Pauline Quirke: 'I'm living every actor's dream!'

Broadchurch star Pauline Quirke talks to TV Times magazine (opens in new tab) about her real-life pet pooch being her co-star and playing a very mysterious character... 

Your lovely chocolate Labrador Bailey stars alongside you in the ITV drama. How did it come about that he starred alongside your character, Susan?

"Bailey can’t do tricks or bark on command or look in a certain direction when someone says a certain line. But I said to them, if you want a dog who’s really obedient and very well behaved, then Bailey is the one."

How has it been working with your pet?

"He’s an absolute dream. Let's just hope fame doesn’t change him!"

Susan is a bit of a loner who lives in a caravan, and she is part of a small community that suddenly finds itself embroiled in police investigation and under the media spotlight…

"You tend to see Susan in the background just watching. She could just be a nosy cow or... we will find out!"

Are you enjoying the part?

"It’s a lovely role for me. It’s very dark, not quite as sinister as The Sculptress [the 1996 BBC1 adaptation of Minette Walters' crime novel for which Pauline won acclaim playing a convicted murderess] but certainly not far off. Susan has got a secret, but it appears everybody in Broadchurch has got a secret."

Can we discover any clues about what happened before the ending is revealed?

"There’s something the audience may pick up on about Susan depending on how quick they are with their eyeballs!"

You've had a very varied career…

"I had Emmerdale which was obviously lots of angst, misery and crying, then 17 weeks of laughter on the Birds of a Feather tour. Now I’m on to something like Broadchurch. It’s every actors’ dream, really!"