Belfast Telegraph

Shaw: I'm always cast as policemen

Martin Shaw has said that he was repeatedly cast as a policeman - because TV bosses had shied away from taking risks.

The star, 65, who hit fame in the 1970s with a crime-busting role in The Professionals, told the Radio Times that he got a thrill from playing men on the wrong side of the law.

But the Judge John Deed actor, who plays old-school detective Inspector George Gently in the long-running BBC series, said that it had become easier for TV executives to keep casting him as policemen.

He said: "I love playing bad men. My favourite role was Chauvelin in (TV series) The Scarlet Pimpernel.

"But in times of recession and repression, risk-taking and imagination is in short supply. It's safe to keep me in the role of policemen."

Martin, who also played a chief constable in the 1990s TV series The Chief, told the magazine that it might have been a mistake to turn down James Bond early on in his career.

He said: "I just didn't want to play him because it dominates everything you've done or go on to do.

"I was having dinner with the daughter (Barbara) of (Bond producer) Cubby Broccoli. This was about 1978. She'd seen me in The Professionals and begged me to do a screen test.

"She was astonished when I said 'no thanks'. Although, in retrospect, it might have been a good idea to have had a go at it."

Martin hit the headlines in August after collapsing on stage following a severe chest infection during a performance of The Country Girl.

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