Former Heartbeat star Jason Durr talks to TV Times magazine about swapping the Yorkshire moors for Oxford’s Lewis... Can you tell us about your character, Alan? “He’s a maverick, Bruce Willis type of guy who keeps coming in with his gun and taking over the big cases. He’s dynamic – he wants to get out there and police the mean streets of Oxford!” What do Lewis and Hathaway make of him? “He annoys them because his way of policing is very different so he’s a nice foil to what they do, plus there’s a possible romance with Hobson, which Lewis doesn’t like...” We also remember that you starred in an episode of the show’s predecessor, Inspector Morse... “I was playing a baddy – one of those characters who had the face of an angel and couldn’t do any wrong, but was the killer! I’ve always loved Lewis and I thought it would be fantastic to work with Kevin again, he’s a lovely guy.” Although you only appear in two episodes of this series, is there the potential for you to become a more regular cast member? “There’s definitely room for me to come back, which is exciting. Lewis is incredibly successful, but when something’s been running a long time it’s just always nice to introduce fresh blood and new ideas.” We would say you’re still probably best known for the six years you spent in Heartbeat as Mike... “It feels like it was a lifetime ago – next year will be a decade since I left, but I really enjoyed it. Mike was a great part to play and in those days we were getting 18 million viewers a week, people absolutely loved it.”
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.