Belfast Telegraph

Anna Friel's daughter spent time at Northern Ireland school

Filming: Anna Friel
Filming: Anna Friel
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Actress Anna Friel has revealed that her teenage daughter has been attending school in Northern Ireland while she films the latest series of ITV detective drama, Marcella.

Shoppers watched on last month as the third season of the critically-acclaimed series began filming in north Belfast.

In an interview with The Times, the former Brookside star from Rochdale said the schedule meant she had to bring her daughter Gracie (14) with her to Belfast.

The single mother told the newspaper that for four months this spring and summer, Gracie relocated to Northern Ireland to spend a term at an unnamed state school.

Gracie - Friel's only child with her ex-partner, actor David Thewlis - discussed the move with both of her parents and decided to go with her mother while she plays the role that won her an Emmy.

But Friel, whose dad Des was born in Belfast and raised in Donegal, said she is confident that children can handle some adventure.

The actress said she explained to her daughter that her school life had been itinerant, with her two teacher parents encouraging her rise to the top in TV drama.

Friel told Gracie: "When I was your age I was chasing Michael Palin down a hill.

"I felt different, and no one else was taking 10 weeks off school."

The new season of Marcella, in which Friel plays the title role, sees her in Belfast as an undercover detective.

She has taken on a new identity as Keira, who infiltrates a notorious local crime family.

Friel's co-star is award-winning Londonderry actress Amanda Burton, who plays Katherine Maguire, matriarch of the crime family.

Series three of the drama is due to hit our screens later this year.

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