Actor Rupert Penry Jones has admitted he is fed up with downbeat cop dramas – and thinks that more fresh shows such as Sherlock and Whitechapel, in which he stars, are better.

The Spooks actor – who will return for a third series of Whitechapel this week, said that the show stands out from other similar programmes due to its “heightened sense of reality”.

“One of the things I’m finding slightly tiring with the cop genre is the tense, angst-ridden, serious cops,” Rupert said.

“I’m a bit bored of that. I like stuff that’s fresh, like Sherlock, because a lot of things that go on with the characters is very tongue in cheek.”

He added that Whitechapel seemed to take place in “a magical little world”, and said, “There’s lots of banter, so it’s a really fun way to earn a living. Doing some plays can be relentlessly depressing.

“I did a play once where my child got killed at the end of it – doing that night after night eight times a week starts to bring you down.

“But I live in a fluffy make-believe world most of the time. The news is the most depressing thing to watch on television really, so I think you need dramas like Whitechapel to lighten the load.”

The new series begins on ITV1 on January 30