Line of Duty series 6: ‘It’s brilliant – but a lot darker!’

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line of duty series 6

by Hannah Wright |
Updated on

Last season’s final episode saw a whopping 9.6m viewers tune in, making it the most-watched show of 2019. Now, our favourite police corruption drama is hitting our screens again for its sixth series, which promises to offer some explanations to the show’s ongoing twists.

Following a lengthy production delay caused by the pandemic, Closer catches up with the cast to talk on-set nerves and script-related larks…

Martin Compston: ‘Kelly’s a Scottish icon’

Martin Compston

They’ve always had amazing guest stars, from last season’s Stephen Graham to Hollywood’s Thandie Newton – but this year, Martin Compston, who plays Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott, admits he loved having his pal and fellow Scot Kelly Macdonald on board as new character DCI Joanne Davidson. The actor, 36, who lives in Las Vegas with his wife, American actress Tianna Chanel Flynn, smiles, “Kelly’s a bit of a Scottish icon – she’s been in Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire, and she’s even got her own Pixar film!

“It was great to have her on board. Series six goes back to what made it great in the first place; there are a lot of double crosses and big interview scenes… hopefully a lot of big questions get answered.” He adds, “It’s a lot darker, with brilliant scenes.”

And Martin jokes that his co-star Vicky McClure drove everyone mad when she saw the first episode before the rest of the cast. Martin laughs, “Of course Vicky watched episode one before everybody else and then hopped onto our WhatsApp group going, ‘Oh my God, have you seen it?!’ And you go, ‘No! Why?’ But she just leaves you hanging!”

Adrian Dunbar: ‘Vicky tells us lies about our characters!’

Adrian Dunbar
©Getty Images

It’s a series known for its harrowing storylines, but Adrian Dunbar, who plays Superintendent Ted Hastings, admits that joking around behind the scenes with his co-star Vicky McClure means the set is full of laughs.

He says, “Vicky reads the scripts first, then she calls us up and gets a real kind of evil satisfaction from telling us lies about our characters! We do worry about what’s going to happen because [series creator] Jed Mercurio could make you a baddie if he wanted to, and he has the capability of killing off characters who you think will last the whole series. Thankfully, we’re still here – but it is scary!”

And after Vicky infamously roped the cast into a TikTok dance, Adrian, 62, adds, “Once again, this is Vicky and her evil sense of humour. She sets something up and goes, ‘Right, we’ve all got to dance!’ The next thing you know, a million people have watched it. But I don’t mind making an idiot of myself!”

Vicky McClure: ‘I wanted to make people smile with TikTok dance!’

Vicky McClure
©Getty Images

After sharing a hilarious video of her dancing with co-stars Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar on TikTok, Vicky McClure says she has no regrets! The actress, whose clip went viral after racking up over 1.3m views, laughs, “That was for a worthy cause! We were going through a rough time as a country and I just wanted to make people smile. I knew if I got Martin and Adey [Adrian] on TikTok, it would do just that!”

And Vicky, 37, who plays DI Kate Fleming, says she still can’t believe how the show – which even has its own podcast called Obsessed With... Line Of Duty – has become such a fixation for the nation. She says, “We’ve said it from the get-go – we never expected Line Of Duty to take off in the way it has, and it’s just quite surreal. Every time, the anticipation for the series feels quite intense, now more than ever.”

And Vicky, who has been engaged to producer Jonny Owen for the past four years, adds that she never gets nagged for spoilers from her friends. She giggles, “I don’t think they want them, and I think people quite like the fact that we don’t drop all the episodes at once. It gives them a chance to build up the suspense.”

Check out: EastEnders spoilers - Stacey Slater faces six months in prison


EastEnders spoilers: Monday 22 – Friday 26 March 2021 slider

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EastEnders spoilers

While Jean Slater begs Ruby Allen to drop the charges against her daughter, Stacey is told she'll get six months if she pleads guilty.

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EastEnders spoilers

When Ruby and Martin Fowler go to a medical appointment, their doctor tells them Ruby might have endometriosis which affects her fertility.

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EastEnders spoilers

Rainie and Stuart are left wondering how the Carters got The Queen Vic back, but when Stuart discovers a woman has been arrested for historical child abuse offences, he starts to put the pieces together.

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EastEnders spoilers

And after Stuart overhears a conversation, he's desperate to get revenge for Mick – what will he do?

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Gray continues to plant more doubt about Kush Kazemi in Whitney Dean's head.

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EastEnders spoilers

Vinny gives the police a statement about who robbed the shop – but it leaves his mum and brother unimpressed. Later, while Vinny cleans racist graffiti off the Minute Mart, Suki opens up about pain from her past and Kheerat admits he wants to visit his dad in prison.

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And Dotty tells Tiffany Butcher that they could start adding tips to unsuspecting punter's tabs without anyone realising.

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Newbie Kelly Macdonald: ‘It’s a bit like being the new James Bond’

Kelly Macdonald
©Getty Images

She’s become an A-list star since making her name in Trainspotting 25 years ago – but Kelly Macdonald admits she was still nervous about joining the Line Of Duty crew as new character DCI Joanne Davidson. The actress, 45, tells Closer, “It was a bit like being the new James Bond! From the get-go, everybody was just really welcoming, but it is completely nerve-racking to be part of a show that is so well-loved. And having the guest lead status does feel pretty momentous.”

And Kelly admits her pal and co-star Martin Compston convinced her she needed to accept the challenge. She smiles, “Before I had decided whether I was going to take the role, I bumped into Martin at a Scottish event and it was just lovely. He came bouncing up to me and said, ‘Come on, you’ve got to do it, mate!’ It was very flattering.”

And Kelly admits her character Joanne is something of an enigma. Kelly says, “People don’t know whether they can trust her or not and that carries on throughout the show. She’s a bit of a mystery and she’s hard to pinpoint.” Then she adds - laughing, “But I’ve got a list of things I’m not allowed to talk about and she’s one of them!”

Line Of Duty, Sunday 21 March, 9pm, BBC1

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