Ex-Casualty star Sarah Manners joins The Bill

There’s a new recruit at Sun Hill this week, when PC Kirsty Knight arrives for her first day on the job. Ex-Casualty star Sarah Manners tells us more about her latest role…

What’s your character, PC Kirsty Knight like?

“Kirsty is a bit of a tomboy, which is a nice change for me because a lot of the characters I’ve played in the past have been quite glamorous. She’s the station’s new area car driver, which means she’ll get to do all the fast pursuits. She’s been a copper for eight years, so she’s quite experienced. She’s quite feisty, doesn’t take any nonsense. But good fun.”

What happens on her first day at Sun Hill?

“Sergeant Stone tries to help out a young lady during a night out. But he gets jumped on and beaten up. So the first time she meets her new boss, Stone, he’s a complete mess, covered in blood. Kirsty just says, ‘Looking good, Sarge!'”

How did you feel being the new girl in the cast?

“The cast and crew have all been so welcoming. When I was playing Bex in Casualty, we were away filming in Bristol, so there was always a real community spirit among the cast. But then a Production Co-ordinator friend of mine told me that The Bill was the friendliest place she’d ever worked. And it’s totally true!”

Is it true that your character was originally going to be part of CID?

“Yes, but then the producers called me back to screen test in uniform. Once I put it on I loved it! It’s so empowering. The boots are wicked, really comfortable and they give you a bit of extra height. You put on the stab vest and your ‘tool belt’ and you’re ready for work. So now I’m absolutely thrilled that the producers decided to put me in uniform instead.”

Did you do any real-life research for the role?

“I’ve actually got a friend who works as a Sergeant at a station in Hackney, so when I got the role I went out on the streets with them. I ended up going on a drugs raid – it was so exciting! There I was wearing my Metropolitan Police stab vest and everyone thought I was from CID! I was so nervous, but the police units were so relaxed about the raid. They were busy asking me, ‘What was it like when you did Strictly Come Dancing!'”

Do you think you’d like to do the job for real?

“I’d love to be a copper! It looks like a really cool job, and you never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Personally I’d love to see Kirsty train in ballistics, as for some reason I’m really good with a gun! Anytime I’ve done any rifle shooting, I’ve been like a proper assassin!”

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