You’re best know for your role as Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford in Casualty. Why did you decide to come back to a continuing drama like The Bill?
“Recently, I’d been watching episodes of The Bill and they had been pretty good so being asked to come into it was great. And it was the right time. I’d just finished doing a play about slavery and I kept thinking that, after having done some really good theatre work either wearing not very much or lots of costume, I’d just like to do a role where I could put on a pair of jeans.”
You play DC Jacob Banks in The Bill. Tell us about him?
“Jacob’s an ex-teacher from south London who’s had a career change. He’d been doing some community policing then he was stationed in Hendon, did very well there, did some more training and became a detective. He’s what you might call an instinctive detective – he works on hunches. Having had experience of dealing with children, teenagers and their parents, he feels he has a real insight into people.”
Is there another side of Jacob that we should know about?
“Not really, he’s pretty straight. In the beginning, you’ll see him just focusing on his police work, so you don’t think about any negativity, then gradually certain things will come out…”
How does Jacob fit into CID?
“He’s really part of the team. In my first episode, you don’t really see any heralding of a new character, what you get is that he really is just part of the team. Jacob is investigating a murder and is paired up with DC Mickey Webb. It’s just a straightforward murder investigation – no car chases or explosions!”
Do you keep in touch with anyone from Casualty?
“Occasionally, I’ll see Derek Thomson who plays Charlie. Most of the characters that I worked with have all left – but the friends that I have from it are still my friends.”
How do you think you’ll cope with the hectic pace of filming a twice-weekly drama?
“I left Casualty back in 1996, so I don’t have this thing of just switching from one show to the other. I’ve done many other things since then and having followed a discipline of eight shows a week in theatre I know what hard graft is – it’s just a different format.”
Watch Patrick make is debut as DC Jacob Banks in The Bill on Wednesday April 23 at 8pm