DOYLE OUT TO SHOW HE’S THE RIGHT MAN
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