Russell Tovey reveals why the future of ITV’s Flesh and Blood is in the balance

Russell Tovey on NEW shows No Masks, The Sister and the future of Flesh and Blood…

Russell Tovey fans rejoice! The talented actor has exciting new shows coming soon.

We caught up with the Being Human star to find out more about this week’s one-off special, No Masks on Sky Arts, based on the real testimonies of London key workers at the height of the Coronavirus crisis.

Here Russell Tovey, 38 tells us more, and also talks about new ITV thriller The Sister plus last year’s smash hit Flesh and Blood…

Why did No Masks appeal to you?

Russell Tovey: “Part of me wondered, does anyone want to watch something that covers Covid? But what you’re seeing are the people on the frontline, the people who are our heroes, telling their story. I think viewers are going to relate to it. These stories are important. You’re seeing monologues from people with no masks – they’re revealing themselves. All the stories are really moving – and they’re all real.”

TV tonight No Masks

Russell Tovey as a cop at the sharp end

What can you tell us about your No Masks character, Noel?

RT: “He’s in a relationship of about 10 years and they’ve got a nice life together. He’s very professional and takes his job as a police officer seriously, but he isn’t a serious person. He wants to connect with people. If you were feeling vulnerable or scared and called a police officer, he’s exactly who you’d want to turn up. He’d look after you. He’s a decent, lovely man.”

How was it filming this series during lockdown?

RT: “I was giddy! I couldn’t believe I was in front of a crew. Everyone was in PPE, socially distanced and using hand gel all the time. It’s the only proper filming I’ve done since being in lockdown, so I was like, ‘Yes! Whatever you need me to do, whatever forms you need me to sign, I’ll do it.’ It was a challenge to learn all that material and perform it in a day. The pressure was on. But it felt really good, it felt buzzy.”

How have you found lockdown?

RT: “I was in New York doing a play on Broadway, then this all kicked in and I came home. I’ve used the time to do a podcast called Talk Art with my mate [gallerist Robert Diament]. Suddenly, there were all these incredible people just sat around and we were interviewing them, including Elton John!”

What’s next for you? Please say a second series of ITV drama Flesh and Blood!

RT: “The Sister is coming out on ITV in October. It’s by Neil Cross of Luther fame. I play Nathan, a clever, quiet kind of guy. Something happens on a night out and he tries to forget about it. The show starts after 10 years have passed and suddenly it all comes crashing back. It’s intense!

“I’m hoping something is on the cards for Flesh and Blood next year, but there’s nothing official. It’s about availability. Imelda [Staunton] is playing The Queen in [Netflix hit] The Crown, so that’s a bit of a problem! But I’d love to do more!”

No Masks airs on Sky Arts on Wednesday 30th September at 9pm as it launches as a free-to-air channel. Russell plays police officer, Noel. The Crown’s Lorraine Ashbourne, The Witcher’s Anya Chalotra, Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker and Harlots Anna Calder-Marshall also star.

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