'Don't throw paint at me!' Dr Foster's cheating husband DEFENDS his character's flaws - but admits he's looking over his shoulder after viewers say they were disappointed he hadn't been killed

  • Viewers were angry that Foster's husband Simon did not get comeuppance
  • Finale saw GP call cheating husband out on two-year affair with 23-year-old
  • Bertie Carvel, who played Simon, said character was 'morally ambiguous'
  • But he defended Simon after fans wanted him to be killed by scorned wife

The actor who played Doctor Foster's on-screen cheating husband has admitted he is looking over his shoulder today, saying: 'I hope no one throws paint at me.'

Bertie Carvel, who played unfaithful entrepreneur Simon in the highly-charged BBC drama, admitted he could be one of the least popular men in Britain following last night's explosive season finale.

But the 38-year-old, arguably the villain of the series, has defended his 'morally ambiguous' character saying it was 'difficult to know where justice lies'.

It came after viewers expressed their disappointment that Simon - who spun a web of lies over five episodes to conceal the two-year affair - had not been murdered by his scorned wife.

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The actor who played Doctor Foster's cheating husband has admitted he is looking over his shoulder today, saying: 'I hope no one throws paint at me'

The actor who played Doctor Foster's cheating husband has admitted he is looking over his shoulder today, saying: 'I hope no one throws paint at me'

Bertie Carvel, who played entrepreneur Simon in the highly-charged BBC drama, admitted he was one of the least popular men in Britain following last night's explosive season finale

Bertie Carvel, who played entrepreneur Simon in the highly-charged BBC drama, admitted he was one of the least popular men in Britain following last night's explosive season finale

But the 38-year-old, who was the on-screen villain during the thriller, also defended his 'morally ambiguous' character saying it was 'difficult to know where justice lies'

But the 38-year-old, who was the on-screen villain during the thriller, also defended his 'morally ambiguous' character saying it was 'difficult to know where justice lies'

Speaking on ITV's This Morning he said: 'I have got to head straight to the Old Vic after this and I'm hoping no-one will throw paint at me.' 

Since the opening scene of the series, viewers have been desperate to know how Doctor Gemma Foster - who had been unceremoniously betrayed by her husband, friends and colleagues over the course of five thrilling episodes - would unleash her rage on her cheating husband.

Most people had been convinced that Gemma - a successful GP living the apparent good life in a quaint town in Hertfordshire - would kill her unfaithful partner in a dramatic bloodbath.

But, despite praising the nail-biting finale, fans were left 'disgusted' that Simon emerged unscathed - and was instead allowed to move on with his life, apparently scot-free. 

With 7.8m viewers having tuned in to the climax of the BBC drama, Twitter was awash last night with claims that Simon should have been left for dead or ‘bankrupt and alone’.

But Carvel, whose character ended up all-but sailing into the sunset with his 23-year-old pregnant lover, said today that he didn't necessarily see his character as a villain.

‘When you are playing character, you have to be careful not to judge them too much,' he said.

'People seldom cast themselves as villains and prefer to think of themselves as the flawed hero in their own story: that's the way you have to approach it when you’re playing these characters.'

He added: ‘I want my villains to be recognisably human, to have a soft side; I want there to be light and shade, just as I want my heroes to have flaws.'

Carvel added that writer Mike Bartlett had simply created 'real people' in the characters. 

'That’s not to say we should all love Simon - but that it's difficult to know where justice lies in life and that's what he is putting on the screen,' he said. 

Fans had been left outraged after Simon ended up with his younger mistress and called for a second series of the show so he could finally get his comeuppance.  

