DOYLE OUT TO SHOW HE’S THE RIGHT MAN

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - TIF­FANY DUNK NA­TIONAL TV ED­I­TOR

He may have starred on one of the most suc­cess­ful Bri­tish se­ries of all time, but for­mer Down­ton Abbey star Kevin Doyle wasn’t a shoe-in for his next job.

“I au­di­tioned like every­body else,” Doyle, who played Kevin Molse­ley on Down­ton, laughs when asked about how he scored a job on the sec­ond sea­son of crit­i­cally ac­claimed drama Happy Val­ley.

“I knew the writer (Sally Wain­wright) quite well and I knew the pro­ducer as well so that made life a lit­tle eas­ier but I still had to per­suade them I was the right per­son.”

Doyle was def­i­nitely cross­ing his fingers for this role, hav­ing been a fan of the first sea­son which saw a feisty po­lice­woman’s (played by Sarah Lan­cashire) world turn up­side down af­ter her daugh­ter’s rapist — and bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther of her grand­son — gets out of prison.

Pick­ing up eigh­teen months af­ter sea­son one’s ex­plo­sive fi­nale, Doyle joins the cast as DS John Wadsworth.

“He comes in to in­ves­ti­gate a pretty grue­some killing,” pre­views Doyle. “And at the same time he’s try­ing to sort out an­other messy prob­lem in his own pri­vate life — he’s been hav­ing an af­fair.”

With all of the cast re­turn­ing, Doyle says there was a def­i­nite sense of do­ing jus­tice to the se­ries. “We didn’t want to let the ball drop be­cause very of­ten (in the UK) crit­ics are keen to jump on the sec­ond sea­son syn­drome,” he ex­plains.

In ad­di­tion, says Doyle, sea­son two is stand alone. Cer­tainly it en­riches the ex­pe­ri­ence if you’ve watched the first sea­son, but new­com­ers will find equal en­joy­ment in the new episodes.

With Down­ton hav­ing just wrapped up on Aus­tralian screens, Doyle said he’s still “slightly be­wil­dered” when peo­ple ask how it felt to be part of such a well-loved se­ries.

“It’s so rare that ac­tors get to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing like that — to be in a phe­nom­e­non like that,” he says.

HAPPY VAL­LEY, BBC FIRST, SUN­DAY, 8.30PM

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