THE SINGING DETECTIVE
Blake Harrison on playing DS Spencer Gibbs and his TV cop’s band...
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER…
Gibbs is obviously one of Jane’s superiors and he’s [ DI] Bradfield’s right-hand man. But the problem with Gibbs is that he’s got a bit of a short fuse. He’s not afraid to be quite heavy-handed with the criminals or junkies – he will go to quite extreme lengths to get any information out of someone. He’s not afraid to bend the rules and then expect help from his colleagues to try and get him out of trouble.
Is THAT QUITE A ’70s ATTITUDE?
Going back years and years, people were a bit more heavy-handed. What’s also really interesting about this is what Jane has to go through in terms of the chauvinistic side of the police. It’s great that it highlights what WPCS had to deal with in real life. We had a really great police liaison in to tell us what it was like policing in the ’70s.
DID YOU ENJOY wearing THE ’70s OUTFITS?
I loved it, because Gibbs is peacocking a lot and he’s in a band, so I got to wear some really fun outfits. When he’s not in his suit for work, he gets to wear some quite outlandish clothes. There’s a very frilly red shirt that looks like something out of Strictly Come
Dancing, which he wears when he’s playing in his band. He’s inspired by Marc Bolan and The Kinks.
DID YOU FEEL THE LEGACY OF PRIME SUSPECT?
I didn’t, but that’s only because it was a crazy thing being cast. I got the phone call on a Friday and the next day I was flying out to Mauritius for my wedding. I was meant to be going for two weeks, and I had to come home after just one week to start filming. So I had such a short period of time to get my head around what was happening. I landed, went straight to a costume fitting and make-up, and then the next day I was filming.
THIS PROVES YOU CAN DO DRAMA AS WELL AS COMEDY…
That was kind of what I really wanted to do. Obviously The
Inbetweeners was so popular, the viewing figures of the other things I’ve done have never quite matched up. So it was really nice to do a big ITV drama. Prime Suspect 1973 felt like a really nice step for me to take and to try and do something a little bit different.