Belfast Telegraph

Line of Duty goes up Lagan in a bubble

Martin Compston as DS Steve Arnott, Vicky McClure as DS Kate Fleming, Adrian Dunbar as Supt Ted Hastings and Stephen Graham as Corbett
Martin Compston as DS Steve Arnott, Vicky McClure as DS Kate Fleming, Adrian Dunbar as Supt Ted Hastings and Stephen Graham as Corbett
Adrian Dunbar as Supt Ted Hastings

By David Young

Local Line Of Duty fans had plenty to entertain them as the award-winning police thriller exploded back on to primetime TV last night for a fifth series.

Filmed in Belfast, there were plenty of opportunities to spot local landmarks as the gripping crime drama unfolded with more twists than a barman's corkscrew.

On social media fans even created their own hashtag - #belfastspotting - as Tates Avenue, pink Metro buses and partying pub-goers in Bradbury Place made fleeting appearances in the Jed Mercurio-penned series.

And Ulster actor Adrian Dunbar - who plays top cop Ted Hastings - even dropped in a Belfastism as he grilled a colleague over what she knew about an undercover operation.

"Are you in contact with your undercover officer or aren't you?" he growled.

"I didn't float up the Lagan in a bubble: are you or aren't you?" Dunbar asked as the female officer quailed before him.

Mercurio recently revealed the Belfast colloquialism came about after BBC NI Talkback presenter William Crawley challenged him to use one in this series during an event at The MAC arts centre in the city.

The Lagan bubble saying was "so insane that it was irresistible", he added.

Much of the episode took place in a swish bar, which local viewers were convinced was the Limelight, just a few yards from the BBC building in Ormeau Avenue.

"These criminals are really classy having Champagne in the Limelight," tweeted one fan.

In the run-up to last night's broadcast, star Stephen Graham revealed how he risked being mistaken for a real Belfast criminal during filming for the show.

Graham plays villain John Corbett, part of an organised criminal group which is being investigated by anti-corruption unit AC-12.

He said: "There was one bit when we'd just committed a robbery and we shot off, and we were actually driving through the streets of Belfast with our balaclavas and machine-guns in the car and we realised we better get back to set.

Rochenda Sandall as McQueen
Rochenda Sandall as McQueen

"So that was quite funny, but wouldn't have been too funny if people had seen!"

Stephen Graham in the prize-winning police drama
Stephen Graham in the prize-winning police drama

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