Belfast Telegraph

Bradley Walsh pranked new co-star

New Law And Order: UK actor Ben Bailey Smith has revealed how he was successfully pranked by his co-star Bradley Walsh.

The former rapper, and brother of White Teeth author Zadie Smith, has joined the ITV crime drama as DS Joe Hawkins.

Ben, who is also a stand-up comic, said: "Bradley (who plays Detective Sergeant Ronnie Brooks) is constantly playing pranks.

"It's relentless, really, but it's kind of needed on a show like that. You need some lightness and he brings that every day."

On one occasion, Ben spent the best part of an hour chasing a "suspect" down London's Southbank, take after take, in the pouring rain.

"I was getting drenched and I thought I was going to cough up a lung. But being the new boy, I wasn't going to complain," he said.

"It wasn't until a good couple of months later that I found out I'd nailed it in a couple of takes, but Bradley told the director, 'Keep him running for a little longer, keep him going'."

Ben previously rapped under the stage name Doc Brown and performed with Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen and celebrity DJ and producer Mark Ronson.

He said that it was tough that his initial choice of career didn't work out, but he has channelled the experience into his acting work.

"I look back at the time I spent with Mark Ronson and think, 'If I was a little bit more on the ball or a little more aggressive, I could have recorded with guys like that'," he said. "It was a really depressing experience - you put all your eggs in one basket and it doesn't work out."

Ben, who also appeared in The Inbetweeners, said: "I have so many regrets from those days, things I could maybe have done differently. But those failures are key to what I'm doing now."

:: Law And Order: UK returns to ITV on Wednesday, March 12.

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