James Nesbitt schemed with Jed Mercurio to cover up surprise appearance in Line of Duty

·2-min read

James Nesbitt schemed with Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio to cover up his surprise appearance in the hit show.

The 56-year-old made his debut as DCI Marcus Thurwell in the BBC police drama on Sunday, and fans were stunned to see his face after Nesbitt previously shared his frustration at being overlooked for the show.

However, he had really been working secretly with Mercurio behind-the-scenes, and Nesbitt said he was overjoyed to be involved after collaborating with him on another hit BBC thriller, Bloodlands.

“I’ve been a fan of Jed’s work for years which is how my role in Bloodlands came about. When he approached me for Line Of Duty, of course I immediately said yes," the Cold Feet star told The Sun.

“I’ve kept it to myself for over a year and couldn’t even tell my closest friends or family. I’m still sworn to secrecy about Marcus Thurwell, but as ever with Line Of Duty, there will be a few surprises along the way," he teased.

The Line of Duty creator explained that it was easier to keep things a secret for his scenes, which were meant to depict his character on a marina in Spain.

"It was easier to keep it secret by plotting the scheme between the two of us rather than involving a proper casting process. I did warn him there were two conditions: One, he’d have to wear shorts which might get very nippy on a cold day in Belfast and, two, he’d have to lie about it," Mercurio quipped.

He said that most of Nesbitt's scenes were filmed away from the public, but if anyone spotted him filming, it would be easy to explain without giving away the secret.

“If anyone spotted Jimmy arriving on set or leaving, we just said he was shooting extra scenes for Bloodlands," Mercurio stated.

Back in January, during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, the Northern Irish actor complained about not being included in the cast of the hit show, which is shot in Belfast.

“Even though Line Of Duty had been shot here for years I was never considered for it, which has always slightly galled me," Nesbitt stated.