Cracker, Coltrane and Skippy

ROBBIE Coltrane was in playful mood at the launch of the new Cracker film yesterday.
Rightly proud of the feature length story, set and filmed in Manchester, he was asked if he liked his character – criminal psychologist Fitz.
“Do I like him?” he replied, putting on a posh Scots voice. “I think he’s desperately handsome. I’ve always thought of him as one of the most attractive men in the world.

“I think he’d be a great guy to spend all night with and get completely ****** with and just find out what was going on in his head. But you wouldn’t want him to come to dinner, because he’d frighten the children.”
There’s a full interview with Robbie in tomorrow’s MEN, ahead of the new Cracker, written by Jimmy McGovern, which ITV1 will screen on October 1. (Sept 21 update: You can read the feature here)
It’s a brilliant two-hour story set against the backdrop of America’s “war on terror” in Iraq and the changing face of Manchester.
Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald returns to the city for his daughter’s wedding after several years in Australia, which he describes as the “home of skin cancer and Skippy”.
It’s clear Fitz is glad to be home and even happier when he has a murder to solve. “You can imagine Fitz in Australia, can’t you? Down on the beach having a barbie in a black suit. He just wasn’t happy,” explained Robbie.
“Fitz’s take on Australia is that it’s very healthy and it’s wonderful if you’re 25, but what do you do when you’re 40?
“He would say, ‘OK, once you no longer look good in a pair of shorts and you’ve had enough shrimps on the barbie – what do you do then? You look round the libraries, the art galleries, you look for some deeper meaning. And you wouldn’t find it in Australia.’ That’s not my opinion. That’s his.”
The new story co-stars Anthony Flanagan as a classic Cracker killer, which may come as something of a shock to those who know and love his portrayal of local policeman Tony in Shameless.
Robbie chuckled, “His mum came up and said, ‘Who’d have thought our Anthony could be so bad?’ I thought it was great. It must be very strange if you’re a mum. They know you’re pretending, but at the same time…”
Coltrane recreates famous Corrie pose
Robbie’s back in home of Cracker