Ahead of the debut of A Spy Among Friends on ITVX, Kim Philby star Guy Pearce has spoken about what it was like working so closely with co-star Damian Lewis - and how a connection with Lewis' late wife Helen McCrory had bonded them.

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In the series, Pearce's Philby and Lewis' Nicholas Elliott are both British spies and lifelong friends, but Philby is also secretly a double agent, working for the Soviet Union. RadioTimes.com spoke exclusively with Pearce about how the two actors crafted this dynamic, and how he found working with Lewis.

Pearce said: "Damian was just wonderful to be around, he is a really genuine guy. He had a lot to say about the show we were making obviously, he was a producer on it too. But he was just really warm and open. It was a really easy process with him, it was really easy for us to feel like we'd known each other for a long time."

Pearce then noted that he had known Lewis' wife Helen McCrory, the Peaky Blinders star who passed away in April 2021, after they worked together on 2002 film The Count of Monte Cristo.

Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in A Spy Among Friends.
Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in A Spy Among Friends ITVX

He explained: "I worked with Helen on Count of Monte Cristo 20 odd years ago, but I didn't know Damian and in fact I don’t even think they were together. And so she was a bit of a connector between me and Damian in a sort of slightly surreal way.

"She knew that he was perhaps going to do this show. She had said to him, 'Oh I know Guy, I worked with Guy years ago'. And then sadly Helen, as we know, passed away before we started the show. I was really surprised Damian was going to continue on and do it, but he did. And he said to me, 'Well, no, Helen said to me 'you better f***ing do the show''.

"So there was something in a way, I think – he may not agree with this at all, but from my point of view – I felt like I was bonded with him a little bit because of having worked with Helen all those years ago. And I loved her, I thought she was wonderful, and a great actress, and she was a great spirit to be around. So it was easy for us to kind of feel like we were old mates."

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A Spy Among Friends is set to be one of the first exclusive series to stream on ITV's new streaming service ITVX, which also has dramas including Litvinenko and The Confessions of Frannie Langton lined up over the next few weeks.

Earlier this November ITV launched new logos and updated idents for its various channels, to coincide with platform's launch at the start of December.

All six episodes of A Spy Among Friends will be streaming on ITVX from 8th December 2022. Check out more of our Drama coverage or find out what's on with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.

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