We’re on the set of the third series of Channel 4’s hit crime drama No Offence. Chatting with key cast about the upcoming run and we’re invited into Will Mellor’s caravan!
I’m with other journalists as Will Mellor (DC Spike Tanner) invites us into his cosy caravan. But, Mellor doesn’t look quite how we’re expecting. As he invites us into his cosy caravan it’s clear there’s something different about him.”I have to go undercover in this episode and I didn’t know how far it was gonna be until today. I think it looks good, the makeup team have done a great job. I could not have a beard. It’s a) itchy and b) food, drinks anything, You end up with hair in it and there’s nothing worse than getting hair in your food!
What can we expect from the new series, extra hair aside? “There’s loads happening and it’s a very powerful opening episode. I think when you try and guess this show that’s when it’ll catch you out. That’s what I love about it. I think you’ve got to be like that especially with other shows like Line Of Duty. We’re the kind of show where we never want to be safe or second-guessed. There’s still that dark humour that comes through and some great new characters that come into it. We’ve got Nigel Lindsay, Neil Maskell.. we’ve got some great actors that bring something else to it”.
Things are getting very political, what do you make of series three’s direction? “I think we’re right on the money with where the general public are on terrorism. We’re dealing with a little bit of that this series as only No Offence can. It doesn’t pull any punches and it goes where other series are frightened to go. There are some attacks on Muslims and there’s a far-right group that take it too far. So we have to deal with that. There’s a lot of political stuff going on and we have to be the moral compass. We’ve seen evidence of that in the press and that’s why we’re white hot with it and I think Paul Abbott likes to be current and we have to be. We don’t ever want to date ourselves. There’s some really heavy subjects but there’s still that comedy undertone. It’s a hard-hitting, fast-paced series. It’s got everything: Guns, far-right groups, terror plots, politics. There might even be a little bit of romance for Spike!”
It sounds very spectacular. “He (Abbott) likes to start it off with a bang. In series two we blew up a chapel. This one won’t disappoint. When I read it I was “oooh!” and my wife was ‘what?!” and I said I can’t tell you but Jesus Christ! Even I had to take a break and put it down a minute.”
In the previous two outings, the No Offence hashtag on Twitter has abuzz with positivity for the show. What kind of reaction do you expect from Twitter? Given the sensitive subjects do you expect it to kick off? “I hope it does go off. I think we should be like that. I don’t want to be safe. Safety isn’t where I want to be in my career. The show should never be safe. This show should be anything’s possible, anything can be said. It’s called No Offence. That’s what it means. No offence but that’s what we’re doing. That’s the world out there. We can all believe that everyone’s politically correct and we can all believe that this doesn’t go on but it does. We’re here to show that this does go on and right or wrong we should show it. What we’re making is a drama but it opens a debate.” Are there any references to the bombing at the arena last year? “We don’t name the bombing but Deering gives a speech where she mentions we need more funding and it says we’ve been under attack in Manchester so there is a little mention.”
It seems like Spike and his colleagues are more on the beat than at the desk this year. Is that something you enjoy? “I like doing the action stuff, I haven’t done enough of it and this series when I got it I thought “that’s good” until I did it at three o’ clock in the morning in November, pissing down and freezing cold! I got hit a couple of times but that’s part of it. A few aches and pains but mainly it’s rolling around on the freezing cold floor – sober! I wouldn’t mind if I was pissed on new years eve! It was minus something and the ground was frosty and they had to keep wetting it down for continuity because when we first shot it’d been raining. So being sprayed with water before you go for a take in minus three isn’t good but that’s part of it.” Will is clearly revelling as the only male in a female
Mellor’s enthusiasm for the show is infectious. “It’s a different series. We’re on our third and who knows how far it’ll go. The viewing figures were double last time. It’s the biggest export from England into France. That baffles me! After this, I’m going to France to do some appearances with my beard on! For as long as this show runs I’ll do it.”
Later in the afternoon, we get to see Will in Bond audition mode at the stunning gothic surroundings of Rochdale town hall. We watch with deep interest as Will and a few other cast members film a typically strange No Offence moment. There’s nothing I can tell you about it but I can tell you it will be beautifully lit. Spoilers.
No Offence returns Thursday 13th September 9.00pm on Channel 4