TV Interview: Vicky McClure on the return of smash hit drama, Line of Duty.

Written and created by Jed Mercurio and made by World Productions for BBC One, Line of Duty returned at 9pm on Sunday 31 March to an audience of 8 million.

When three police officers are shot dead during the hijack of a seized drugs transport, AC-12 move in to investigate possible police collusion.

Stephen Graham joins the series as John Corbett, the ruthless leader of an Organised Crime Group (OCG), who hijack a seized drugs transport.

AC-12 investigators Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) suspect corrupt police officers of leaking information.

As the body count rises, AC-12 realise they’re facing their most vicious adversary yet.

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Vicky McClure tells us more…

What excites you about Line of Duty, and what is it that sets it apart from other dramas?

What excites me is getting back together with the gang. Myself, Martin, Adrian and Jed all get on very well and there’s lots of returning crew and cast so that’s always great, but ultimately it’s the scripts which excite me the most. As soon as we get them they’re very much page turners; you want to see if you survive and Jed always seems to up the ante. In terms of it being different to other shows I think dialogue-wise it’s so rich and we rely a lot on the audience picking up on all the acronyms we put in every year. They like the fact they we test them and we challenge them.

How would you describe Kate’s character?

I’d describe her as very honest, maybe a little bit conflicted. She’s one of those people who always want to do what’s right but she can sometimes go with her heart as well. She likes to be there for Steve. He might have other ideas to evolve the case another ways, but she wants to try and do what’s right for the job and then also do what’s right for her friend; so she’s honest but conflicted.

Where is Kate at the start of the series?

She’s feeling pretty good, she’s got a promotion so she’s got a little bit further in her career and taking on more responsibility. She’s back with her fella and the home is a happy place. She’s got a bit more time with her son as her promotion gives her that flexibility so we see her in a good place.

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Isn’t there someone special playing your son?

Yes my son is played by nephew Kai. When it was written originally I had a daughter, and I said to Jed it would be great if I could have a son instead because I could use my nephew. It will always be his role now and he really enjoys it; he did really well this year, he did some improvising, I’m very proud of him.

Was there anything you weren’t prepared for or any challenges you encountered?

I think the biggest challenge for me is the lines. It’s in the title… 'Lines of Duty' as I call it now. Sometimes the dialogue can be so complicated and you’ve just got rattle it out as naturally as you possibly can. You are tested on your memory in some ways. Actually trying to get the dialogue out in a certain space in time is always the biggest challenge for me.

Have you had a favourite scene to shoot?

I look forward to scenes where the dialogue is rough and ready. I’m a bit childish, if there’s a swearword or something that’s a little bit off-the-cuff I always enjoy it. There is so much police talk that when it becomes a bit more natural I quite enjoy it!

If there is ever action it’s always good fun; me and Martin have had a few bits where we’ve been running around and it just lifts us and gives us a bit of a buzz for the day.

Has it been interesting having a female director for the first time on Line of Duty?

It’s been amazing, I absolutely love what Sue Tully is doing. I think she’s bringing a different energy to it. John Strickland has obviously been with us some years so he’s an old hand at it. I’m really glad we’ve got a female director on board and I wish we had more, but Sue’s a great representation of being able to come in and know what she wants and gets it shot the way she wants. She is doing some really interesting things with the camera. Plus she’s an actor’s director; being that she was an actor, so she really understands what it is we need and that’s been great.


Line of Duty continues 9pm Sunday on BBC One. Catch up via BBC iPlayer.