Former Waterloo Road star Mark Benton plays concierge Dennis Feldman in ITV's new period drama The Halcyon, which he says feels more like a modern day drama

Mark Benton says the more they filmed ITV’s new period drama The Halcyon, the more it felt like a modern day drama.

The luxurious hotel drama set in London during the Second World War is immediately comparable to Downton Abbey and similar period series, but Mark pointed out fundamental differences.

He told What’s on TV: “I think that what’s interesting about doing this programme is we haven’t shied away from big things happening, you know maybe losing main characters and things like that, which a lot of the time people don’t do because they’re scared to do that and actually that’s what makes programmes interesting. Being able to shock and surprise people.

“What I loved about The Halcyon, more and more as we filmed, it feels very modern. It’s a period piece, but it feels like a modern piece, because it’s fast moving. There are big things that happen that we have to deal with. There are not many moments of people standing around drawing rooms with pipes and chatting about the weather for 20 minutes, there’s none of that. It’s fast paced and exciting.”

Mark remains best known on TV for being a much loved wildcard on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and the irrepressible Chalky in Waterloo Road. He said his Halcyon character Dennis Feldman is the ‘complete opposite of me’.

“He’s there to keep everybody happy,” he said. “Dennis is the concierge and is the go-to guy if you want anything in the hotel and also he operates in the black market to procure goods and things that maybe are not to hand. He s quite a complicated character, but he loves the hotel and he’s a really staunch ally of Richard Garland.”

The Halcyon continues on ITV on Monday nights