Vicky McClure is one of our greatest young stars

The Bafta-winning actresses is back in Shane Meadows's This Is England '90 - and will soon be a household name, predicts Mark Jefferies

She is hardly an unknown actress, but it is over four years since Vicky McClure won a Bafta for This Is England ’86.


Now when the media talk of the talent amongst females on TV, the same names come up and rightly so with Sheridan Smith, Sarah Lancashire and Olivia Colman getting acclaim they deserve. But I have a feeling the end of 2015 will see Vicky’s name back alongside these other stars.

She has just finished filming a third series of Line Of Duty where she plays Detective Constable Kate Fleming, and the makers certainly hope it will be screened sometime towards the end of the year. This is a role that requires her to be cunning and uncaring towards some of her colleagues in her pursuit of success. Indeed even her biog on the BBC website describes her “unmoved by emotional considerations”.

By contrast in This Is England ’90 she is back as Lol Jenkins (as seen above, now a bleach blonde), a character she is has now played for 15 years, and which some people may have forgotten won her a Bafta in 2011 as she filmed brutal scenes including attempted rape and murder.

Understandably such incidents left Lol damaged but in an interview at the weekend Vicky suggested she has moved on slightly from them. She told Stella magazine: “She’s managed to put everything behind her, or at least bury some stuff.”

The result is her and boyfriend Woody seeming, at least on the face of it, a very happy family with a baby in tow. But as always with drama written by Shane Meadows, trouble is just around the corner.

The two characters of Lol and DC Fleming show the versatility of Vicky and why I think she is a star of the small screen who will rise this year and become even more in demand, especially as This Is England will not return for another series for the foreseeable future.

Having met her briefly at the Edinburgh TV festival, I am delighted to say Vicky is as down-to-earth as Lol. She will just need to find some nicer clothes than that character, as Bafta and other TV awards are likely and no one has ever accepted one yet in a Fred Perry polo shirt.

Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor at the Daily Mirror 

Watch the This Is England ’90 trailer:


This Is England returns to Channel 4 at 9pm on September 13th