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From TV Week  (January 25, 1997)
Blue Heelers stars agree that Maggie and PJ's relationship has reached a point where...
Something's   got to give
Martin Sacks and Lisa McCune
If we have to flirt with each other one more time, I'm going to kill him

FANS of the country's number one show, Blue Heelers, can expect big things to happen this year between Constable Maggie Doyle and Sen-Det. P.J. Hasham.

There's been an attraction between the two since the show began on the Seven Network three years ago, but Lisa McCune and Martin Sacks believe the sexual tension has now been milked for all it's worth.

"We know something's got to give, and that's being planned now," Martin says.

"It's got to the point where we can't cope as actors putting it off any more.

"If it continues this way, viewers will start getting annoyed.  There's only so far adults will go before it either burns out or is consummated, or at least admitted."

Lisa agrees.  "If we have to flirt with each other one more time, I'm going to kill him!" she says, laughing.

After three years of feuding, flirting and the odd kiss, viewers will be delighted if the two finally get together.

"We're aware the pay-off will be huge," Martin says.  "But the producers realise it's a bit of a contentious issue how Maggie and P.J. are going to get together and where.  At the same time, we don't want to build it up so it's like Gone With The Wind."

While they insist they could never be more than friends in real life, Lisa giggles when she recalls their first meeting.

"I remember the first day on Blue Heelers, Marty walked in wearing a leather jacket and I thought, 'He is just divine'.  But I was over it by day two!"

Martin adds: "You mean, once you got to know me, you didn't feel that way any more — thanks!"

"Well, yes!" Lisa says, laughing.  "I was pleased, though, because I'd finally met someone who's as clumsy as I am!"

From their tough, straight-talking characters on Blue Heelers, most people wouldn't guess Martin and Lisa are quite different off screen.

"P.J. is very much in control," Martin says.  "When I'm him, it's one of the few times I actually feel in control of my life!'

Lisa says when she's not on set, she's all thumbs.

"I'm so clumsy at home," she says.  "When you're on set, there are so many people looking at what's going on.  If you're crossing the road, you don't have to check if there are cars coming — there's a safety officer beside you!"

The pair are pleased the show's cast and crew still get on so well together.

Martin Sacks and Lisa McCune

"It's three years down the track, and from what people say about being on other shows, it's pretty amazing that we're all still friends," Lisa says.

"When you consider the pressure on us, particularly if you're the person that week with a major storyline, it's fantastic there's none of that pettiness I imagine would go on in this industry.  That means you can concentrate on your work.

"But having said that, I have to admit we've all had days when we've cracked it.

"When you're working 14 hours a day with the same people, you've got to expect that.

"If you do lose it, you feel so bad at home that night.  But the next day you come into work and no-one remembers.  We've all developed our own relationships with each other.

"Marty and I have quite a strong friendship, because we have to work so closely together.

"I wouldn't say it's more than anyone else's friendship, but we live near each other, and we love to go out and have a good laugh."

Blue Heelers is back on screen from February 11, when Maggie suffers a potentially fatal illness and P.J. comes to her rescue to save her life.

Story: Caron James
Cover and pictures: Rebekah Thompson

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