Vicky McClure on playing an inept MI6 boss in her first sitcom
Think of Vicky McClure and serious, dark dramas, such as Line of Duty, The Replacement, Broadchurch or This Is England, spring to mind.
But on Monday, the Nottingham-born actress is totally out of her comfort zone as she stars in ITV2’s new spy spoof, Action Team.
The six-parter follows a team of dysfunctional secret agents tasked with saving the world. Vicky plays their beleaguered boss, Ruth, who struggles to keep her spies, including James Bond-like Logan (played by Murder in Successville star Tom Davis, who also co-created Action Team) and geeky Graham (Horrible Histories’ Jim Howick), in check.
Mission impossible: Ruth tries to control her hapless team
In Monday’s opening double-bill, Ruth sends her team to stop a bomb going off in Vienna, but when new recruit Huxley (Kayode Ewumi) – who’s only on work experience – blows their cover, will the operation be in jeopardy?
Line of Duty star Vicky McClure reveals all about ITV2 comedy Action Team…
This isn’t the type of show we’d usually expect to see you in…
Vicky McClure: “I know! This is my first proper comedy. But I’ve actually felt quite comfortable. It’s all there in the writing, though, so there’s no pressure for me to drop one-liners in the right place, thank God!”
What made you want to do it?
VM: “I always get a bit nervous when receiving a comedy script, especially because Tom Davis is a mate. But I read it and laughed out loud. It’s so different. I called Tom straight back and said, ‘I’ve not even reached the end yet, but I’m doing it!’ “
So tell us about Ruth…
VM: “She’s an MI6 boss, so my first thoughts were: ‘I’m going to be an M… This is my Judi Dench moment!’ But she’s more than that, and I can’t tell you the pleasure I get out of being a person who is so horrific! It’s my dream role.”
Have you had to improvise?
VM: “Yes, loads! But I’m not scared of improvising because I did it for such a long time on This Is England, which was a very dark show, but there were lots of lighter moments. I always kept to the script in Line of Duty, so I suppose Action Team is a beautiful mixture.”
Viewers may be surprised to see you playing for laughs…
“What can you do? Not do a comedy in case it freaks people out? Action Team came along at exactly the right time. It was meant to be… and it’s hilarious!”
Action Team is on ITV2 on Monday at 10.00pm.