McDonald and Dodds’ Martin Kemp: ‘The Eighties were about excess!’

Martin Kemp plays a ruthless record company executive under suspicion, as ITV crime drama McDonald and Dodds returns for a new series…

It’s back to the 1980s – sort of! – as McDonald & Dodds season 2 arries on ITV on Sunday night with guest star Martin Kemp.

Following a successful first series last year, the crime drama is back with Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins as fiery DCI McDonald and her awkward sidekick DS Dodds investigating murders in seemingly sleepy Bath.

The first case centres on four friends: Mick Elkins (The Krays’ Martin Kemp), Barbara Graham (Holby City’s Patsy Kensit), Jackie Somner (Mona Lisa’s Cathy Tyson) and Gordon Elmwood (Sherlock’s Rupert Graves), all rising stars from the 1980s, who enjoy a fun day out in a hot-air balloon with another friend, who winds up dead! Did he jump or was he pushed?

We chatted to Martin Kemp, 59, to find out more about Mick and how much he enjoyed going back to the Eighties…

Tell us about your character, Mick Elkins?

“Mick Elkins is a bit of a rogue. He’s a leftover from the 1980s when everything was larger than life.
These four friends are all movers and shakers from the decade, who have something that bonds them together and they’re still bonded to this day. It’s a secret that will be revealed. I love a whodunnit!”

McDonald Dodds Group

What do Mick and his pals Barbara (Patsy Kensit), Jackie (Cathy Tyson) and Gordon (Rupert Graves) know about Frankie’s death?

How does Mick react to McDonald & Dodds questioning him about the balloon incident?

“He finds them quite invasive. Mick’s used to being in control of certain situations and everybody around him, like a lot of those 80s record execs. So when McDonald & Dodds come talking to him, he just finds it invasive and wonders why they want to talk to him. Sorry, I’m trying not to give too much away…”

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Did you really get to go up in a hot-air balloon?

“I would love to say yes but it was all shot on green screen, however, when you see it played back it’s a real magical experience. There’s a lot of action that takes place in the balloon basket – and you can’t shoot that while it’s flying around!”

Had you worked with any of the ‘friends’ before?

“I’ve known Patsy since we were kids and we spent a lot of time in Los Angeles together in the mid-90s and there were so many times that people tried to put us together in a movie and it never worked out. So it was lovely for me to finally get to work alongside Patsy.”

McDonald and Dodds Mick insert

Tops of the pops: Martin says Mick is like record execs he knew back in his Spandau Ballet days…

Did filming McDonald & Dodds bring back memories of the 1980s?

“The car in the opening scene was an old, white convertible Golf and I had one back in the day. We sold it after three weeks because the steering was so heavy – and the car on set reminded me of why we got rid of it! But it was a lovely drive down memory lane for me.”

What’s your standout memory of the 1980s?

“Everything was about excess. From the amount of hairspray people used, to the size of the shoulder pads, to the amount of money someone had. It was a great time to be involved in the music business and I guess Mick’s built around record company execs I knew when I was in Spandau Ballet. I had lots of fun stories to draw on for the part – but I would probably be arrested if I told you them!”

McDonald and Dodds Tala and Jason

McDonald & Dodds starts on Sunday February 28 at 8pm on ITV.

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