“I’m massively fond of Freddie Lyon. He’s definitely not part of the Establishment. He’s on the outside of things and that’s where the hunger in him comes from. I find him a very inspiring character, even when he’s getting up people’s noses because I think there’s always something appealing about people who aren’t afraid to speak frankly and who are prepared to suffer the consequences.
I also love his relationship with Bel, because you don’t often see relationships like that in stories – relationships between men and women where there’s very strong friendship and intellectual affinity, as well as the other, more obvious attraction.
As with the first series, this series feels very pertinent to our own era. There’s a race issue brewing – the series takes you up almost to the Notting Hill race riots in 1958 and just as we were filming the Stephen Lawrence story was in the headlines. It’s also very much about the ethics of news – what’s private and what’s public and what is or isn’t the public’s business – which, in the light of the phone-hacking scandals couldn’t be more topical.”
The Hour returns tonight at 9:00pm on BBC2.