Tuesday 23 April 2019

Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio aims for gender balance on show

The writer and director tries to equally represent men and women.

Jed Mercurio has spoken about gender in the workplace. (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Jed Mercurio has spoken about gender in the workplace. (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Jed Mercurio has said he always tries to achieve a perfect gender balance in his work.

The writer of the police procedural Line Of Duty, and hit BBC series Bodyguard, has revealed he prefers a 50/50 mix of men and women working on his projects.

Mercurio has said that he pushes to give his series a gender balance and wants to reflect the modern British workplace in his creations.

He has said that in the police force women do the same jobs as men, and this is mirrored on screen.

Speaking ahead of the fifth series of Line Of Duty airing on BBC One, the writer has also paid tribute to the casting staff who ensure balance in the drama.

Mercurio has said the Line Of Duty staff can be proud of what they have achieved in terms of diversity.

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The cast and crew of the show attending a photocall for series five of BBC’s Line of Duty, held at the BFI Southbank in London (Ian West/PA)

He said: “I do like to have gender balance, so always looking for ways to keep it as near to 50/50.

“And also because it’s a precinct drama I kind of like to reflect modern workplaces and so having come from a background of women doing exactly the same jobs as men, I think that’s very important as a message in TV.

“I should also pay tribute to our casting team, what we do is we see a diverse range of actors for every role so in respect of Lisa McQueen, Rochenda’s (Sandall) part, we saw actors of all kinds of ethnicities and you just pick the best person for the job.

“Because there is so much talent out there, and so much diverse talent, it’s really important that people go up for roles that aren’t compartmentalised.

“I think we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved over the years.”

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch actress Rochenda Sandall joins Boardwalk Empire and This Is England star Stephen Graham in the upcoming series.  

They will join Martin Compston, who plays DS Steve Arnott, McClure as DS Kate Fleming and Adrian Dunbar in the role of Superintendent Ted Hastings.

Mercurio has said he is unsure how long Line Of Duty can continue for, and will have to keep checking its longevity.

Asked how long it could go on for, he said: “I don’t know, we all love making the show.

“I think a lot depends on how people respond to it.”

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