Philip Glenister has criticised the BBC and ITV for interfering too much in programme-making, saying ‘there’s a bit of a nanny thing going on’.

The actor, whose tenure as politically incorrect police officer Gene Hunt in BBC drama Ashes To Ashes came to an end this year, said he thought ‘self-censorship’ sometimes got in the way of making good programmes.

Philip stars in forthcoming drama Mad Dogs, about a group of friends covering up a dark secret after reuniting in Majorca, which will be broadcast this autumn on Sky1 HD.

He said he would like to work for both ITV and the BBC again but that he was pleased to have made Mad Dogs with Sky.

The 47-year-old said: “The problem with the BBC and ITV is there are so many different levels of people coming and telling you to do it one way, and then another way, so [the process] seems much more condensed with Sky, there are not so many generals, there are just the people who are involved and they let you get on with it.

“It’s just something I think the BBC and ITV need to look at, to see that ultimately it’s about making the best show we can. A lot of it is about self-censorship as well, we’re grown up and big enough to know when we’re pushing the boundaries too far, sometimes you feel there’s a bit of a nanny thing going on.”

His co-star Max Beesley, who recently starred in BBC drama Survivors, said the BBC and ITV had been interested in picking up Mad Dogs but its writers had opted to work with Sky.

He said: “With the Beeb and ITV sometimes… you can get a lot of notes, a lot of executive notes, and it becomes quite a melee of mentalnesses at times and with this project Sky said ‘get out there, make it, and how much do you need for it to be fantastic and look fantastic?’ and that’s what you need.

“The Sky network, over the next two or three years, without a shadow of a doubt will become as important to us as working at the Beeb.”

Mad Dogs also stars John Simm, Marc Warren and Ben Chaplin.