Niamh Algar Interview: Star Discusses New Show Malpractice

Burn out and its toxicity is certainly one villain in the show, and it is also one we all deal with, something which is not lost on Niamh.“I was only just talking about this to someone,” she shares, “in school you do physical education, so from a very young age you’re taught: in order to look after your body you do like 30 minutes of exercise a day. But we don’t educate from a young age how to emotionally regulate. That’s suddenly a revelation as you become an adult and you have to know how to emotionally regulate and look after your mental health. But it should be instilled from a young age because it’s as equally important to look after your body as it is to look after your head.” Too true!

“The answer is that burnout is a dangerous thing, a really, really dangerous thing.”

Away from the important topics Malpractice platforms, ultimately the show asks us the question: who is to blame for the ‘accidental’ death in the A&E department? Is it another consultant who clocked off early? A junior doctor who didn’t follow instructions? The lack of beds? The random man waving a gun? Is it Lucinda’s negligence? Or is something more systemic? When I ask Niamh who she thinks is to blame she doesn’t hold back and rightly so. “From this situation, it’s an overwhelmed department. There’s not enough hands. Therefore you need to hire more people and spread out the workload. You can’t just throw that amount of workload on a very small group of people and just get on with it. That’s not gonna solve the problem, you need more staff. The answer is that burnout is a dangerous thing, a really, really dangerous thing.” And maybe that is true of the very real situation our NHS finds itself in now, too.

However, we are not here to get into politics. Nor am I a medical official by any stretch of the imagination but one thing that I would definitely prescribe for Niamh is temporary bed rest from intense dramas. After all, since she burst onto our screens in the bleak Shane Meadows drama, The Virtues alongside Stephen Graham, Niamh hasn’t stopped. She has starred as a police officer trying to honey trap a killer in Deceit which gave her a BAFTA TV nomination, given us the creeps in Netflix’s Victorian gothic saga The Wonder and attempted to fend off drug gangs in her BAFTA film nominated performance in Calm with Horses opposite Barry Keoghan.‌


Maybe just one romantic comedy would be good for her soul? “We’re putting it out into the universe,” Niamh laughs. “It’s gonna be a joyous rom-com because that’s all I watch and reality TV shows like Below Deck. It’s so funny because then I go to work and go, ‘let’s do intense.’ That’s the great balance, I am lucky I don’t have to put myself through real life stress.” Lucky Niamh, because I need to lie down in a dark room after watching Malpractice.

Malpractice with Niamh Algar continues on ITV this Sunday at 9pm and is available on ITVX now.