“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.
“THE North East is the best kept secret in the country. It’s absolutely beautiful.”
Vera star Brenda Blethyn talking to me ahead of series seven, which begins on ITV at 8pm this Sunday (March 19).
It’s always a pleasure to talk to Brenda. This encounter was for the Vera production notes, with a link to the full ITV interview further down this page.
I’ve seen all four, two-hour films in the new series and can confirm we’re in for some more top class drama from Vera and co.
The superb regular cast joined by a number of notable guest actors, some you will know and some you will not.
With a classic final few scenes in the last episode to delight all those both in the UK and around the world who love Vera.
The opening story – Natural Selection – takes her to the Farne Islands and Craster, just two of many wonderful Northumberland locations in this series.
Later episodes featuring Newcastle’s Quayside, Tynemouth, Gateshead, the historic Groverake mine headframe in Weardale and more of Northumberland and the wider North East.
“I was very nervous.
“You hope we can serve it as well second time round.
“But actually three or four days in it felt really good to be back playing her.”
Nicola Walker talking to me about returning to the role of DCI Cassie Stuart in the second series of Unforgotten.
Teaming up again with Sanjeev Bhaskar, as DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan, for a new six-part story starting on ITV at 9pm this Thursday (Jan 5).
The acclaimed first series was followed by a BAFTA Best Supporting Actor Award for Tom Courtenay’s portrayal of Eric Slater.
The 2017 series, again written by Chris Lang and directed by Andy Wilson, includes a new cast of ‘suspects’.
With some unexpected twists along the way sure to provoke debate among viewers.
Beautifully acted by all involved – not least Nicola and Sanjeev.
“THE Halcyon gripped me straight away.
“Setting the story within this high-class hotel and also against the backdrop of the Second World War gives you such a huge scope for drama and for what’s to come.”
Steven Mackintosh talking to me about new eight-part drama The Halcyon.
Starting on ITV at 9pm next Monday (January 2).
He plays hotel manager Richard Garland as the series opens in 1940.
Before a return to 1939.
With World War Two and the Blitz soon to impact on London and this five star West End hotel.
As you might imagine, I’ve been on quite a few film and TV sets over the last 35 years.
But the one for The Halcyon – created by production designer Matt Gant – took my breath away.
Let’s just say no-one held back on the budget.
“A lot of people in Scotland know about Peter Manuel.
“But I don’t think many people of my age would be aware of the depth of his crimes.
“It was really shocking when I started looking into it.”
Line of Duty star Martin Compston talking to me about his role as killer Peter Manuel in new three part drama In Plain Sight.
Starting on ITV at 9pm next Wednesday (Dec 7).
It tells the story of police detective William Muncie’s quest to bring Manuel to justice.