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'McDonald & Dodds' guest star Sharon Rooney: 'There’s more to Doreen than meets the eye!'

Sharon Rooney stars in McDonald and Dodds
Sharon Rooney stars in McDonald and Dodds. (Image credit: ITV)

Best known for starring in such shows as My Mad Fat Diary, Two Doors Down and, most recently, Finding Alice, actor Sharon Rooney returns to our screens this Sunday in McDonald & Dodds Season 2, playing one of five friends who all become suspects when a birthday celebration ends in murder

Always centre of attention, Angela has travelled from Glasgow to Bath to celebrate her birthday with four friends, including best pal Doreen (Rooney). After meeting a group of rugby players, everyone heads to a house party at a mansion, near Brunel’s Box Hill Tunnel.

When promising rugby star Dominique Aubert is then found dead on a railway line — after drinking a lethal, spiked cocktail — all party-goers become suspects. 

While McDonald (Tala Gouveia) untangles a web of mystery surrounding the women and the rugby club — and its chairman Jimmy (Cold Feet’s John Thomson) and agent Deborah (Coronation Street’s Natalie Gumede) — Doreen takes an unusual interest in Dodds (Jason Watkins) and the investigation. Is this her time to shine?

We chatted to Sharon Rooney — aka Doreen — to find out more… 

Sharon Rooney on her character in McDonald & Dodds

"Doreen is the put-upon friend, and almost like the mum of the group, who’s organised this whole weekend away for her best friend Angela’s birthday. Angela is one of those people who loves to be in the spotlight while Doreen is happy to be in the background. There’s definitely more to Doreen than meets the eye, although that is the case with all of the characters in this series. You think they are one thing and they turn out to be completely different."

Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins star in McDonald and Dodds.

McDonald (Tala Gouveia) and Dodds (Jason Watkins) have their suspicions about Doreen and her friends. (Image credit: ITV)

Sharon Rooney on what Dodds makes of Doreen.

"McDonald sees right through Doreen and thinks she is a pain, and Doreen can tell McDonald feels that way about her, so she ignores her and hones straight in on Dodds. She is very excitable around him and constantly calls him 'Sarge' which confuses him. She seems to enjoy winding him up. 

"I worked with Jason very briefly a few years ago and it was really nice to work with him again. He’s such a great actor — so ridiculously talented — but he’s also the nicest guy. We filmed this episode for four weeks and at the end I was like: ‘Do you want me to stay a little bit longer?’"

John Thomson stars in McDonald and Dodds.

John Thomson plays rugby club chairman Jimmy Daly in McDonald and Dodds.  (Image credit: ITV)

Sharon Rooney on working with John Thomson

That was pretty cool. It’s funny because we’d worked together on this but when he was on The Masked Singer, I couldn’t believe I didn’t guess it was him. When they unmasked him, my dad said: 'Oh well done, Sharon, you kept a good poker face.' I was like: 'I had no idea! He didn’t tell his own daughters, why would he tell me?'" 

Sharon Rooney on the perfect girls’ weekend

"There is one place me and my best friends go and we love it. There is a private hot tub, so we all sit in there during the day and then, at night, it’s face masks, pyjamas, snacks, films and chatting rubbish until four in the morning. I am a bit like Doreen, I organise it all and I’m like: 'Here is where we are going, here is your itinerary, here’s our budget.' I’ll get us all matching outfits, matching towels, the whole hog. When I’m busy with work, I don’t get to see my friends a lot, so when we get time for a girls’ weekend, I like to go ALL out."

McDonald and Dodds Episode 2 cast

Just like Doreen and her pals, Sharon LOVES a girls' night out! (Image credit: ITV)

Sharon Rooney on being recognised

"My Mad Fat Diary is probably the most common one, although, when I’m in Scotland it’s always Two Doors Down. I have been recognised for Dumbo a couple of times by little kids. I was at an event and this little girl kept lifting my dress up. Her dad said: 'I think she is looking for your tail.' I was like: ‘That is so cute — but this dress is quite short!'"

McDonald & Dodds continues on Sunday March 7 at 8pm on ITV.