing a show; when you're acting, you don't really get that feeling until you see it on air; when it's been cut together.

Website: Right.

Tom Richards: They're actors, doing their job, and you're just relating to them all the time.

Website: OK. You're currently making a documentary about Sons and Daughters: can you tell me about it; how it came about?

Tom Richards: Mainly because I watched something on a website! [Laughter!] I felt like something could have been done with a documentary, because of the show's popularity, and then I thought, "Oh yes..." and I started... but it was mainly after seeing a documentary... not a documentary, a website, in England; coming out of England...!

Website: Right! Do you have a favourite storyline from Sons and Daughters, either in which you were involved in yourself, or which you weren't involved in but would like to have been? So any favourite storyline, basically.

Tom Richards: [Shakes head] No... not really. Oh, there was one, I think - for some reason I can't think of the actual storyline, but I went... turned into a... I think I was drinking a lot - I was worried or something; taking too many tablets. I don't mind that - I forget that - but that was later on in the show. I didn't mind that storyline - I can't remember what it was(!) but I remember that - I just liked the idea - it was a good bit of a challenge - 'cos there were quite some nice other areas in there; it was a challenge.

Website: Did you have a least-favourite storyline - one which you had to act but didn't enjoy?

Tom Richards: No, I enjoyed them all, but there's only one part I didn't like too much: that's when I got a slap in the face by Rowena...

Website: Just the one?!

Tom Richards: ...when I was starting when she told me the twins weren't mine!

Website: I remember that! OK. Did you ever approach the storyliners with any ideas for stories which never actually came to fruition (or did come to fruition)?

Tom Richards: They did, actually, but those storylines I can't remember. Leila... Leila and I actually went to the script editors and they wanted to have a talk to us about different things - but mainly myself. The other... I think the women... the actors; the actresses, did, on a few occasions, but myself, I was happy to do what they gave me.

Website: What do you think it was about Sons and Daughters that made it so popular?

Tom Richards: I think it was because... I think the two families; the two groups of families, the rich and the poor-type thing... and plus in Australia, the two... the two different states it was filmed in.

Website: Who was your favourite character in Sons and Daughters other than your own (if you had one)?

Tom Richards: No... no...

Website: No?

Tom Richards: No - just liked them all.

Website: OK. Are you, or were you, anything like David?

Tom Richards: Oh, I think so, a little way, somewhere.

Website: Yeah?

Tom Richards: Yeah, some places I probably would be. I come from the same type of family [Aside: Tom spots and points to a squirrel!], and all that, yeah.

Website: OK, last question: Can you really drive a truck?

Tom Richards: No! Well - I can - not a big truck, but a fair-sized truck I can. I used to drive those trucks.

Website: Really?

Tom Richards: Yeah. There's one truck I used to drive didn't have any brakes! So I used to sit there with a clutch and a handbrake on, pulling up in the shot. Should never have been allowed.

Website: Tom Richards, thank you very much.


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