Brit TV Exclusive: An Interview with Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby the Stars of BBC One’s Inspector George Gently

George Gently Series 4_Lee Ingleby_Martin Shaw_Credit Acorn Media


It’s been over a year, but the highly praised fan favorite BBC One drama Inspector George Gently is finally returning after a dramatic cliffhanger that left the fates of Gently and Detective Sergeant John Bacchus unknown! Kicking off with Gently Between the Lines the 1960s cop drama continues with four new episodes which are also available to US fans through Acorn TV!

Anglotopia recently interviewed the two stars Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby as well as discussing the new series we also talked about where to visit in England and what it would take to get the two actors over to the US (they are keen!).

Heather: Hello from America!   

Lee: Hello Heather!

Martin: Hello Heather!

Heather: It’s wonderful that George Gently is returning after that dramatic cliffhanger in the cathedral. What can we look forward to in the new series?

Lee: I think you’ll enjoy it… I hope you enjoy it (laughter).

Martin: After that dramatic conclusion everybody was asking us what comes next? Did they survive? We couldn’t answer until the network decided to re-commission, which fortunately they did!  The first episode is very much about the rehabilitation after the shooting.

Heather: Wonderful! I hear that Pixie Lott (British pop star and actress) is going to be in an episode?

Martin: Yeah, Pixie is in the second episode. Sadly we only got to work with her after she was dead.

Lee: Not in real life! (laughter)

Martin: All of her role was in flashback so we only met her when she was lying on the beach being dead.

Heather: How long does it take you to film one episode?

Martin: I think we get 19 days is it?

Lee: Yeah just under a month really. They are an hour and a half and [the shoot] never seems long enough.

Martin: It’s not long enough! It’s very cramped. We get 19 days to make a 1 ½ hour movie. Very, very tough.

Heather: Are you filming in England now? Or are you still in Ireland?

Martin: We’ve been in England for the last three or four years.

Lee: We are filming pretty much where it is set in Durham.

Heather: And is Durham a place you would recommend for a visit?

Martin: Very much so! It’s a very English town. It’s very beautiful. It’s a famous university town, 900 year old cathedral and castle.

Lee: It’s in the final episode of Gently in the Cathedral – that’s Durham Cathedral.

Heather: Yes! And Kevin Whatley (Inspector Lewis) was in that episode – what was it like to work with him?

Martin: Oh, very nice – a couple old pros together him and me.

Martin: Durham Cathedral is famous for having two saints. Bede is buried at one end and St Cuthbert has a shrine at the other end, a very famous cathedral.

Lee: I quite like to go up in the evening and just hang with them and chat with them. (laughter)

Martin: Mark out my own burial spot!

Heather: I’m sure they’ll let you after filming there, right?

Martin: Well they do love us, you know they say we’ve done quite a lot for the city and the city’s done a fair bit for us to.

Heather: Anglotopia readers recently listed George Gently as one of the shows they like to watch over and over. Why do you think the show appeals to Americans?

Both: I don’t know! (laughter)

Martin: Maybe because everybody likes nostalgia, and because it is set in England 40 years ago and has an element of the good old days. I think maybe because we are using a very particular English accent, which I’m told Americans find fascinating, if not impenetrable. Maybe it’s that I don’t really know if I knew maybe I’d be more popular in America than I am!

Heather: Is there anything you like to tell your American fans?

Martin: Thank you for watching and please pay for us to come over!

Lee: We would love to visit!!! By the way Heather where are you calling from?

Heather: Atlanta, Georgia

Lee: Yeah we’ll come! Yeah, why not? (laughter)

Martin: Oh yeah we will come to Georgia!

Heather: Absolutely, come on over I have a spare bedroom!

Lee: What for both of us? (extreme disappointment)

Heather: Absolutely. You both have great chemistry. You can share! (laughter)

Lee: Maybe in the 60s!

Martin: We were thinking more along the lines of the Four Seasons Heather! (laughter)

Time for one last question.

Heather: I’ll be visiting London, Oxford, and the Cotswolds soon. Any recommendations?

Lee: You can’t go wrong with any of those places really they’re all different and beautiful. Walk off the beaten track . That’s what I would say. Don’t go for the obvious tourist attractions.

Martin: See a show for sure. Go to the West End!

Heather: Thanks very much!

Martin: Thanks Heather! Bye Heather!

Lee: Bye!!

Gently Between the Lines premieres February 6th on BBC One. 

Acorn TV

US fans can watch George Gently exclusively on Acorn TV starting February 3rd and a new episode will debut every Monday through February 24th! Acorn TV is the first British TV focused streaming service in North America. Available via the Roku streaming player, computers, iPhones and iPads Acorn TV offers a free 30 day trial and a subscription is $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year. Subscribers also receive free shipping on all orders from Acorn’s catalog and website.

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  1. avatarDiane Clement says

    Just watched the first episode of season six and it definitely lives up to the excellent quality of the whole series. As with so many British series, the acting is first class, the stories are very interesting and the scenery is beautiful. I like this series because it is somewhat gentle and realistic and, while murders, etc., happen, I do not have to look at ridiculously graphic images of hideous wounds; instead, I get to follow an interesting investigation that seeks to ferret out the reasons for the crime, all set in a place and time. The relationship between Shaw’s and Ingleby’s characters is fascinating to follow and both characters seem very real, each with his flaws. These actors can come visit me on the Central Coast of California any time. Mr. Shaw could rent an airplane at the San Luis Obispo airport and we could fly along the coast and spot grey, humpback and blue whales. Oh, yeah!!! I really liked Mr. Shaw’s Judge Deed series, and miscellaneous other British flicks in which he did, as always, a stellar job of acting. Thank you, Mr. Shaw!!

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