Between the Sheets : Playing Paul Andrews
Richard Armitage's character in Between the Sheets is a probation officer who works with young people.
One of his clients, 15 year old Tracy Ellis, thinks she is in love with him. After he transfers her case to another probation officer, she makes an allegation that she and Paul had sex together. Paul is suspended from his job while the police investigate her claim. He hopes for support from his partner, sex therapist Alona, but she is unsure whether to believe in his innocence. Tracy is a known liar, has a drink problem, and has a mother who is mentally ill, so there are plenty of reasons for disbelieving her claims. But Alona feels that Paul isn't telling the whole truth about what happened.
Even before the allegations, there were problems in their 8 year relationship which have led to Paul losing interest in sex.
"My character and his girlfriend end up seeing a sex therapist themselves and are given homework. When I got the script I didn't appreciate quite what that involved, as I'd skimmed over the stage directions. It wasn't until I came to film the sex scenes that I realised!" said Richard Armitage. 
What it involved was nudity - in a couple of scenes between him and Julie Graham both actors are naked. And there are several other sex scenes - and more nudity - elsewhere in the series. But he didn't think this was the the most important part of the drama.
"I think people find the frank dialogue more shocking than the nudity and sex scenes. People are too scared to talk about sex."
"I think it's a brave drama." 
Paul and Alona's story is a sub-plot running alongside the main story of Hazel and Peter, but it's interesting in its own right, and throws up a number of intriguing issues. Whether or not Paul is innocent, and whether or not he and Alona can resolve the problems in their relationship, are questions that aren't finally resolved until the last episode.
 Sunday Mercury, 23rd November 2003
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