BBC1's Doctor Foster was hailed the show the 'best drama in years' by devoted fans - but many were disappointed that cheating husband Simon (pictured above with the GP) appeared to get off scot-free

BBC1's Doctor Foster was hailed the show the 'best drama in years' by devoted fans - but many were disappointed that cheating husband Simon (pictured above with the GP) appeared to get off scot-free

In last night's finale Foster used a dinner party as the stage to call out Simon's affair with his 23-year-old lover. Clockwise from left: The mistress's mother Susie Parks (Sara Stewart); scorned wife Gemma (Suranne Jones); mistress Kate Parks (Jodie Comer); mistress's father Chris Parks (Neil Stuke); cheating husband Simon (Bertie Carvel); mistress's brother Andrew (Charlie Cunniffe)

In last night's finale Foster used a dinner party as the stage to call out Simon's affair with his 23-year-old lover. Clockwise from left: The mistress's mother Susie Parks (Sara Stewart); scorned wife Gemma (Suranne Jones); mistress Kate Parks (Jodie Comer); mistress's father Chris Parks (Neil Stuke); cheating husband Simon (Bertie Carvel); mistress's brother Andrew (Charlie Cunniffe)

Viewers took to Twitter to express their shock and disappointment that cheating husband Simon appeared to get off scot-free, when he was shown at the end of the show enjoying his new life with his 23-year-old lover

Viewers took to Twitter to express their shock and disappointment that cheating husband Simon appeared to get off scot-free, when he was shown at the end of the show enjoying his new life with his 23-year-old lover

There had been several hints over the past four weeks that Simon - if not killed - would be dramatically punished for repeatedly lying to his wife about his sordid affair.

In episode three, Gemma - played by Suranne Jones - had snarled to her dying mother-in-law that she would be 'fair' in her revenge while a toe-curling scene in the final episode saw the doctor declare to her husband's mistress: 'I’m a wolf tonight'.

In the series opener, a voiceover also reminded viewers of the famous lines from William Congreve's Mourning Bride: 'Heaven has rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned'.

But last night's finale took a sharp diversion from the predicted tale of bloody revenge to a near-happy ending, which saw both husband and wife move on with their lives in a seemingly amicable way.

By the end, Gemma was sat with her son Tom having a coffee in Parminster town square, while her lying husband was playing happy families with his pregnant 23-year-old lover, Kate Parks.

Fans of the BBC1 drama have seen Dr Foster's life torn apart as she discovered her husband Simon, with whom she has a young son, is having an affair with a much younger woman, who is also pregnant with his child
Cheating husband Simon

Fans of the BBC1 drama have seen Dr Foster's life torn apart as she discovered her husband Simon, with whom she has a young son, is having an affair with a much younger woman, who is also pregnant with his child

In the finale, viewers saw Simon lash out at his wife, pushing her against a panel door before she fell to the floor bleeding. The pair were later pictured several weeks later enjoying their new lives - Dr Foster with son Tom, and Simon with his pregnant lover Katie - prompting viewers to claim that Simon should have been killed off

In the finale, viewers saw Simon lash out at his wife, pushing her against a panel door before she fell to the floor bleeding. The pair were later pictured several weeks later enjoying their new lives - Dr Foster with son Tom, and Simon with his pregnant lover Katie - prompting viewers to claim that Simon should have been killed off

While some viewers said they were disappointed Simon appeared to get away lightly for his adultery, others praised the thrilling nature of the five-part series, calling for it to 'win all the awards' and return for a second run

While some viewers said they were disappointed Simon appeared to get away lightly for his adultery, others praised the thrilling nature of the five-part series, calling for it to 'win all the awards' and return for a second run

The scene prompted viewers to declare that Simon 'didn't deserve' happiness and that the duo should have been left 'crushed'. 

Olivia Creighton wrote: 'V mad about how Doctor Foster ended, I wanted her to kill at least Simon or Kate.'

India Rose wrote: 'What the f*** was the ending of doctor foster all about? Ruined the whole thing, yeah happy chappies after all that grief I don't think so.'

COULD DOCTOR FOSTER BE BACK FOR MORE? 

Following the huge success of the first series, viewers are desperate for Dr Foster to return to our screens.

Writer Mike Bartlett has not ruled out a second series.

A BBC source also said 'no decision' had yet been made and that the door was 'still open' for the embattled doctor back to return to our screens. 

'We are waiting to see how the dust settles before deciding definitively but at the moment no decision has been made,' the source told the Radio Times. 'Put it this way, it’s never say never.' 

