Line of Duty star 'lied' about role in the current series

Jen Crothers
·2-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Warning - the article below contains spoilers

James Nesbitt has revealed he hid his Line of Duty appearance from his friends and family for over a year.

The Northern Irish actor made his Line of Duty debut as retired police detective Marcus Thurwell on Sunday night (18 April), another potentially bent copper for Superintendent Ted Hastings to track down.

James, who played a policeman in recent Belfast-based crime thriller Bloodlands, had previously told reporters he was annoyed that creator Jed Mercurio hadn't called him up for a part. "Even though Line Of Duty had been shot here for years I was never considered for it, which has always slightly galled me," he said.

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However it was all part of a bigger plan hatched by the pair, reports The Sun, and now James' role is crucial to the current series of Line of Duty.

"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," said James. "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."

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

Both Bloodlands and Line of Duty were filming around the same time in Belfast, and Jed asked him to be in the series; telling anyone who asked that James' filming was for Bloodlands.

"It was easier to keep it secret by plotting the scheme between the two of us rather than involving a proper casting process," Jed told The Sun.

"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. The shoot at Belfast Marina went really smoothly, because the sun came out for about five minutes.

"I think people thought Jimmy was shooting an advert. I told passers-by he was modelling for a catalogue. The rest of the filming with Jimmy was done away from the public eye so we were able to keep his involvement totally top secret."

Line of Duty continues next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

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