Season six of Line of Duty introduced us to DS Chris Lomax, played by Perry Fitzpatrick – who also happens to be real-life friends with show lead Vicky McClure (DI Kate Fleming).


Lomax worked with Kelly Macdonald's DCI Jo Davidson on Operation Lighthouse and for a while we wondered whether he might be another bent copper, or even whether he was related to the late DI Dot Cottan (Craig Parkinson) given their resemblance. But in the end Lomax turned out to be a dedicated detective and all-round good egg.

So is that the last we've seen of Lomax? Perhaps not.

Asked whether he'd be keen to return for another season, the actor tells, "Oh, definitely. I mean if there is one – we've had no news so far. But yeah, for sure. I had a lot of fun on that show, so yes, I would definitely do that again."

But alas, there's no confirmation of further episodes from Jed Mercurio just yet: "He keeps things very close to his chest. I've had no news, he's not giving me any nod," says Fitzpatrick. "To be honest, I just feel so lucky and privileged to have been a part of season six really, so if that's it, that's fine. But I'm very happy to go back if he wants me."

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Line of Duty S6

Fitzpatrick has known Vicky McClure since they both joined The Television Workshop in Nottingham aged 11, and they've previously co-starred in This Is England, and the one-off drama I Am Nicola. But that didn't mean he was a shoo-in for Line of Duty.

"We did a show on Channel 4 called I Am Nicola, which was a two-hander improvised drama about coercive control," Fitzpatrick explains. "That kind of got the attention of Jed. And that got me the the audition. But no, Vicky didn't actually pull any strings, unfortunately. I had to audition for the role like everyone else!"

Fitzpatrick played some nice scenes with McClure, with both DS Lomax and DI Fleming working out of Hillside Lane on the Gail Vella case. At times, Lomax was suspicious of Fleming for her work with AC-12 – but he also respected her detective skills. And the actor also has the greatest of respect for McClure herself.

"She's genuinely one of my closest friends in real life," Fitzpatrick says. "So to be on set with her every day was great, and especially during something so crazy like the pandemic, it felt really nice to have a friend there. She's great, we bounce off each other and we've worked together since we were 11, so we have a lot of fun on camera... we know each other very well, so we know our acting styles and just having that comfort there, that we both trust each other completely."

When he first auditioned, Fitzpatrick "knew very, very little" about Lomax - other than that he was a detective on the team at the centre of season six's storyline. And then, throughout the shoot, he was "drip-fed the scripts" so he never knew whether Lomax would turn out to be bent or not.

"I think if you know in the back of your head that you're a bad guy, or the person you're doing the scene with is a baddie, then you might play that scene slightly differently," he explains. "So they try to keep it completely natural and keep us in the dark."

Perry Fitzpatrick plays DS Chris Lomax in Line of Duty

Of course, fans had their own theories as the season unfolded. "It was very strange actually. I've never been a part of anything that's had such a dedicated fan base and got so much attention," Fitzpatrick says. "So yeah, each week we were seeing the fan reactions and their fan theories. Some of them were amazing. We were all texting each other in between each episode, being like: 'Have you read this? Have you seen this?' It was quite amazing."

One fan theory in particular surprised and bemused him: the idea that DS Lomax was secretly related to DI Matthew "Dot" Cottan (Craig Parkinson), the deceased bent cop also known as "the Caddy".

"That was a good one," he says. "And Craig and I are actually friends, so we were talking throughout that, and it was quite funny that people thought we were brothers, that we sounded the same, that we looked the same. It was fun... It hadn't come up [before] – that was new to us. It was funny reading it online, like 'Oh my God, right okay!'"

The box set collection, Line of Duty: Complete Series 1 – 6 is available on on DVD now, and arrives on Blu-ray on 12th July.


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