Bradley Walsh, star of Law & Order UK, was happy not to have to go into training for his latest role as DS Ronnie Brooks; all he had to do was eat!
Tell us about your character…
“Ronnie Brooks is an old-style copper. He enjoys putting people away, but also in the same vein he is a very gentle man and empathises with people from all walks. He is a recovering alcoholic, he’s had two wives, he’s got two daughters and the job is his life.”
How did you prepare for the role?
“One of my mates is a Chief Inspector at Lime House so I’ve had conversations with him on certain phrases and dialogue that police in Ronnie’s position would say. And the producers told me Ronnie is quite a portly guy. I said to my folks ‘fantastic I don’t have to do any training, it’s brilliant’. So for seven months I’ve been stuffing my face and I’ve actually put on nearly two stone.”
Ronnie and his partner are inseparable in the show. What was it like working so closely with another actor?
“What’s nice about working alongside Jamie Bamber’s Matt Devlin is that you see the two types of character, because Ronnie was Matt at one time; when you could kick down doors, when there was no red tape, when you could bash someone up, he’s done all that.”
What are the main differences between Matt and Ronnie?
“Matt Devlin is a young, ambitious, more aggressive type of copper but they bounce off each other because Ronnie loves his youth and enthusiasm. When they are chasing a suspect it will always be Matt doing the running. It’s Matt that does the driving while Ronnie just sits there and eats.”
Ronnie is rarely seen without a snack in his hand…
“It’s terrible because if you’ve been an alcoholic you crave sugar. I did do my research and I was told it’s not so much the alcohol but the sugar so he is constantly eating cakes and chocolate, hence the two stone I’ve put on!”
What was it like to work with such an established cast?
“I like chatting to Bill and Harriet, Ben’s really funny, Freema’s great and obviously I have a real connection with Jamie, but often I like to be around them all to see their take on stuff. They have all done legit training whereas I haven’t so I am still at drama school every day and they’ve all been so helpful.”