> Guest Character
Serena Lucas Ruth Callum
Serena Lucas 2001-2002
Occupation: Receptionist, Con Artist
When their regular receptionist, Penny Whatley, left on an extended overseas trip, Dr Karl Kennedy and partner Dr Darcy Tyler employed temp Serena Lucas. Although they were very impressed with her work, Karl started to worry about her flirtatious behaviour, towards both him and Darcy. However, when Serena later turned down Darcy’s offer of a drink at the pub, then “accidentally” missed her last bus home, Karl reluctantly offered her a lift home, before being evasive towards his wife, Susan, when she asked why he was late home. The following day, at the salon, Susan smiled as she listened to a young woman talking about her cute new boss, until she realised that it was Karl’s new temp. Because Karl had been briefly involved with one of his old receptionists, Sarah Beaumont, Susan became concerned when Serena was rude to her at the surgery. When Serena called in at the Kennedy house, early one morning, to get the keys, hoping to get in some early filing, Karl handed them over and quickly ushered Serena out, worried about what Susan would say. Unfortunately, Susan spotted the pair at the end of the garden path, only adding to her growing list of worries.
When Karl asked Serena to stop flirting with him, and act in a more professional manner, she duly obliged and, a few days later, asked him for an assessment of her work so far. In an attempt to get her to move on to a new job, Karl gave Serena a sparkling reference, only for her to decide to stay on a while longer. The tension between the pair grew when Karl walked in on Serena changing, for her yoga class, in his office. A flustered Karl tried to claim that Serena’s behaviour was unprofessional and that she should be sacked, but she reminded him that she needed two formal warnings before he could dismiss her. After being issued her first warning, Serena turned to Darcy for support and decided to worry Karl by not turning up for work for a few days.
When Serena returned, Karl was away at a conference, giving her the perfect chance to win over Darcy. In the days that followed, gossip spread around town as the pair were often seen out and about together and Darcy finally asked Serena out on a proper date, during which she managed to talk him into speaking to Karl about keeping her on full-time. Later in the evening, as Darcy went to order more drinks, Serena finally showed her true colours as she stole a prescription pad from her boss’s bag. Upon his return, Karl was annoyed about the blossoming romance between the pair, not to mention the new coffee machine that Serena had installed and, still frustrated by her attitude, Karl issued a second formal warning, though Darcy assured her that he’d make sure she kept her job. Meanwhile, after stealing more prescription sheets, Serena took her coffee break, and met up with her accomplice, Cam Crane, in the park where she handed them over.
Meanwhile, at a club in the city, a woman named Fiona Sharp collapsed after taking some tablets – which were found to be prescribed by Darcy. He soon came under suspicion as part of a wider drugs investigation and, as more fake prescriptions started turning up, and, during an emergency meeting, Serena lied that she had popped into the Coffee Shop one morning when alone at work and it was possible that the thefts could have occurred then. She explained that she hadn’t said anything earlier, as she knew that it would have been the perfect excuse for Karl to fire her. Although, after being questioned by the police, she and Karl agreed that she should leave, Darcy wouldn’t hear of it, accusing Karl of being frightened of having an attractive woman around him at work. In the end, Serena agreed to stay and work out her final week, and Darcy even bought her an expensive art deco lamp as a parting gift. When she refused to go out with him on the evening of her final day at work, Darcy decided to go to a club on his own, where he spotted Serena handing over her final haul of pads to Cam. Everything suddenly fell into place for Darcy and, after shopping his girlfriend to the police, he tried to lie to Karl and Susan, but was again left with egg on his face when the detectives got in touch, asking for statements.
• Ruth Callum previously appeared as the second actress to play Julia Burrows, in 2000
Biography by Steve