Line Of Duty star Alastair Natkiel ‘disappointed’ major scene was left out of BBC show

Line of Duty: Nigel Boyle teases ‘talks’ about new series

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Alastair Natkiel has said he felt “disappointed” after a scene featuring his character Lee Banks opposite Adrian Dunbar’s Ted Hastings was not written into the BBC series’ script. The actor exclusively told Express.co.uk how he would have “loved” to perform the much talked about prison visit, which is referred to throughout series 6 but is never shown to audiences.

I prefer darker edge roles

Alastair Natkiel

Speaking on how he found playing ruthless criminal Lee, who is related to organised crime mastermind Karl Banks, Alastair said: “I love playing villains, they sit quite comfortably with me. 

“I prefer darker edge roles, so yeah it was great, I’m drawn to the characters. He [Lee] doesn’t say a huge amount, but I felt from reading the script that he’s got a bit of a presence.”

However, his one regret was that a poignant scene that is mentioned on a number of occasions, was not played out in the crime show.

He continued: “When Hastings came to visit me and we didn’t see the scene, I was a bit disappointed, really, to be honest, from an actors point of view. 

“I would have loved to have done that scene with Adrian Dunbar… 

“The relevance of that scene within the series became so important and raised the importance of Lee Banks within the series.”

Audiences were left intrigued over what may have gone on when Hastings’ visit to Banks emerged in episode 4 of season 6.

The detective inspector saw him shortly before undercover police officer John Corbett (played by Stephen Graham), who had infiltrated Banks’ Organised Crime Group, was murdered.

There was much speculation during series 6 over what Banks may have told Hastings and how it could have contributed to Corbett’s death.

Alastair added: “I think it was a really clever bit of writing from Jed Mercurio that obviously went over my head when I was reading it. 

“Yeah, I was always thought he would be an interesting character to play, and I was just thrilled to do so. “

Alastair discovered the identity of the character “H”, also known as “The Fourth Man”, and managed to keep his identity secret until it was aired during season 6’s finale episode.

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The star explained how he was initially left baffled when his co-star and friend Nigel Boyle, who plays Detective Ian Buckells, had continued to urge him to read the ending of the series on multiple occasions.

When he eventually got around to learning how the season was going to end, Alastair was left completely stunned.

Opening up on his reaction to Detective Buckells being unveiled as the mystery leader of the OCG (Organised Crime Group), Alastair said: “I was like bl**dy hell, Nige. As soon as I read it I messaged him like, ‘Oh my god mate’.”

“He was like, ‘I know, this is bonkers’.

“So we had a big old chat about it, because obviously there was only a small handful of people that he could talk to about it. “

Nigel had only revealed his character’s true identity to a very small circle of people to ensure there would be no leaks ahead of the series’ dramatic ending.

Alastair continued: “I think he told his wife, and other than that I don’t think he told any other friends.

“So obviously with me being a friend of his in the cast, it was good for him to chat through stuff and talk through ideas and everything he needed to do to work on to put it together for himself as an actor.”

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