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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Holmes is where the heart is

A very special episode of Shortland Street screens this Easter Monday, when Paul Holmes makes a unique cameo appearance - dressed in drag.

Holmes plays the role of Leslie Grant, an arrogant amateur actor featuring as Lady Bracknell in the show's theatre production, The Importance of Being Earnest.

Holmes says it was a challenging experience, playing a role within a role.

"It was a difficult one. It was kind of a double thing, I was playing someone who was playing someone else. It could do your head in it if you think about it."

Holmes enjoyed his day on set, saying the pleasantness of the cast really made it for him. But he wasn't without nerves either.

Holmes explains: "Oh god yes, I was nervous. I had a very big scene to learn and it took me a good couple of weeks at home to do it. I used to be able to learn lines really quickly. But I was very nervous of strutting my stuff in front of the Shortland Street people and the crew."

This wasn't Holmes' first stint on Shortland Street. He made a brief appearance on the show in 1993.

"I went on as 'Holmes' and appeared at the hospital reception trying to find someone, I think," says Holmes. "It was a long time ago. I never did see the episode because I was actually on 'Holmes' at the time."

Shortland Street's producer Steven Zanoski says Holmes was his immediate choice for the role and enthuses that he was exceptionally professional on set.

"Beyond the novelty of Holmes in a dress, this is a fantastic performance from a very talented actor," says Zanoski.

So can viewers expect to see Holmes in a more permanent role on the Street?

"I think I've left it a bit late to be a handsome young actor on Shortland Street," jokes Holmes. "I've enough to do acting being Paul Holmes."

Make sure you tune into Shortland Street this Easter Monday to witness Paul Holmes like you've never seen him before.


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