Adrian Dunbar — things you didn't know about the Line of Duty star

Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar.
Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar. (Image credit: Getty)

Adrian Dunbar has become a much-loved household name since landing the role of Superintendent Ted Hastings, the chief of police anti-corruption unit AC-12 in BBC crime drama Line of Duty.

Ted has been a firm favourite with fans alongside Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) in the award-winning series — but Line of Duty is far from Adrian's first role. 

The actor started his hugely successful career back in 1980 when he appeared in TV movie The Long March. Since then he has appeared in films such as My Left Foot, The Crying Game, The General, Richard III and Widows' Peak. He has also starred in TV shows including, Cracker, A Touch of Frost, Kidnapped, Ashes to Ashes, Death in Paradise and Silent Witness

Since recently returning to the world of crime drama in the ITV series Ridley as the namesake hero, retired Detective Inspector Alex Ridley, here's everything you need to know about Adrian Dunbar...

But what else is there to learn about the much-loved actor? Here are a few things you might not know.

1. He is the eldest of 7 children.

Adrian was born in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and raised as a Roman Catholic. He was the eldest of seven children with two brothers and four sisters, and when he was 10, Adrian moved with his siblings and parents to Portadown in County Armagh. 

Speaking of the move Adrian told MailOnline: "Portadown was the most marginalised of all the Nationalist communities in the North. Suddenly we were living in a town where, if you were Catholic, you literally couldn't walk down the street without getting some kind of conflict."

2. He met his wife after leaving drama school.

Unlike his Line of Duty alter ego Ted Hastings whose marriage has gone down the pan, Adrian and his wife Anna have been happily married since 1986 after meeting not long after Adrian left drama school. 

Anna is also an actor and is best known for appearing in shows like Minder and the 1978 film Sweeney 2. The pair have a daughter called Madeleine together and Adrian is also stepdad to Ted, Anna's son from her first marriage. 

Adrian Dunbar with his wife Anna.

Adrian has been married to his wife Anna for 35 years.  (Image credit: Getty)

3. He had a very unlikely job before becoming an actor. 

Before finding fame on screen, Adrian found himself working in the very unglamorous job of working in an abattoir. To distract himself from his day job with doomed pigs, the actor played bass guitar and sang back up vocals with an Elvis impersonator. 

After leaving school at 17 he then got involved in a local amateur dramatics group in his spare time. He told the MailOnline: "I felt totally at home on stage — it seemed so natural and I realised that my entire life was going to have to change if I was going to be happy. The pigs had to go!"

4. He made some very famous friends at drama school.

Adrian attended London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama and while he was there he became friends with Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey, actor Liam Neeson, and Coronation Street's Charles Lawson. 

Adrian Dunbar with Neil Morrissey.

Adrian and Neil, pictured here in 2003, met while they were at drama school. (Image credit: Getty )

5. He was cut from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. 

Even famous actors end up on the cutting room floor, and that's exactly what happened to Adrian after his role as Princess Leia's adopted father was cut from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Despite not making it to the final edit, stills of Adrian from the film were used to promote the release. Adrian didn't make the final cut due to plot reasons.

6. He has released a folk jazz album. 

Despite making a career out of acting, Adrian's other huge love is music. He even had his own band called Adie Dunbar and the Jonahs, with Adrian as lead singer. The band have released an album called Two Brothers, and many one the songs on the album have been written by Adrian himself. The band have even been on tour, playing in venues in Nashville and Austin, Texas. 

Line of Duty stars Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston.

Adrian with his Line of Duty co-stars Vicky McClure and Martin Compston.  (Image credit: Getty )

7. He would love to star in a sitcom.

While Adrian loves playing serious roles like Ted Hastings, he has revealed that he would also love a chance to make people laugh. Adrian told Radio Times that his dream sitcom co-star would be Anna Maxwell Martin, who starred alongside him as Ted's grief interrogator in Line of Duty's Season 5: "She's very funny and I'd love to do a sitcom with her."

Adrian Dunbar's fact file

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actor....

How old is he?

Adrian Dunbar is 62 years old. He was born on 1 August, 1958.

Is he married? 

Adrian Dunbar married his wife Anna Nygh in 1986.

Does he have children?

Adrian Dunbar and his wife Anna have a grown up daughter called Madeleine together. Adrian is also stepdad to Ted, Anna's son from her first marriage. 

Where was he born?

Adrian Dunbar was born in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. 

How tall is he?

Adrian Dunbar is 1.8 metres tall.

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.