And Naomi Onek said: 'Sorry but I am not happy with the ending to Doctor Foster. Why couldn't Simon be left bankrupt and all alone?'  

Twitter user Sagal wrote: 'Doctor foster was so f****** good. Would've like to see Simon dead tho.'

Rachel Maloney added: 'Not sure if I'm happy with that ending. He doesn't deserve happiness. Glad she and Tom are together.'

Another Twitter user said: 'My only problem with #DoctorFoster was that Simon and that entitled little cow Kate were insufficiently crushed at the end.'  

But whether Simon is yet to be further punished is still an unanswered question.

Bartlett - who vowed to give viewers a satisfactory ending, amid complaints from his mother that too many TV series ended ambiguously - has not ruled out a second series.

A BBC source also said 'no decision' had yet been made and that the door was 'still open' for the embattled doctor back to return to our screens. 

'We are waiting to see how the dust settles before deciding definitively but at the moment no decision has been made,' the source told the Radio Times. 'Put it this way, it’s never say never.' 

Some viewers were angry that young Tom was brought into the centre of the drama after Foster briefly led Simon to believe she had killed their son because she didn't want him to grow up to be like his cheating father. Pictured: Foster drove Tom to a field miles away from home where she asked him what he thought of the affair

Some viewers were angry that young Tom was brought into the centre of the drama after Foster briefly led Simon to believe she had killed their son because she didn't want him to grow up to be like his cheating father. Pictured: Foster drove Tom to a field miles away from home where she asked him what he thought of the affair

The end of the show finished with Foster enjoying a coffee with her son as Simon pulled up nearby to collect his pregnant lover, Katie. He gave his ex-wife a nod before getting in the car with his lover, playing happy families

The end of the show finished with Foster enjoying a coffee with her son as Simon pulled up nearby to collect his pregnant lover, Katie. He gave his ex-wife a nod before getting in the car with his lover, playing happy families

Some fans were disappointed that Dr Foster brought her son Tom into the middle of the adultery drama

Some fans were disappointed that Dr Foster brought her son Tom into the middle of the adultery drama

Over the past four episodes, fans of the show have seen Dr Foster's seemingly perfect life turned upside down as she discovered her entrepreneur husband, with whom she has a young son, is having an affair with a much younger woman.

Amid subplots of blackmail, professional negligence and financial disarray, viewers were left on tenterhooks as Foster goes to increasingly desperate lengths to prove her husband's affair.

THE ACTOR BEHIND TV'S MOST DESPISED CHEATING HUSBAND  

Bertie Carvel, who plays Dr Foster's unfaithful husband Simon in the BBC adaptation, made his name playing Miss Trunchball in the musical version Roald Dahl's Matilda.

The 38-year-old - who was nominated for a Tony award and won an Olivier for the role - also appeared as Finn in Channel 4 series Babylon, and also starred as Jonathan Strange opposite Eddie Marsan in the TV adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

The actor also depicted Nick Clegg in the drama Coalition.  

Growing up in Hampstead, Carvel lived with his father John Carvel - the distinguished social affairs editor at the Guardian who retired from the newspaper in 2009 - and his mother, a psychologist.

He went on to study English at Sussex University before graduating from prestigious drama school Rada in 2003. 

Although he made his name in Doctor Foster as a social chameleon and cheating husband, Carvel is more likely to spend his time off-screen in solitude, either swimming in Hampstead Heath ponds and visiting remote locations.

According to a recent interview, his favourite peaceful location is a house with no electricity or running water where he once told his girlfriend that he preferred books to people.

As she plots her revenge, Dr Foster uncovers more and more secrets about her husband's life, including how he has frittered away her dead parents' money on a failing business. 

Following an epiphany in the fourth episode - which saw fleeting attempt to drown herself - the final episode saw Dr Foster orchestrate a dinner party during which she stripped Simon and his 23-year-old lover of their homes, business, family and dignity, in front of the mistress's oblivious parents.

