Jed Mercurio

The changing face of the TV political interview

John Whittingdale, MP, Minister of State for Media and Data, speaking at an RTS event said that in the 1980s ITV’s Brian Walden would devote all his hour-long programme to a set-piece interview with a senior politician.  

“Several times I helped Margaret Thatcher prepare for a Walden interview,” he recalled. “We don’t have that in-depth interview any longer.

Line of Duty will return to BBC One in early 2021

Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar in line of Duty (credit: BBC)

Filming for the new series started up again in September and is still ongoing, with Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston reprising their roles as detectives Superintendent Ted Hastings, DI Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott.

AC-12, the anti-corruption unit, will be met with a new, inscrutable adversary called DCI Joanne Davidson, played by Kelly Macdonald (Giri/Haji),

The series will pick up a year and a half after the closure of Operation Pear Tree, with Hastings returning to head up the unit after his exoneration at the end of series five.

An accidental career: Jed Mercurio headlines the RTS Midlands Careers Fair

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio decided he probably should learn to write – after he’d already penned a hit BBC drama series. “I did it backwards,” the former medic told the RTS Midlands Careers Fair 2020.

Mercurio had been a junior doctor working in Birmingham hospitals when he replied to an advert in the British Medical Journal. It had been placed by a production company looking for drama ideas.

Filming begins on Line of Duty series six

Series six of the police procedural will rejoin AC-12 a year and a half on from the closure of Operation Pear Tree, following the Unit in their investigation of Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald), who is working on an unsolved murder case.

“DCI Joanne Davidson will prove the most enigmatic adversary AC-12 have ever faced,” said writer and showrunner Jed Mercurio.

Jed Mercurio shares his writing tips at RTS Futures NI Careers Fair

Jed Mercurio at the RTS Futures Northern Ireland Careers Fair.png

More than 350 people attended a series of workshops, masterclasses and panel events run by industry professionals from across the creative sector.

BBC Studios talent manager Julie Forbes and BBC NI senior resourcing advisor Nicola McConville ran a CV masterclass. The duo offered advice on how to break into the competitive TV and film industries, and gave one-to-one “creative clinics” to hone interview skills and CVs. Their tips included: “Never send the same CV twice – get to know the companies around you.”

James Nesbitt to star in new BBC One crime thriller Bloodlands

James Nesbitt (Credit: BBC)

Nesbitt plays a Northern Irish police detective, Tom Brannick, who is dragged into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse when a car containing a suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough.

Brannick connects the note to an infamous cold case that is deeply personal and puts him on the hunt for a legendary assassin.  

Nesbitt commented: “It’s great to be back making a drama in and about Northern Ireland, which now has a film and television industry as good as any in the world.