TV star and scriptwriter lift the lid on screen careers at uni talk
LINE of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has revealed how Martin Compston only breaks his English accent when he’s ‘drunk or watching Celtic and shouting at the TV.’
British television’s most successful writer, whose credits also include the smash-hit drama Bodyguard, said he had known the Greenock-born star for three months before he heard his West of Scotland brogue.
The pair took time out from filming for the latest, eagerly awaited series in Belfast, to host an exclusive Q&A with 250 scriptwriting students from Glasgow Caledonian University.
Compston, who is soon to be seen in Mary Queen of Scots alongside Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, also told how his co-star Adrian Dunbar ‘fell asleep’ during one of the hit drama’s tense and lengthy interrogation scenes.
The actor, who plays DS Steve Arnot, said the last scene filmed was ‘28-29 pages long’ and revealed his co-star, who plays Superintendent Ted Hastings, wasn’t as gripped as TV viewers.
Mercurio also recalled his shock at hearing Compston dropping the English accent he uses in the show for the first time, off the set.
He said: “Only two things make him break the accent drink and Celtic when he’s shouting at the TV.”
Compston, who received an honourary degree from GCU earlier this year, said: “I owe my whole career to Ken Loach, who took a chance on me, and Jed, who put me in front of a wide audience.”
Professor Ann Marie Di Mambro, who teaches GCU’s MA TV Fiction Writing course. said: “Jed’s visit was an incredible opportunity for our students to get insight and inspiration from one of the best writers in the UK.
“It was also invaluable for them to ask someone of Martin Compston’s standing what actors look for in a script and what they bring to it.”
Martin Compston and Jed Mercurio