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ITV police drama Viewpoint set to rival Line of Duty with Bronagh Waugh cast in starring role

Expectant mum 'buzzing' over highly-anticipated series Viewpoint

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‘FLAWED’: Bronagh’s character DC Stella Beckett grapples with personal issues

‘FLAWED’: Bronagh’s character DC Stella Beckett grapples with personal issues

‘FLAWED’: Bronagh’s character DC Stella Beckett grapples with personal issues

Line of Duty's Steve Arnott and Kate Fleming may be about to get rivals for the best detective duo on telly.

Coleraine actress Bronagh Waugh is one half of a new cop duo set to hit our screens tomorrow night on ITV's Manchester-based drama Viewpoint.

And The Fall and Unforgotten star has been telling Sunday Life how she's "buzzed" to have landed the role of "rough round the edges" Manc cop DC Stella Beckett, who partners Bafta winner Noel Clarke's DC Martin Young in the series.

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Bronagh’s character DC Stella Beckett on set

Bronagh’s character DC Stella Beckett on set

Bronagh’s character DC Stella Beckett on set

In the opener the snooping surveillance cops investigate the disappearance of primary school teacher Gemma Hillman. Clarke and Waugh told Sunday Life they reckon Young and Beckett are their most challenging characters - and the pair are opposites.

Bronagh, who is due to give birth to her first child next month, is glad her female cop is no saint.

She said: "We're both surveillance detectives. Stella is such a great character. I really wanted it as well. And I was a wild card for the role because she's from Manchester.

"She's really strong and tenacious and sarcastic and funny. She likes to cut corners.

"I love that she's flawed. I think in cop shows, when you see female characters, they're very saintly and it's the male character that's often flawed. And the female character is the kind of good one but Stella's a bit messy, and a bit rough around the edges.

"It really appealed to me because it felt real. And actually it's Noel's character Martin who is more sensitive and there is a gender reverse with it."

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CHEMISTRY: Bronagh and Noel hit it off straight away

CHEMISTRY: Bronagh and Noel hit it off straight away

CHEMISTRY: Bronagh and Noel hit it off straight away

And off-screen their chemistry is good too.

"I adore the bones of Noel. He's an absolute dote and we got on really well, which, you know, I think the chemistry is really important but they're completely chalk and cheese," said Bronagh (38).

"Noel and I discussed at the beginning that they have a loyalty to each other, and they both do things completely differently and they have completely different approaches.

"But that's what kind of complements each other. All the greatest detectives like Holmes and Watson do. They're complete opposites, you know, so I think that works really well."

Noel told Sunday Life: "I really enjoyed the character. It resonated with me because he had the trauma and then afterwards, he was so considered and so, so still. And if you know me, I'm the least still person you'll ever meet.

"So for me to try and inhabit someone I thought was the opposite of me, I just thought it was something that I've never been considered for before, and something I've never done and that's what really made me want to do it."

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HIT: Line of Duty with our own Adrian Dunbar (centre) and Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming and Martin Compston as Steve Arnott

HIT: Line of Duty with our own Adrian Dunbar (centre) and Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming and Martin Compston as Steve Arnott

BBC/World Productions

HIT: Line of Duty with our own Adrian Dunbar (centre) and Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming and Martin Compston as Steve Arnott

Bronagh thinks the show will be a big hit with viewers because it appeals to our inherent nosiness which she believes has been even more evident with lockdown.

She explained: "The whole series is told in a really different way. There is a lot of conflict because this is surveillance. It's very suffocating and creepy and the audience will feel like they're us watching these people. It really pulls the audience in and they feel like they are me and Noel (right) watching. So I think that satisfies all of our nosiness.

"We're all so nosy and especially in lockdown. I'm looking out the window at the Italian guy's flat, who lives opposite me. I am fascinated about what his comings and goings are. I remember on New Year's Eve and the curtains were closed, so I was thinking, 'Oooh he's broken lockdown'.

"I think what's cool about Viewpoint is it's going to really appeal to the senses of what people have always probably been doing for the last 12 months which is playing their own wee detective outside their house windows."

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Noel Clarke

Noel Clarke

Noel Clarke

But despite what you see on screen, Noel, who previously appeared in Bulletproof, Kidulthood and Star Trek Into Darkness, confessed he wouldn't make a good surveillance officer as he struggled to use the equipment.

He admitted: "It was real kit but I'll be honest, I couldn't see through the damn monocular. I think we were in the last week of shooting and one moment I was like 'yay'. And everyone's like what's wrong and I was like, 'I can finally see through this thing'. We were like, literally in the last week of shooting, I could not figure out how to see through the damn thing. I don't know why.

"But I had to pretend I could so hopefully it looked like I could."

The show was filmed on location in Manchester with the cast living in support bubbles.

Bronagh praised Noel and the rest of the cast, including Fehinti Balogon and Alexandra Roache, for how they looked after her when she was separated from her husband Richard Peacock in the early months of her pregnancy.

"They were just amazing. Noel was so protective over me. He's got three kids and I can't sing his praises enough. He was just absolutely wonderful. He would say, 'Uncle Noel's got to look after you'.

"Filming in a bubble meant we could interact with people more than you can in public in lockdown.

"I could hug Noel, so that made a really big difference because you're quite emotional with those loads of hormones. It was really nice to have those friendships. I've gone through something really special with them, and I think they will remain special friends in my life."

÷ The first episode of Viewpoint will be shown on ITV at 9pm tomorrow night


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