Jason Watkins has explained how his own experiences allowed him to fully understand his character's mindset in the new Channel 5 drama The Catch.

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The series is based on a best-selling novel of the same name by TM Logan and sees the McDonald & Dodds star play lead character Ed, a fisherman and former naval officer who lost his son a number of years ago.

In 2011, Watkins's two-year-old daughter Maude tragically died of sepsis, and the actor has since helped campaign for greater awareness of the condition and become a patron of Child Bereavement UK.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, the actor revealed he was drawn to the role of Ed because he felt the intelligent way in which the script approached the issue might help audience members better understand the pain bereaved parents go through.

"I have lost a child so I understand very much Ed’s feelings," he said. "And one of the reasons I wanted to take it on is because I thought it was so well mapped out in the piece and it was something that could connect with the audience and help them understand perhaps a little bit about bereaved parents and what they go through.

"What one does in one’s work is to try and help families reconcile what has happened and carry it with them and not bury it. I do a lot of that, of talking to fathers about not burying what has happened, being able to talk about it."

Watkins continued that the role was not a "cathartic" experience for him and admitted that some aspects of the series "were obviously very difficult".

But he continued: "You did feel you're part of something that would help other people understand.‌ People do need to talk about it, however difficult and painful it is… because keeping it bottled up inside… it will destroy you."

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Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

You can buy a copy of TM Logan's book at Waterstones, Amazon and Bookshop.org.

The Catch premieres on Channel 5 at 9pm on Wednesday 25th January. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide or visit our Drama hub for more news and features.

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