Jerome Flynn has confessed it was an 'actor's dream' to play a hardman cop who lets his fists do the talking in new BBC1 crime show Ripper Street. Set in Victorian London in the wake of Jack The Ripper's final crime, the series follows a trio of crime fighters, played by Matthew Macfadyen, Adam Rothenberg and Jerome as bruiser Bennett Drake. Jerome said: "It was fun to be Raging Bull for a day even if I say so myself. But no, I'm not comparing myself to Jake LaMotta, but it was just great. I guess it's probably a bit of a fantasy for a few actors." The 49-year-old star of Game Of Thrones and Soldier, Soldier revealed he had to bulk up specially for the role, and then ended up getting injured on set. He said: "I'd been on an intense fasting retreat and was probably the scrawniest I've been since I was 14. When they gave me the part they said, 'Please get bigger!' "Early on I got my head stuck under a very heavy stuntman, and cricked my neck which made it difficult. But I battled through so the boxing was fun." Ripper Street starts on Sunday, December 30 on BBC One.
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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.