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Bancroft star Sarah Parish: 'Series 2 is more juicy and scary!'

Sarah Parish in Bancroft
Sarah Parish in Bancroft

Sarah Parish on reprising her role as killer cop Elizabeth Bancroft in the return of ITV’s twisty crime thriller

Murderous cop Detective Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Bancroft, played by Sarah Parish, might have met her match as ITV crime thriller Bancroft returns for a second three-part series. When her estranged son Joe (Adam Long) is implicated in a double killing, how far will she go to protect her child?

Here, Sarah Parish tells us about the return of Bancroft to ITV…

What’s in store for Bancroft?

Sarah Parish: “It’s a different journey because she finds herself in a situation where she’s not in control. Bancroft has to use all her cunning and intelligence to get what she wants. She comes up against something she finds almost as evil as her. You see her even more dangerous…”

Are there any stunts?

SP: “There’s a big fight scene. I throw some punches, I throw some chairs, I try and strangle people - all sorts! There are more stunts than in the last one and they’re way more exciting. It’s just more juicy and scary!”

Adam Long as Joe and Sarah Parish as Bancroft

Adam Long as Joe and Sarah Parish as Bancroft

Francesca Annis joins the cast as Bancroft’s mum Carol, what does she bring to the show?

SP: “It was funny because when I read the scripts I never thought of Bancroft having a mum! But Francesca’s brilliant. There’s something classy and steely about her. I worried how Bancroft would interact with a parent but she brought a lot to those scenes.”

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Do you embrace the challenge of playing Bancroft?

SP: “Yes, it’s a big leap for me but I really enjoy it. I’ve played icy people but I don’t think you’ve seen me as evil as this. She’s so complex and I’m constantly trying to make her both likeable and unlikeable. I can’t think of another character I’ve found as difficult. It takes time to lighten up after playing her!”

Bancroft airs nightly on ITV from Wednesday 1 January to Friday 3 January at 9pm

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.


Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.


Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.


In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.