A man walked up to Liz White when she was on location filming Life On Mars in Manchester.
“Tell that Gene Hunt he’s got it spot on,” the bystander informed her. “I was a policeman in Manchester in 1973 and that’s exactly what it was like.”
I met up with Liz , who plays WDC Annie Cartwright in the BBC1 drama, twice last year.
Once was on set with John Simm and Philip Glenister in Manchester. The other time was in London for the launch of Jimmy McGovern’s The Street, in which she also appeared.
Filming Life On Mars was a long slog for the cast and crew, who also had to contend with a studio filled with dry ice for many of the scenes at the police HQ.
“You have to find different challenges in a long job like this. It’s not all about being the lead girl,” said Rotherham-born Liz, now based in London.
“I do get to watch John and Phil and whoever the special guest is. And I get to watch the crew work.
“I’m endlessly impressed with John because he’s got so much dialogue and is in every single scene. There does seem to be a switch when they say ‘action’. Something within him.
“And the same with Phil. You just see something switch in him. So that’s great to watch. They’ve all got their different techniques.”
She added: “When you’re away from home for so long, this does become your life. It overtakes everything else. Even booking a dentist’s appointment – it’s too much!”
There’s more to both Liz and Annie, as you can read in today’s MEN TV feature.
And click here for details of Liz’s forthcoming stage appearance.
* Episode two on BBC1 at 9pm tonight contains an intriguing line from a new arrival, who says he recalls Sam Tyler (Simm) before he left 1973 Hyde for A-Division.
“I was at Hyde for a bit,” he tells Sam. “Weren’t there a bit of bother? I’m sure I remember your name.”
Episode three immediately afterwards on BBC4 shows another side to Det Sgt Ray Carling, played by the always excellent Dean Andrews.
And episode four has a poignant closing scene guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of Sam fans everywhere.
5pm update. Unwelcome news for Life On Mars fans. Next week’s third episode on BBC1 has just been postponed and will be shown seven days later. That’s because on the night of its scheduled transmission – Tuesday Feb 27 – BBC1 will be screening live coverage of the FA Cup Fifth Round Replay between Reading and Manchester United from 8.05pm.
That means the final episode in the series will be screened a week later than planned on Tue Apr 10 – the day after Easter Monday – delaying the planned release on April 9 of the series two DVD.
Advance 10pm screenings of the following week’s episode on BBC4 will also end after tonight. Instead, the digital channel will show the new series from the start – beginning with a repeat of episode one from next Tuesday – Feb 27.
But there is some good news involving football. Philip Glenister, Dean Andrews and Marshall Lancaster are guests on the Sky Sports 1 Soccer AM show from 9am this Saturday.
Life Of Wylie: Life On Mars blogs in full
Life On Mars Official BBC site.
Life On Mars: Original Soundtrack
The Railway Arms