The arrival of a new member of UCOS Steve MacAndrew (Denis Lawson) causes a stir in New Tricks on Monday, September 17. Star Wars regular Denis explains…
You play new character Steve in New Tricks; how are we first introduced to him?
“It’s a fantastic storyline and a terrific way for me to come in. My character Steve is a retired, blue-collar Glaswegian policeman who comes to London when DNA from a girl, who went missing almost 10 years before, is found at the robbery of a petrol station. The girl was thought to be murdered, but Steve never believed it. He’s been obsessed with the case for a long time.”
How do the UCOS team respond to the arrival of this hyperactive and talkative Scotsman?
“Because Steve is so pushy and obsessed with the case in this episode he initially rides over the other characters, which takes them by surprise. Sandra (Amanda Redman) has to pull him back into line! There’s also a cultural clash, which is a nice mix on the show. It specifically works really well with Dennis Waterman’s character Gerry, who is so intrinsically London. On set we’re collectively known as ‘the Denni’!”
Can you tell us about any of Steve’s other adventures later in the series?
“There’s a great storyline where Steve and Gerry go to Scotland to set up a UCOS in Glasgow and become involved in a case there. There’s a fun culture clash between Gerry’s expectations of how Glasgow will be and what it’s actually like now!”
Taggart is probably Scotland’s most famous detective; did you channel him to play Steve?
“No, he was nowhere near my thoughts – which is probably just as well! Alex Norton is actually a friend of mine, but I didn’t think of Taggart. I wanted Steve to be very Glasgow. He’s very dynamic and fast, and also quite funny and offbeat.”
Does he have any quirks or traits we should look out for?
“He’s quite sharply dressed in a contemporary way – later you discover he’s got a young girlfriend in Glasgow. He can be aggressive in his own way – he wades into people sometimes! He also does some very smart and sneaky things with mobile phones, like leave them under a table with the record button on. He steals them too – I think he’s got a bit of a mobile phone fetish!”
What was the appeal of joining New Tricks for you?
“This is a role I can have a lot fun with. Steve’s not quite what you expect in how he conducts himself as a policeman. It was great to have the opportunity to sit down with the writers and producers and discuss him before we started filming. I think James Bolam is a fantastic actor, I’ve always loved him, and thankfully we’re not alike in looks or personality so it didn’t feel like I was taking over. I was able to totally create my own character. We start filming the next series in November, and I’m looking forward to it a lot!”