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Tom Brittney: 'In 'Grantchester' there's always darkness underneath'

Robson Green and Tom Brittney Grantchester
Tom Brittney with Robson Green. (Image credit: ITV)

There’s no doubt Will Davenport (played by Tom Brittney) is devoted to serving his parish - but even a crime-fighting clergyman needs a holiday. 

So, as ITV’s popular period drama Grantcheter returns for a sixth outing on Friday September 3, the motorcycle-riding reverend, also with pals DI Geordie (Robson Green) and Cathy Keating (Kacey Ainsworth), curate Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) and housekeeper Mrs Chapman (Tessa Peake-Jones), is checking in to a resort for some R&R. However trouble is not far behind them.

Here, leading man Tom, 30, tells us more...

What can you tell us about how this series opens?

"It’s 1958 and everything, as usual, seems OK in Grantchester village but Will is overworking himself. Although he’s a bit more liberated, he still has his angst, and he’s putting all of it into his work - to the point where everyone agrees he needs a holiday. So they all gladly go along to a Grantchester version of a Butlin’s holiday camp, Merries. Of course, being Grantchester, there’s always a darkness underneath and, there’s not only a murder, but one of the characters then gets involved in a scandal. This runs through the whole series and makes Will and Geordie question the establishments they uphold."

Geordie and Will in Grantchester

Happy holidays: Will everyone have a merry old time at Merries Holiday Park? (Image credit: ITV)

Should we expect a clash between them?

"Well, they don’t clash with each other as such over the main ‘incident’; it’s more that Will clashes with the church over their view on it, while Geordie clashes with the law. So it explores morality versus legality, and the men almost bond over the way they view the situation. There is, however, something that pulls them apart later in the series, when Geordie finds out something that Will has kept secret from him. This really threatens to damage their friendship for ever."

Do you and Robson share any traits with your characters?

"I wouldn't admit I'm as stubborn as Will, but we have similar views. I think the writers have seen that and developed him more around my own sort of angst and frustration! I don't know if I’d be able to put up with Geordie quite as much as Will. I’d say me and Robson are quite similar to our characters sometimes. Will and Geordie’s butting of heads and our banter with each other is becoming more like us in real life."

Robson Green Tom Brittney Grantchester

Firm friends: Like Geordie and Will, Robson and Tom get on like a house on fire! (Image credit: ITV)

Do you remember visiting any holiday parks like Merries when you were younger?

"I did have a bad holiday at one once. We left early because my dad and I almost got into a punch-up with someone who tried to steal our bikes. So it’s put me off them for life!"

Is there any romance on the horizon for Will?

"Yes, there is! There’s someone who works at the holiday camp and, after a bit of persuasion from Geordie and the gang, Will eventually warms to her. But it’s Grantchester, so the relationship doesn’t go smoothly. It definitely has a nice outcome… but there’s a big hiccup along the way!"

Will finds love in Grantchester

Holiday romance: Will is bowled over by Sunny (Jordan Alexandra) - but is she hiding something? (Image credit: ITV)

What have you most enjoyed about filming this series of Grantchester?

"Filming this sixth series has been like doing Grantchester but in a twilight zone with all the COVID restrictions that were in place. My favourite scenes to film were all the Merries ones, because it was a time that we all got to be together as a cast, sit around and pretend the world was normal for a bit."

Grantchester Tessa Peake Jones Kacey Ainsworth

Family fun: Tom enjoyed filming the scenes at Merries Holiday Park. (Image credit: ITV)

"For that little moment, it was just heaven. But I am so thrilled that we managed to film in a pandemic. I cannot be more thankful that, in whatever world it is, however weird it is, we got to carry on making this show for people."

Grantchester starts on Friday September 3 at 9pm on ITV.