Later in the show, Foster produced a pair of scissors – depicted in the opening credits of the drama - and placed a lock of hair on the kitchen counter, deliberately taunting Simon with the suggestion that she had murdered their adorable son, Tom.

Several viewers quickly expressed their shock that Dr Foster had slayed her son Tom - played by Tom Taylor - to get back at her unfaithful husband.

But fans were quickly relieved to see the youngster arriving back at the family home, quashing fears that she had dispensed of the young child to ensure he does not grow up to be like his lying father. 

Denise Jeffery said: 'Honestly thought she had killed their boy! Christ #DoctorFoster that was intense!!'

Kerry wrote: 'Yep, that's more of a realistic reaction in tonight's 'DoctorFoster. Didn't like her dragging her son into it though.'  

After that came more uncomfortable viewing, with Simon lashing out at his wife - attacking her and pushing her to the floor - as the full extent of his spineless character reared its ugly and violent head.

It ended with Dr Foster signing her name on divorce papers, before saving the life of a stranger who has a heart attack in the town square. 

William added: 'I've just watched doctor foster. And I'm genuinely in shock. I don't know what I'm seeing right now.' 

Fans were angry that Simon appeared to get off lightly for his adultery and beating his wife, Dr Foster. Towards the end of last night's show, he grabbed his wife and pushed her against a panel door as a row came to a head

Fans were angry that Simon appeared to get off lightly for his adultery and beating his wife, Dr Foster. Towards the end of last night's show, he grabbed his wife and pushed her against a panel door as a row came to a head

Shocking: After Simon smashed Gemma's head against the glass door it looked as though she was dead

Shocking: After Simon smashed Gemma's head against the glass door it looked as though she was dead

On the whole, viewers praised the BBC five-part drama and called for it to be brought back for a second series

On the whole, viewers praised the BBC five-part drama and called for it to be brought back for a second series

THE CHARACTERS IN THE BBC'S MOST TENSE EMOTIONAL DRAMA 

1. THE TORTURED WIFE

Dr Gemma Foster is a wronged woman who finds out her husband is having an affair with a much younger woman: Katie Parks.

The series shows that she will stop at nothing to prove her husband's fidelity and get her revenge.

Dr Foster has already seduced her husband's accountant, threatened a patient and proved herself as an expert in bribery and blackmail.

2. THE PRECOCIOUS LOVER

Katie Parks, played by Jodie Corner is the other woman who is besotted with Simon.

She has been having an affair with him and is pregnant with his child. 

3. THE OBLIVIOUS MOTHER

Sara Stewart plays Susie Parks, Katie's doting mother, who was initially suspected of being Simon's mistress herself.

She has no idea that her daughter is involved with Simon. 

4. THE PROTECTIVE FATHER

Chris Parks, played by Neil Stuke, is a loving father and businessman who plays his cards very close to his chest. 

5. THE CHEATING HUSBANG

Bertie Carvel plays Simon Foster - the villain of the series.

In addition to cheating on Gemma, he has secretly siphoned off the family's finances for a dodgy property deal. 

And Gemma Gilsby said: #Wow...#DoctorFoster...enough to put u off marriage for life! Surranne Jones made u feel her pain. Excellent drama' 

Thousands praised the series as 'award-winning' and called for it to be brought back for a second series.

Mollie McMahon wrote on Twitter: '#DoctorFoster was some of the best TV in a long time! Please say there's a second series.'

Lee March wrote: 'Absolutely loved #DoctorFoster best programme probably that I've ever watched. There's got to be a second series? I don't know how but...'

And Emma Wylde added: 'I haven't screamed at the tele like that since Gareth gates lost pop idol when I was 8. #DoctorFoster #Mustwinalltheawards'

Earlier this week Bartlett promised the ending of the show would be 'proper', adding that there was going to be 'no messing around'.

He told the Mail On Sunday: 'My own mum said to me, 'Promise me that the show is going to have a proper ending.

'I don't like these shows which have endings that are all sort of vague so I can promise everyone it has a proper ending.

'It's all going to come out. It's full-on and there is no messing around.'

