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'I thought DS Arnott was dead!' says Line of Duty star Martin Compston

Line of Duty
(Image credit: BBC/World Productions)

Star thought he'd been written out of the hit show when his character fell from three storeys...

Line of Duty returns to BBC1 soon for a highly-anticipated fifth series, as AC-12 resume their mission to unmask a group of corrupt police officers, lead by the mysterious "H".

DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), DS Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) believe their best lead is the notorious "balaclava man", yet confronting the masked villain will bring back painful memories.

One of the most spectacular moments of the last series came at the end of the third episode, when balaclava man struck DS Arnott with a baseball bat, causing him to fall three floors down a stairwell.

Somehow the AC-12 officer survived, but when one of his co-stars broke the news to him before filming had even started, Martin Compston was terrified that his character had been killed off!

"I don't like reading scripts while I'm working on something else," said Martin following a media screening of series five, earlier this week.

"So Vicky McClure read it before me and text me to ask if I'd seen what happened at the end of the third episode. When I said I hadn't, she said: 'Oooooh'. I started to really panic and texted Jed Mercurio (the show's writer) and he said; 'Don't panic, it'll be alright.' Which almost made it worse!"

DS Arnott is still carrying the scars of his terrifying fall in the upcoming series, yet there's even more punishment in store for the officer...

"He's been through it over the years," explains Martin. "I had my fingers coming off in a vice during the first series, then I was framed for murder and then the stairs. There have been a few and there are a few more coming! I think Jed enjoys torturing me."

New guest stars Stephan Graham (This Is England) and Rochenda Sandall (Broken) who play criminals John Corbett and Lisa MacQueen, will also join the cast for the upcoming series.

"It was a dream come true to get the part," says Rochenda. "I couldn't believe it when I even got an audition for the show let alone get the actual job. I was on the way to Ikea to buy some wardrobes when I got the call and so I went for more expensive wardrobes. I totally lost it in the car and whizzed round Ikea and bought loads of unnecessary candles and batteries and I bought a stuffed elephant for my nephew and then I went and had some Swedish meatballs! It was fantastic!"

Line of Duty series five begins on Sunday 31st March on BBC1 at 9pm.

Sean Marland
Sean Marland

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.