Blue Lights: Interview with Hannah McLean who plays Jen Robinson

Who is Jen Robinson and how does she fit into the story?

Jen is a police constable who has gone through her probationary period and is about two years into the job. She likes to lord that over the recruits to show she is a bit more established than they. She is from a police family – her mother is Chief Superintendent – and she fell into the job getting on the fast track programme. We discover that she is actually quite work-shy and doesn’t like going on patrol. She would much rather sit at her desk and do paperwork but it appears that is all a front and she’s actually terrified. Her first two years on the job were too much for her to handle and as a result, she’s made some bad decisions in an attempt to make her life easier but she ends up making it worse.

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Did you have weapons training?

During the prep period we had someone come in to show us how to use the firearms. We didn’t have to know how to use them exactly but it was essential to know how to hold them, and look like we knew how to use them and that included using handguns and semiautomatic rifles. It felt so odd to hold a gun. I’ve lived in England for ten years now and patrol police over here don’t carry guns so it is odd to go home and see police carrying firearms

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Why do you think it’s the right time to tell a story about policing in Northern Ireland?

I don’t think we’ve ever had a television drama that is a true reflection of modern-day policing in Belfast. You get a feel of what it’s like to be from Belfast. It’s not about the Troubles but of course there’s an element of history that cannot be rubbed out of our DNA. Anywhere with a history of conflict is going to have that but it adds to the uniqueness of the drama.


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.