Line Of Duty 2

“IT’S the most full on thing I’ve ever done.”

Keeley Hawes speaking tonight about being “waterboarded” in the second series of Line Of Duty.

Not quite the infamous torture technique.

But struggling to breathe after having her hair grabbed and being violently flushed face down several times into a police HQ toilet.

“You just do it and then have a big glass of wine,” she smiled.

Keeley joins the cast as “outsider” Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton.

With Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine another new face as Detective Constable Georgia Trotman.

Who also tonight revealed – right on cue – her hidden talent at sinking Pool balls.

A product of a misspent youth at university.

Superintendent Ted Hastings (ADRIAN DUNBAR), Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (MARTIN COMPSTON), Detective Constable Kate Fleming (VICKY McCLURE)
Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

The first World Productions series was BBC2’s biggest new drama series for 10 years with an average audience of 4.2 million viewers.

And writer Jed Mercurio will have viewers hooked from the very start of series two.

A police convoy is ambushed leaving three police officers dead and a protected witness seriously injured.

Det Insp Denton is the only survivor of the attack and immediately comes under suspicion as police investigate who leaked details of the convoy.

A London screening tonight of the first episode was followed by a Q&A with Keeley, Jessica, Vicky McClure (Det Con Kate Fleming), Martin Compston (Det Sgt Steve Arnott) plus Jed Mercurio and executive producer Simon Heath.

Tonight's London Q&A line-up.
Tonight’s London Q&A line-up.

Keeley said: “It was harrowing. It’s pretty full on. It’s the most full on thing I’ve ever done.

“But saying that, I loved every minute of it.

“It’s not every day you get to go to work and be waterboarded and have your head flushed down the toilet, being beaten up, poisoned…I’m sure there were some other things.

“So, yeah. You relish it. It’s exciting.”

I asked Keeley to say a little more about filming that scene.

“It felt like it went on forever,” she replied.

“And I did have my lovely stunt lady there and she did a fuller version of it.

“But I definitely did enough. (laughs)

“It’s one of those things. You just have to throw yourself into it. There’s no way of mocking that up.

“And there’s no way of being polite about waterboarding somebody.

“As with all of those things, you have to throw yourself at them. You have to say to whoever you’re doing the scene with – ‘Just do it.’

“I think it works.”

Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (KEELEY HAWES)
Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes)

A colleague asked if she felt panicked filming the scene.

“Well it was a bucket – it wasn’t a toilet. (laughter)

“No, not really. Because there’s an empty-ended mocked up toilet.

“It’s like anything. It’s like doing a sex scene or a kissing scene. It’s never as it appears.

“You just do it and then have a big glass of wine.”

Asked about playing Lindsay, she said: “It’s some of the most fun that I’ve ever had.

“She is incredible fun. It was actually kind of liberating to play Lindsay, with her being somebody for who vanity just isn’t part of who she is.

“That was really brilliant for me. It was quite odd getting used to the feeling of walking into the make-up department in the morning and then going, ‘Yeah, OK.’

“I’ve got what we called ‘the psychotic fringe’ going on – like I’d been doing it myself.

“And sometimes they allowed me to keep some mascara on from the day before. That’s it.”

Asked to compare her new detective role with DI Alex Drake in Ashes To Ashes, Keeley said:

“They couldn’t be more different.

“I never really think of Ashes To Ashes as a cop show, really. For some reason it never felt like that.

“I know obviously it was. But not in the same way. This is realism and that certainly wasn’t…some people think it was.”


Detective Constable Georgia Trotman (JESSICA RAINE)
Detective Constable Georgia Trotman (Jessica Raine)

Jessica – who returns this Sunday as midwife Jenny Lee in a new BBC1 series of Call The Midwife – revealed how she almost turned the role down.

“I got the script and I was determined not to do anything because I was about to start shooting Call The Midwife and it’s a big six month shoot and I really didn’t want to do anything.

“So I reluctantly said, ‘OK, I’ll read it.’ And then I just thought, ‘Oh, it’s really, really good.’

“And went in for an audition and heard a week later that I’d got it.

“I couldn’t say no to it. It was so different and really refreshing for me to do a part like this.

“The main difference being I could drop a lot of ‘ts’ and I didn’t have to be ‘so, very, very posh’.

“I’m really excited to be in it. When I watched it, at the end I went, ‘Oh my God, it’s really good, isn’t it?’”

Asked if she was posh in real life or not, Jessica replied: “ I don’t know. I don’t consider myself posh. But I don’t know.

“I definitely posh up for Call The Midwife.

“So it just felt very refreshing to do a very contemporary role and something so dynamic and well shot and well written and have such an incredible cast in it.

“I couldn’t say no.”

I asked Jessica about a scene in a bar where her character displays her Pool playing skills.

She explained: “That scene wasn’t written for me because I’m an amazing Pool player…although I am.

“I think Jed seemed very nervous on that day. You were like, ‘Can you play Pool?’

“I spent a lot of time at university, when I should have been in lectures, at the Pool table. So I could play Pool.

“But we did that scene three times. And there are loads of extras around. So there’s extra pressure.

“And it wasn’t going well the first two times and the third time I did it, I was so ecstatic and we shouted ‘cut’ and the whole room’s like, ‘Yaaaaay!’

“Because we could have been there potentially for a very, very long time.

“But I was quite proud of myself that day.

“We also set up the balls on the Pool table in a specific way that made it slightly easier to pot them.

“But still very talented on my part.” (laughter)


Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (MARTIN COMPSTON), Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

My immediate reaction after watching the first episode in the new series was: “Wow.”

And writing this just a few hours later, that’s pretty much how I still feel about this compelling thriller.

Starting on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday Feb 12, these are six one-hour episodes you will not want to miss.

(Post updated with series two photos post-embargo expiry and confirmed TX details)


Line of Duty BBC Site

World Productions

Ashes To Ashes Blogs

Ian Wylie on Twitter