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Kazia Pelka plays Maggie Bolton

Maggie Bolton, played by Kazia PelkaFor five and a half years, starting with the fifth series of Heartbeat, Kazia Pelka was Aidensfield's district nurse Maggie Bolton. Season ten was Kazia's final series, as both she and her on-screen persona moved on to new challenges. Looking back, as series ten began to be screened, Kazia was amazed at how much had happened to her on-screen character over those six series:

"When she first arrived we knew she was Mrs. Bolton but her personal life was still a bit of a mystery" recalled Kazia. "Her first story line involved nursing Nick's wife Kate through her illness and up to her death. When Kate died Nick resented Maggie, then they formed a strong working relationship, and then there was a bit of a will they won't they?, which I liked. After months of keeping away from Maggie's personal life it was good to see that she did actually have one."

Once Maggie was established in the series, her estranged husband Dr Neil Bolton arrived to rekindle their relationship and to work alongside her in Aidensfield. He was killed tragically, leaving Maggie to bring up their son Sam alone.

There was more romance for Maggie in her final series in the form of Graham Rysinski played by Paul Opacic who grew fond of Maggie after the death of his mother, whom she was nursing.

"I've enjoyed working with my on-screen partners," said Kazia. "David Michaels - who played Neil - and I have worked together before, and Paul - who plays Graham - was great fun too. Maggie does grow very fond of Graham. You'll have to wait and see if this is what leads her to leave Aidensfield!"

Kazia recalled her last scenes vividly.

"I was in floods of tears and found myself seeing ghosts all over the set of series gone by," she laughed. "My past flashed before my eyes. When it got to actually filming my last scene, however, when I'm meant to be in tears, it wasn't happening at all. I didn't know what to do. The director was giving me a couple of minutes to prepare and it wasn't working. I was meant to go into the pub for a surprise party with Jason and Fiona and I said to Fiona 'I just can't cry' and she grabbed hold of my shoulder and said 'Kazia, you're leaving - leaving us forever - and you'll never see any of us ever again!'. And I went 'all right ready!' She felt awful about it afterwards, but she knew how to get me started, and it certainly had the desired effect!"

Leaving confirmed to Kazia what favourite memory of Heartbeat she'll take away with her:

"There were many on-screen moments but I'll recall all the legendary nights we spent in Goathland with the fantastic crew. On my last night there, everyone was at the hotel to say goodbye and we had a sing song. I always sang American Pie. It was only when I was singing on this night that the 'bye bye' bit of the lyrics hit me, and I couldn't finish the song - I was off again. So it was five and a half years of those wonderful nights that I'll remember beyond anything else."

Rhea about Maggie Bolton:

"Maggie does not appear in my earlier books but Kazia Pelka does portray her as a typical, highly effective district nurse of the time. Like the village policeman, the nurse had to depend largely upon her own common sense and professional skills; Maggie does this with immense strength - and glamour! In those times, the village bobby and the district nurse did work closely together within the community and Maggie's role in Heartbeat reflects that joint, caring responsibility."

Kazia trained at LAMDA where she was awarded the Wilfred Foulis prize. She has worked extensively in the theatre with roles ranging from classical to contemporary. She has been in many television series including Making Out, The Chief, Coronation Street and Gerry Anderson's Space Precinct. Until the end of 1993 she was a regular character in Brookside and, while being part of the Heartbeat team for six years, continued her work on radio and in the theatre. She appeared on stage as Anna Karenina at the Watford Palace Theatre, and particularly enjoys her regular appearances on Call My Bluff.

Visit the Kazia Pelka gallery for more pictures of Kazia in the rôle of Nurse Maggie Bolton.

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