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5 minutes with Vicky McClure: 'We don't take no bullshit in Nottingham'

The Line of Duty actress talks about winning her BAFTA, This is England and why her hometown is full of strong women

Vicky McClure
© Robert Day

This is England has been the reason I've managed to obtain a career. ​The film was fantastic and obviously did extremely well, but it didn't drive me into anything major.​ It did lead to This Is England '86 and it was from then that everything changed. ​Getting a BAFTA is a funny thing because you expect you're going to be handed all the best jobs on a plate so you'll never have to audition again. It's just not like that. Sometimes you're just not right for the job. I'm hugely proud of it, but it's not like it's the golden key.

Isobel Gilbert and Vicky McClure in Touched
© Robert Day

​We don't take no bullshit in Nottingham. ​You find that around a lot of working class towns and northern areas. ​I've got people around me who are very grounded - I don't get fed bullshit. The people in this industry can be brutally honest, and I prefer that. ​I've made close friends in the industry, and I know that the advice I'm getting is the right advice.

It's quite surreal being seeing posters of me on buses and trams around my hometown. ​There's pressure because doing my city proud means a lot to me. ​Because of how supportive Nottingham people are to me, I want to do them proud.

Touched is ​set in wartime Nottingham, and centres on a family - Sandra [McClure's character], her two sisters and mum. It's a very tight ​community and it's ​that time when all the men are away at war and the women are left to get on with it. There's a moment when we discover that Sandra's had a tragedy and she's lost her little boy in the blackout. She's not well, but back then it was difficult to understand mental health.

​I've always thought of Nottingham as a city of strong women. When the men went away to war, the women were left to do a lot of the work in the lace industry. That was predominantly ran by women. That's where that 'five women to every man' phrase comes from. A lot of stag dos come thinking that's actually the case.

If I could play one more role for the rest of my life, it would be Lol [McClure's character in This is England].​ There's nothing like knowing a character as I know her.​ It's not on the cards, but even if I was using a zimmer frame, I'd do it. Never say never.

Click here to read our review of Touched

Touched runs at Nottingham Playhouse until 4 March

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