“WHAT I’ve had once or twice is people saying:
‘Oh, hello. I know you…what’s your name again?’
“I say, ‘Rowan Atkinson.’
“And they say, ‘No, no, no.’
“A most peculiar idea where you tell people your name and they don’t believe you.
“Or they assume you’re joking. That you’ve made something up.
“For your identity to be denied to your face is potentially quite disturbing.”
Rowan Atkinson talking to me about his experiences on public transport.
“I can understand that rollercoaster people go on when they’ve lied.
“They start to cover up that lie and it just becomes a huge web of deceit they can’t get out of.
“I’ve seen people do that and seen it spiral out of control.”
Sarah Parish talking to me about new four-part ITV thriller Bancroft.
It begins at 9pm on Monday (Dec 11) and will be screened over four consecutive nights.
“I’D always resisted bringing Cold Feet back.
“I didn’t want to revisit something and go along that well-trodden path where things are resurrected and then don’t have the strength, innovation or the voice they had originally.
“But when I read the scripts I thought they were very good. We slotted back into it really well but there was no complacency.
“We did feel under pressure and so it was lovely that people took to it.”
James Nesbitt talking to me about last year’s return of Cold Feet.
Ahead of series seven which begins on ITV this Friday (Sept 8) at 9pm.
“I still pinch myself sometimes because what I get to do for my life, for my job, is such a privilege.
“And there are moments when you rise above yourself and look down and go, ‘I can’t believe I get to do this.’”
Stephen Moyer talking to me about his role as Tom Brook in Safe House.
A four-part second series of the ITV drama with a new cast, story and location.
“TRUMP has politicised a generation.
“People are very aware of that now.
“That actually they don’t trust necessarily the establishment to solve things for them or look to the establishment as heroes, as Brexit and as Trump has proved.
“So this idea of people that are quite ordinary and normal fighting for other ordinary and normal people on those lost causes, in some cases people who have been abandoned in prison for 10, 15, 20 years, I felt Patrick really had his finger on the pulse there.”
Helen McCrory talking to me about Fearless (ITV, 9pm Mon June 12), a topical new six-part drama created and written by Homeland and 24 writer Patrick Harbinson.
She plays solicitor Emma Banville in a compelling story about the abuse of justice and power.
With a strong supporting cast – including Sir Michael Gambon – in a series that takes us from Britain to America and back.
“EVERYBODY has their own shadow. The shadow within.
“I find all of that really interesting. Maybe it explains why we all like to read or watch dark stories.
“Sometimes people want to look at monsters and hold the darkness up in the light.
“Then put it away safely.”
Laura Fraser talking to me about new six part drama The Loch, which begins on ITV at 9pm this Sunday (June 11).
“WE have a duty to honour the spirit and memory of Rhys.
“As a society we should never let this happen again.
“Hopefully Little Boy Blue will make people stop and think for a little bit.
“The only way things are going to change is if we make changes ourselves.”
Stephen Graham talking to me about new four part drama Little Boy Blue.
Which begins on ITV at 9pm this Monday (April 24).
Let me say right from the outset that Little Boy Blue is a very special drama from the production team that brought us Cilla and Mrs Biggs.
Based on the true story of the 2007 murder of innocent 11-year-old Rhys Jones in Liverpool as he walked home from playing football.
“IT’S about guilt and conflict. The conflict between love and duty.
“It is shocking and it is dark but in a slightly different more personal way.”
James Norton talking to me about series three of Grantchester which returns to ITV at 9pm this Sunday (April 23).
With challenges ahead for both vicar Sidney Chambers, played by James, and Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green).
The new series also seeing the return of Morven Christie as Amanda, Tessa Peake-Jones as Mrs Maguire, Al Weaver as Leonard Finch and Lorne Macfadyen as Phil Wilson.
Plus the arrival of Gary Beadle as Archdeacon Gabriel Atubo.
“YOU can come up with a caricature in a relatively short space of time.
“But if you want a character, that takes longer.
“All characters for me are a voyage of discovery.”
Rowan Atkinson talking to me about how his portrayal of Maigret has developed.
Ahead of Maigret’s Night At The Crossroads (ITV, 8pm Easter Sunday).
Rowan’s third appearance in the role – in a series that has really hit its stride.
Terrific, compelling, thoughtful, top quality drama and so beautifully written, directed and filmed.
“THERE was something shocking or surprising at every single turn.
“One in five women in London were involved in the sex industry at this time.”
Jessica Brown Findlay talking to me about new drama series Harlots.
Set among the brothels of Soho in the 18th century, this ITV / Hulu production begins in the UK on ITV Encore at 10pm on Monday (March 27).
An ensemble cast of serious acting talent attracted by the intelligent, thought-provoking and witty scripts.