Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Back in Command

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Back in Command

Article excerpt

Last year was a turbulent one for Amanda Burton. The actress kicked off 2004 by announcing she was quitting her role as Sam Ryan in the hit forensic drama Silent Witness.

"Instinct brought me to the decision to leave," she says. "It was as much instinct as intuition. I just felt I'd had enough. I'd been there long enough. And really I think we'd done just about every single thing we could possibly do with the character."

The 48-year-old bowed out at the beginning of the eighth series, shown in the autumn. The two-part special saw Sam Ryan heading back to Northern Ireland to try to uncover the truth about her father's death.

"I loved the last story," says Amanda. "I was just so pleased with it and the way we made it work. I couldn't have had a better way to go out of a big long-running show like that."

The show carried on regardless, with the big, Sam Ryan-shaped gap being filled by her two male colleagues, William Gaminara and Tom Ward, and a new female junior pathologist, played by Emilia Fox.

"I've seen some of it," says Amanda. "And it is quite strange to watch it now. But it was good. And equally it's lovely that the show goes on with Tom and Will, and with Emilia Fox coming in as well."

Then in September Amanda was in the papers again, this time for a very different reason. News broke that her husband of 15 years, photographer Sven Arnstein, had confessed to an affair with married journalist Sarah Bush.

He left the family home in London, allegedly because Amanda kicked him out, but now she's reportedly taken him back. It's not something Amanda is willing to talk about today.

In fact she seems unwilling to talk about very much apart from Silent Witness and her latest vehicle, the Lynda La Plante drama The Commander. Any unwanted questioning is met with a swift rebuttal.

Even an inquiry into any experiences with stalkers, prompted by that of her character in The Commander, is met with some suspicion. …

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