we show how our work persona is so different to what’s really going on inside,’ says Con as he joins us. ‘As Brits, we’re good at concealing our turmoil from our colleagues and Joe always puts on his armour.’
Unknown to his office pals, Joe is going through huge difficulties in his private life.
When he returns early from work to find his wife, nurse Belinda
(Jill Halfpenny), acting oddly, he secretly installs CCTV in his house. But the father-of-two gets more than he bargained for as surprises emerge about his whole family.
‘He becomes paranoid that Belinda’s having an affair so he sets up cameras to catch her out, but that opens a host of secrets that he had no idea about,’ says Con.
‘It unbalances him and he begins to unravel in an unexpected way and can’t cope with the fallout.’
As the family’s problems mount, Joe desperately tries to hide the fact he has been spying on his loved ones and 50-year-old Con has been given pause for thought about how, in today’s world, our lives are monitored relentlessly.
‘I wouldn’t do what he does, but I understand why he does it,’ he says. ‘It’s addictive to watch CCTV and I hope viewers will sympathise, but if this was 10 years ago, I don’t think he’d go on this journey.’
For Con, getting stuck into office life on set has been eye-opening.
‘I’m surprised there aren’t more workplace dramas because most people experience this sort of life, but this is my first time in an office scenario,’ he says. ‘I couldn’t do this. It’s all open plan and I feel the constant exposure to everyone else. Just sitting there with every phone call being overheard and every email overlooked is weird, it’s like
Ordinary Lies comes after a busy year for Con, which has seen him star in Sky Atlantic’s The Tunnel and as Neil, the troubled boyfriend of Clare Cartwright (Siobhan Finneran), in Happy Valley.
‘I’m drawn to these imperfect characters,’ laughs Con, who was plagued by fans wrongly suspecting he was the serial killer who kept us all guessing in Happy Valley.
‘I was in a café outside Belfast and an old lady scowled at me and said, “I know it’s you killing those girls” and just walked away. Maybe I have that serial killer quality.’
Although a third series of
Happy Valley is on the cards, writer Sally Wainwright has said it won’t be for a while, but Con would jump at the chance to return if asked.
‘I’d do anything for Sally, she’s phenomenal and there’s a lot of laughter on set, which you wouldn’t think in that show,’ he smiles.
‘I worked with Sarah Lancashire on Blood Brothers a gazillion years ago and I’m in awe of her. She’s first on set and last off and knows her lines inside out, it’s just awesome.’
IS PREVIEWED ON PAGES 60-61