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London Kills star Hugo Speer: ‘Nothing stinks like a bent copper!’

Hugo with Bailey in front of London backdrop
Inside man. Rob knows Hugo is lying about his whereabouts on the night his wife disappeared... (Image credit: BBC/PGM TV London Kills/Gideon Marshall)

Hugo Speer gives us an insider guide to the thrilling new series of BBC1’s stylish daytime drama, London Kills…

London Kills, which returns for a second series on BBC1 next week, is following in the footsteps of other great daytime dramas like Shakespeare & Hathaway.

Stylish and gritty, it's back on Monday with five new cases for the elite London murder investigation squad. The first series has just been repeated and is available on iPlayer if you missed it.

When we left the team at the end of the first series, DI David Bradford was dramatically looking over a balcony at the body of serial killer Amber Saunders. David (Hugo Speer) said she jumped, but only hours before Amber was connected to his wife Sarah’s mysterious disappearance and had stabbed trainee constable Billie Fitzgerald (Unforgotten’s Tori Allen-Martin).

Together again. Rob, Viv, David and Billie are back on the beat

Together again. Rob, Viv, David and Billie are back on the beat (Image credit: BBC/PGM TV London Kills/Gideon Marshall)

When the crime drama returns on Monday, Billie has made a good recovery but David has questions to answer. Step-daughter Carly (Adrianna Bertola) is convinced he’s to blame for her mum vanishing, while DS Vivienne Cole (Mistresses star Sharon Small) and DC Rob Brady (The Nest’s Bailey Patrick) can no longer deny their own suspicions.

Meanwhile, there are a series of grisly murders to solve involving a delightful array of recognisable guest stars!

We hauled London Kills very cheery and charming star, Hugo Speer, 51, in for questioning to learn more…

You have the right to remain silent, but it won’t make for a good interview! Is the finger of suspicion firmly pointed at David in series two of London Kills?

Hugo Speer: "David’s close partners Vivienne and Rob are certainly suspicious because of the nature of Amber’s crimes, her death, and the fact she befriended David’s daughter Carly, who is his biggest critic. From the start Viv is vociferous about Sarah’s disappearance and quite happy to say what she thinks, which causes tension between them…"

Are there big surprises in store?

HS: "The atmosphere is tense! Effectively David is supposed to be our protagonist, but this air of suspicion makes you wonder – is he too good to be true? Could he be pretty dodgy; a proper, proper bent copper? As we know nothing stinks like a bent copper!"

Smooth criminal! Steve John Shepherd as menacing casino owner Adrian Cook

Smooth criminal! Steve John Shepherd as menacing casino owner Adrian Cook (Image credit: BBC/PGM TV London Kills/Gideon Marshall)

We hear there are some amazing guest stars, tell us more!

HS: "The quality of the guest actors is amazing. We’ve been very lucky to have Sophie McShera [Downton Abbey], Nicola Stapleton, Lorna Fitzgerald [both EastEnders], Kelly Adams [Hustle], Marc Baylis [Coronation Street] and Claire Cooper [Hollyoaks], Laura Aikman [Waterloo Road], young Tommy Finnegan who stars in Netflix’s After Life, and Steve John Shepherd [EastEnders] as a very menacing character…"

Have you any secrets from filming to confess?

HS: "Loads! It’s an incredible show, and the quickest thing I’ve ever filmed. We shoot one episode a week! Before London Kills, Sharon, Bailey, Tori and I didn’t know each other but we gelled right from the start and now keep in touch and met up socially. When filming in London a lot of the public just carry on as normal, so real London life adds a lot of depth to the show. And finally… I do a lot of running after robbers but because we filmed during the ludicrously hot summer, our fantastic costume department were busy alternating a series of shirts for me and had to dry them with hairdryers!"

Why do you think daytime crime drama is on a roll right now?

HS: "The feedback on London Kills has been really positive, that it’s high quality, and having quite a hard-hitting drama is unexpected for the timeslot. I think viewers have found it refreshing and satisfying. There’s massive competition for the primetime evening slots, so maybe daytime dramas stand out where they are, which I’m really happy about! It’s a lovely show to work on and I love crime drama. Although it can be tricky to watch because I’ve two small children and all I ever seem to watch is Paw Patrol and Hey Duggee!"

One more thing… What’s next for you?

HS: "I’ve just started series three of Britannia (Hugo plays cruel commander Lucius in the hit Sky Atlantic drama) and they’ve factored in some time for me to do another show that might be greenlit, but I can’t tell you what! I’ve also filmed the third series of ITV’s Marcella with Anna Friel. I’m happily busy!"

Thanks Hugo. You are now free to go (for now!)...

When is London Kills series 2 on BBC1?

Series 2 starts on Monday 30th March at 2.15 pm on BBC1.