Line of Duty is absolutely the only thing worth watching on TV right now. Jed Mercurio’s script is witty, exciting and leaves you wanting more at the end of every single episode.
The BBC2 drama has a stellar cast that includes the likes of Adrian Dunbar, Gina McKee, Lenny James, Neil Morrissey and Vicky McClure. But up-and-coming Martin Compston gives a standout performance as DC Steve Arnett, a young copper who clocks that the target of the anti-corruption case he is working on is a top detective.
Compston began his career as a footballer, before realising that acting was his true vocation. And though his character in Line of Duty speaks with a London accent, he is actually Scottish. But he was so determined to stay in character that he kept his London twang going right the way through filming, even when he wasn’t acting. His fellow actors were nonplussed when he reverted to his real-life Scottish accent at the wrap party.
Compston’s ablity to switch accents at the drop of a hat reminded me so much of my mum. She grew up in Leigh, Lancashire, and spoke with a broad Lancashire accent till the age of 18.
But she always dreamed of making it as an actress and when she left school won a highly prized place at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
One of my favourite stories from her book, Class Act, was about ditching her accent en route to drama school. “I got on the train at Warrington Bank Quay station with a Lancashire accent,” she wrote, “and got off at Euston without it, which meant I had to speak very slowly for a very long time.”