Belfast Telegraph

Cuffs is a grown-up police drama, says star Amanda Abbington

Sherlock star Amanda Abbington has said forthcoming BBC series Cuffs "doesn't feel like a pre-watershed show".

Cuffs is BBC One's first drama commission in the 8pm slot in eight years and also stars Top Boy's Ashley Walters and Broadchurch's Shaun Dooley.

The cop series makes its debut on Wednesday October 28 and will centre around the challenges of frontline policing. Viewers are promised a show packed with colourful characters and storylines, penned by Julie Gearey of Prisoners' Wives fame.

Talking about her role as DS Jo Moffat at the official launch, 41-year-old Abbington said: " When I got the scripts, and when I got the part, I didn't know it was pre-watershed so I was playing it post-watershed. I don't think it makes a hell of a lot of difference. But it doesn't feel like a pre-watershed show."

She added: "You can swear a bit after nine o'clock and you can show a bit more flesh, but none of that really applies in Cuffs and I think it feels like a very grown-up attempt at a police drama.

"I liked that it was character driven, and I liked that it felt a little bit different from the normal police shows that you see on television. All the characters are flawed and I think that's far more interesting to play."

Former So Solid Crew rapper Walters won acclaim for his portrayal of a drug dealer in Top Boy, but he is on the right side of the law as Pc Ryan Draper in Cuffs.

The 33-year-old said of his character : "I guess what he realises is that life isn't like that, it isn't black and white. There are grey areas and you do have to be a human."

Walters had a good time shooting Cuffs: "The cast really did bond on this job and I think for me it was the closest I've kind of got to having, you know, such a brilliant time with actors."

Paul Ready, whose West End credits include One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Christian Slater, plays introverted DI Felix Kane. "H e's not somebody who lets much of his feelings out," he said.

Among the cast of seasoned actors, Cuffs introduces Jacob Ifan in his first leading television role as Pc Jake Vickers. Ifan said his casting happened quickly, and added: "I was kind of in reverence a little bit of Ashley after watching Top Boy, and Bullet Boy."

Soap star Alex Carter spent four years in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks and will play eternal bachelor Pc Lino Moretti in Cuffs.

The 33-year old described how he prepared for the role: "We went out individually with two police officers. The interesting thing for me was just the mundanity of it and how the police have to interact with the general public, and the public's perceptions of the police being so low.

"I think the show as a whole creates a nicely, pleasantly sort of sympathetic view for what it's like to be a police officer."

Stage actor Peter Sullivan, most recently seen as Commander Laurence Stern in Abi Morgan's award-winning The Hour, takes on the role of troubled Chief Superintendent Robert Vickers.

The actor said: "He's a middle-aged guy having a mid-life crisis. And there's obviously been a relationship between him and Jo, which he's tried to break off and he can't. He's trying to be good, he's trying to be a good guy, and he isn't pulling it off very well."

The cast is rounded out by Utopia's Eleanor Matsuura as dependable Pc Donna Prager and Dooley as wise-cracking DC Carl Hawkins.

Cuffs airs on Wednesday October 28 at 8pm on BBC One.


From Belfast Telegraph