Lee Ingleby on his sex scene with Lesley Sharp, meeting Rolf Harris and acting opposite Martin Shaw

"The weirdest thing was doing the post-sync dialogue: redoing all the kissing noises in a studio, with four blokes behind me. I would rather have done the real thing over and over"

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What makes you angry?

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Somebody spelling “you’re” wrong in a text or tweet. I’m a stickler for correct spelling and punctuation and I hate text speak. It’s lazy.

Which TV show has recently brought a tear to your eye?

Deadliest Catch on Discovery. I was really hung over in a hotel and it was the only thing on that was English-speaking. I must have watched eight hours of it back to back. By the end I was in tears, because a guy died.

What makes you blush?

Doing a sex scene with Lesley Sharp [in the 2000 BBC drama Nature Boy] having only met her that morning. Luckily, I was playing a character who was very nervous. The weirdest thing was doing the post-sync dialogue: redoing all the kissing noises in a studio, with four blokes behind me. I would rather have done the real thing over and over.

What would tempt you to work across the pond?

I’d love to have done something like Lost. I think that would have been a real hoot. People thought it was weird, but I thought that was its beauty – the fact that it didn’t seem to have any rules. I was one of the few that followed it to the end. I cried then. I was in bits.

Who was your first crush?

Kylie, in her pure days. I used to have a scrapbook and I wrote to Jim’ll Fix It asking to meet her. I also wrote to him asking to meet Morph and to go on the Krypton Factor assault course. Jim never wrote back.

Who would be your ideal dinner companion?

Rolf Harris. I really don’t get starstruck at all, but I think I would with him because I idolised him as a kid. I used to want to be an artist.

What’s it like acting opposite Martin Shaw in Inspector George Gently?

A giggle. When I got the part, I think my mum was more excited than I was. Of course, I knew who he was and I was nervous in those first scenes, but more because of the accent. We filmed the first two series in Dublin and I was struggling to get a handle on the accent while filming with an Irish crew and a Welsh director.

In the new series what’s in store for your character, Gently’s mouthy sidekick, Detective Sergeant John Bacchus?

It’s 1968 now and Bacchus has grown up a little. We see more of his private life, of his relationship with his daughter and his dad. He’s a bit more human, I think – still angry, but more settled.

Is it true you’ve “accidentally” taken some of Bacchus’s clothes home?

Not by accident. I’ve said, “Can I have this?” and the costume department are like [bemused voice], “Yeah, if you really want it…” So I’ve got a Harrington jacket and a suit that I love. I was born in the wrong era; I should have been a child of the 60s or 70s, not the 80s.

So what would you bring back from the days of your youth?

The Adventure Game. It was a bit like The Crystal Maze, but set in space. And Pacers, the sweets – they were well good.

QUICKFIRE Q&A

1. EastEnders or Corrie?
Neither.

2. Strictly or The X Factor?
The X Factor.

3. Downton Abbey or Homeland?
Homeland.

4. Celebrity MasterChef or The Great British Bake Off?
Celebrity MasterChef. I’m a very keen cook; I’m not very good, but I’m keen!

5. News at 10 or Have I Got News For You?
HIGNFY.


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Inspector George Gently is on Sundays at 8:30pm on BBC1