Watch: Line of Duty back on the box

After a stop-start filming schedule in Northern Ireland in 2020, Line of Duty is finally ready to hit our screens this Sunday night.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:01 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 9:51 am
DI Kate Fleming (VICKY MCCLURE), DCI Joanne Davidson (KELLY MACDONALD) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
DI Kate Fleming (VICKY MCCLURE), DCI Joanne Davidson (KELLY MACDONALD) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill

Due to lockdown restrictions and Covid scares within the unit, filming on series six didn’t go as smoothly as writer Jed Mercurio would have liked, but he’s extremely grateful to be able to serve up a form of distraction in the shape of AC-12 latest investigation.

In a Zoom chat with the News Letter he said: “We had to shut down, everybody did. There’s a lot going on in the country at the minute, to be honest we’re counting our blessings that we were able to do our work.

“There’s a lot of people out there suffering enormous hardship – if this is a distraction from that I’d think we’d be honoured.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was being filmed in Northern Ireland early last year at the same time as Bloodlands, the debut offering from Jed’s HTM Television company. And with the Jimmy Nesbitt-led drama concluding last Sunday it has ended up serving as the appetiser for Line of Duty.

Jed said: “When we started out we were working towards a transmission date for Line of Duty that was going to come around pretty fast. Bloodlands was in a different category really. It’s extraordinary that one is following the other in schedules.”

Season six sees Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar and Martin Compston return along with Shalom Brune-Franklin, a new addition to the AC-12 team.

Kelly Macdonald makes her debut as guest lead Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer on an unsolved murder case whose suspicious conduct attracts the attention of Anti-Corruption.

Adrian, the Enniskillen-born actor who place Superintendent Ted Hastings, said: “Normally we shoot in two blocks. We’ve one director for the first three and another for the second three. Because it is complicated you can keep the three block story line. Covid threw that completely.

“I did find it difficult. Jed or the director had to remind me where we were because we were jumping between scenes.”

• Line of Duty returns on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One

• More of the interview with the cast including Vicky McClure and Kelly Macdonald will appear in Saturday’s News Letter