Blue Murder has, without too much fanfare or brouhaha, become one of the most popular detective shows on the box, thanks in no small part to the wonderful Caroline Quentin who plays DCI Lewis in the series. The series returns to ITV1 on 3 December and we caught up with Caroline recently to talk about it.
You play DCI Janine Lewis. Please tell us about the character?
Janine is a Detective Chief Inspector with the Greater Manchester Police. She has worked her way through the ranks and hasn’t been fast tracked through the police force. Janine leads a team of local coppers and together they investigate murders. Outside work she has four children whose ages range from 2 to 18 years old, two boys and two girls.
Have Janine’s priorities changed as the show has developed?
When Blue Murder began, Janine was pregnant with her fourth child. Her husband Pete had just left her and she was trying to deal with balancing her home and her work life. It’s now been a couple of years since her husband left, so domestically things are more settled.
Do you think being a Mum affects the way Janine does her job?
I think she has a better insight into the issues affecting young people and that comes across in some of the episodes. Janine’s also good at dealing with younger members of her team, because they’re closer to the age of her children.
Janine meets a new love interest. What will this mean considering her relationship with Richard?
She meets a new man, Tim, with whom she has a very close, brief relationship. Richard is concerned her work will suffer because the guy is involved with a case that they’re dealing with at the time. Richard suspects she’s not keeping a clear perspective on the case because of her involvement with him.
Tell us about Janine’s relationship with Richard?
They’re very good colleagues and they really respect each other. I doubt there is any possibility of them ending up together as a couple, although there are times when they get jealous of each other. I think in all honesty their relationship has gone beyond that and is much more adult now.
Tell us about Janine’s relationship with her family and ex-husband Pete?
Janine still sees a lot of Pete because he’s the father of her children, and they get on absolutely fine. Pete has a new baby in this series and is having some problems at home.
This series of Blue Murder has seen a range of guest stars, in addition to the returning cast. Did you enjoy working with them?
Everyone has been fantastic to work with and we’ve had great fun. It was Kate Ford’s first role since leaving Coronation Street, I think she really enjoyed herself. I only did one scene with Kate but she was completely charming. Jill Halfpenny is a wonderful actress and I was delighted to work with her.
Do you still continue to research the role through your contacts in the police?
Yes, if it’s required. If something comes up that we don’t understand or haven’t dealt with before and we need guidance, we’ve got a very good contact with the Greater Manchester Police. We’re really lucky because if we need help they’re there for us. They also come down to the set to say hello.
Is there anything different about the new series of Blue Murder?
We’ve new writers who have created some fantastic stories this series. Some of the situations the team are faced with are quite far removed from their normal lives. It’s always nice to see the characters exploring different worlds.
Blue Murder. ITV1 / 3rd December