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Line of Duty fans think they've identified a key corrupt character on the Gail Vella audio recording

Could Patrick Baladi's character be in line for a return?

Andi Osho plays Gail Vella in Line of Duty (BBC)
Published: Monday, 29th March 2021 at 4:20 pm

When it comes to Line of Duty, you can always rely on the show's hardcore fans to crack a few clues – and so far this series has been no different.


The second episode of series six, which aired on BBC One last night (Sunday 28th March), included a key scene that saw Steve Arnott reviewing an audio file which had been recovered from the laptop of murdered journalist Gail Vella (whose narrative was based on a true story).

And some viewers reckon they've spotted something in the recording that could prove to be of key significance to solving the case, suggesting the unnamed man being interviewed in the clip could, in fact, be a familiar face from a previous series: Jimmy Lakewell.

Lakewell, played by The Office star Patrick Baladi, was a corrupt lawyer who was a key character in the fourth series of the show, with links to DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton).

It came to light that he had played a major role in helping to cover up Operation Trapdoor, while in a crucial scene he also tipped off one of the balaclava men as to Arnott's whereabouts, which led to Steve being seriously injured after he was chucked down the stairs at Lakwell's offices (injuries he's still feeling the effects of now).

The last we saw of him, Lakewell had been sent to prison having turned down the offer of joining witness protection and also refusing to testify, but it looks like we could see more of him before too long.

Scores of fans made the connection to Lakewell as soon as they heard the voice in the audio, with one fan tweeting, "I know Neil from The Office's voice when I hear it!!"

Another viewer wrote, "Jimmy Lakewell was *for sure* the voice on that recording."


And the theory is given extra weight when we consider that Lakewell's photo had previously been spotted on a suspect wall in the trailer for this series – suggesting he's all but certain to play a role before the series is out.

Line of Duty continues on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. If you are enjoying the new series, you can read our Line of Duty episode 2 recap here. Also take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out what else is on with our TV Guide.

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