Bartlett said he believes the show was such a success because audiences developed a soft spot for Dr Foster.

He explained: 'They don't necessarily approve of everything she has done but they have an attitude towards it – 'Well, she should have done that and she shouldn't have done that…'

'If your friend was going through this, you wouldn't approve of everything they did and you wouldn't necessarily like everything they did but you would care about them and you would want things to be OK. Speaking to people, they seem to have that reaction to Gemma.'

Simon's 23-year-old lover Katie slapped Dr Foster across the face after she called out the affair at a dinner party attended by the couple, Katie and Katie's parents

Simon's 23-year-old lover Katie slapped Dr Foster across the face after she called out the affair at a dinner party attended by the couple, Katie and Katie's parents

'Mum and I had a row': Simon lied to his son Tom about the nature of his relationship with his lover Katie

'Mum and I had a row': Simon lied to his son Tom about the nature of his relationship with his lover Katie

 

Now THAT'S how you cut a cheating hubby down to size! CHRISTOPHER STEVENS on the dramatic finale to Doctor Foster that will have men watching with their legs crossed 

Rating:

So that’s what the scissors were for. The opening credits of Doctor Foster (BBC1) have been puzzling millions for weeks, with images of objects falling sideways through water — a lipstick, a tie, sunglasses and, ominously, that pair of scissors.

Now we know. Snip, snip, snip.

For a male viewer, the finale made uncomfortable viewing, TV to be watched with your legs crossed and your hands cupped protectively on your lap. 

Wronged wife Gemma, played with barely hinged intensity by Suranne Jones, exacted a surgically ruthless vengeance on her feeble husband Simon (Bertie Carvel). The only mercy was that this divorce drama wasn’t set at Christmas — otherwise bits of Simon would have been dangling from the tree with the baubles.

We didn’t like her any better at the end of it. And as Gemma overplayed her hand later, trying and failing to split up her neighbours’ marriage out of spite, it was clear she didn’t like herself either

We didn’t like her any better at the end of it. And as Gemma overplayed her hand later, trying and failing to split up her neighbours’ marriage out of spite, it was clear she didn’t like herself either

All the way through, the most unsettling aspect of the story was that Gemma wasn’t nearly as likeable as her stupid, faithless husband. He was allergic to honesty, he bankrupted his family with inept business schemes, he had the morals of a stoat on heat and the maturity of a puppy, but Simon was a charmer. 

We could even forgive him for constantly calling his young son ‘mate’, because he just wanted to be friends with everyone.

Boiling with anger, his wife put her finger on it in their final row: he always looked as if he was about to smile. Carvel, an actor in the Hugh Laurie mould who was born to play nice-but-dim, Bertie Wooster roles, was perfect casting.

Gemma lacked his sweet appeal. None of her friends thought she deserved him, even though it was her money that had kept a roof over their heads for years.

Did we really want to see her eviscerating this man? The first 20 minutes were excruciating, watch-through-your-fingers viewing, as Gemma used a dinner party as the stage to strip Simon and his 23-year-old lover of everything — home, business, family, dignity.  

We didn’t like her any better at the end of it. And as Gemma overplayed her hand later, trying and failing to split up her neighbours’ marriage out of spite, it was clear she didn’t like herself either.

The ending was heavy-handed, too, with our new divorcee rushing to save the life of a stranger in the street

The ending was heavy-handed, too, with our new divorcee rushing to save the life of a stranger in the street

This was emotionally complex television, which was unexpected after the madly improbable plotting of the first two episodes.

It reached a peak when Gemma produced those scissors and then a lock of hair, goading her husband to believe that she had murdered their son rather than let him grow up to be a lying weasel like his dad.

If you believed she was capable of killing her own child — and I confess that for a few crucial moments, I did — then the verdict was in: you were instinctively more on Simon’s side than Gemma’s.

The ambiguity was spoiled a minute later when the weasel turned nasty, smashing his wife’s face into a pane of glass. Now we had no choice about taking sides.

The ending was heavy-handed, too, with our new divorcee rushing to save the life of a stranger in the street. 

 

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