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Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar and Martin Compston return for the sixth instalment of Line of Duty 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.

Written and created by Jed Mercurio and made by World Productions for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, Line of Duty returns at 9pm on Sunday 21 March.

Below is an interview with Kelly Macdonald (DCI Joanne Davidson)...

Can you tell us about DCI Joanne Davidson?

At the start of the series, she’s quite a lonely figure. She’s struggling and we don’t quite know why that is.

Where do we meet her at the start?

She’s doing very well in her career. She’s the head of an important case and it’s very high profile.

What kind of officer is she - what are her strengths?

She’s got a very stressful position and deals with it well but is quite a closed off person. There’s a lot going on under the surface with her. She gets to the point where she has to make tricky decisions.

Were you a fan of Line of Duty before?

I hadn’t watched it until this part came up! But I’ve not watched lots of things - Game of Thrones, The Sopranos! However, I was very aware of Line of Duty as everyone in the UK is. I was sent the first couple of scripts and the part was phenomenal. It's so daunting going into a show with such a huge profile. I started watching it and got completely hooked. Then when we were near the beginning of filming, I was half way through Thandie Newton’s series [series four] and the nerves started to creep in so that’s when I stopped! I still have some to catch up.

What was it like to film during the COVID pandemic?

2020 was a tricky year for the whole world! We started filming this show in February and we got a few weeks in when lockdown happened. We had this massive gap before we got to come back. It’s been unlike anything I’ve ever been involved in. It’s such a massive job and an amazing part but with a whole worldwide pandemic on top of things, we’ve had to come back in a slightly different way. I’ve been so welcomed by production and the rest of the cast that I’ve had a lovely time! Well, as lovely as I could during this pandemic.

How were the interview room scenes?

Ooh! They were the thing that filled me with the most dread but actually I really enjoyed them. One of the interview scenes is bigger than anything I’ve ever done before - I think over half an hour. We filmed it over two days and on the first day, the cameras were only on my character. I was told there were 50 cameras set up on me just in that one day which is mind blowing. It was like doing a play and it was a real treat to have that kind of material in one scene!


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