Neil Stuke on Silk series 3: “It’s going to be a bit like Breaking Bad”

The actor is hoping they’ll find a miracle cure for Senior Clerk Billy in the BBC courtroom drama

Spoilers follow


Actor Neil Stuke is hoping for a “miracle cure” for his character Billy Lamb in BBC’s courtroom drama Silk.

The end of series two left viewers with the dramatic news that Shoe Lane’s Senior Clerk had prostate cancer. From the get go, series three sees Billy undergoing treatment.

“He’s not very well, definitely,” Stuke tells “The operation is basically modern day castration. The treatment, with the drugs, they put hormones in you that turn you more and more feminine.

“I think [writer] Peter [Moffat] liked the idea of Billy having his manliness taken away from him,” says Stuke, adding, “Obviously I can’t be anything but very manly… [but] he gets a little bit weepy. He’s found his emotional side definitely and he’s opened up a bit.”

Stuke’s character has so far kept the bad news from his top lawyers, Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) and Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) but this is set to change.

“He opens up to Martha, but quite late on in the series, really. Not to Clive. He finds out at the end,” Stuke reveals.

Penry-Jones admits the cast themselves aren’t sure if there’s going to be a fourth series of the show. “[Moffat’s] kind of written himself into a place, I don’t know what he’s going to do next,” he explains. But Stuke jokes: “When I read I got incurable cancer, that was a bit… I finally get a juicy character after years of not getting one – brilliant.

“We’re hoping there’s going to be a miracle cure by series four. There’s some very, very advanced drugs. It’s going to be a bit like Breaking Bad I think.”

Silk returns to BBC1 later this month