BBC One's Line of Duty simply wouldn't be the same without its AC-12 trio, played by Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston – however, it turns out that the latter almost turned down an audition for the now iconic role of Steve Arnott.


Line of Duty star Craig Parkinson has revealed in an Instagram post that Compston "needed a nudge" to go up for the part after the Scottish actor was asked to audition.

Marking the show's 10th anniversary, Parkinson said that he was also asked to audition for the role of Steve and called Compston to tell him to audition as well.

"For a man of great taste, he needed a nudge. I told him he had to meet on this as I'd just read the greatest first two episodes of a new series I had ever read," Parkinson wrote.

Craig Parkinson stars in Line of Duty on BBC One
Craig Parkinson as Matthew 'Dot' Cottan in Line of Duty. BBC

"Myself and Martin had our auditions within minutes of each other and met prior to run our lines with each other," he added. "It was the very next day I received a call saying that the role of Steve was being offered to another actor. I asked who it was. They told me, 'Martin Compston'.

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"I was in the bath at the time, I remember that. I also remember that I was genuinely made up for my mate. They then asked how I felt about playing a role called Matthew 'Dot' Cottan. Little did I know."

Parkinson went on to say that Line of Duty changed the lives of the whole cast before thanking everyone who watched the show. "At the start we were a word of mouth hit. After that? Well..." he added.

Line of Duty first aired on BBC Two back in 2012, following Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Compston) as he's transferred to the Anti-Corruption Unit and partnered with Detective Constable Kate Fleming (McClure) to work under Superintendent Ted Hastings (Dunbar).

The show soon moved to BBC One and while there has been no word yet of whether it will return for another series, Dunbar recently told Radio Times magazine that he's "hoping something might happen next year" with the crime drama.

Line of Duty is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide. Visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.


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