McDonald & Dodds welcome more guest stars
Sunday: McDonald & Dodds; (ITV, 8pm)
You can usually tell the strength of a TV drama series by the calibre of its guest stars.
During the first run of McDonald & Dodds, Robert Lindsay, Hugh Dennis, Freddie Fox and Joanna Scanlan all appeared alongside Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins, and this second run has seen even more big names joining the lead duo.
In last week’s opener, Rob Brydon, Rupert Graves, Martin Kemp, Patsy Kensit and Cathy Tyson co-starred in a tale about a hot-air balloon trip gone wrong, and in tonight’s second episode Gouveia and Watkins are joined by one of the biggest young acting talents around at the moment.
Sharon Rooney, known for her roles as Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary, Sophie in Two Doors Down, Dawn in Brief Encounters, and who was more recently seen in Finding Joy, plays Doreen, a woman who has organised a weekend away for her best friend’s birthday – and ends up taking an unusual interest in Dodds.
Angela (Joy McAvoy) and four of her friends travel down from Glasgow to celebrate in Bath.
She is delighted to have a weekend away from her husband and small child, and can’t wait to party with her best friend Doreen, her sister-in-law Melissa, sister Cath and new stepmum Hilary.
On their first night in town, the ladies meet a group of young rugby players and when the nightclubs close, everyone ends up at a house party at an upscale mansion near Brunel’s famous Box Hill Tunnel.
The next morning they wake to hangovers from hell, and when one of the rugby players is found dead on the railway lines near the house, all the party-goers become suspects.
The victim, Dominique Aubert (Tomos Gwynfryn) – a promising young rugby player – died after drinking a lethal cocktail of what appears to be a date rape drug, making McDonald and Dodds unsure as to whether he was even the intended victim.
Although Rooney is obviously offered parts in many different TV projects these days, she couldn’t wait to get involved with McDonald & Dodds.
“I read the script, fell in love and really hoped I would get the part,” she says. “I really enjoyed the first series. I just loved it because the relationship between the two main characters is so great, so I was excited to work with Jason and Tala. Also, it is very aesthetically pleasing. The city [Bath] looks great, all the colours are gorgeous and it is perfect for a Sunday night watching on the sofa under a blanket. It is nice to be a part of something like that.”
And Rooney also says she found it easy playing the part of Doreen as she can see a lot of herself in the character.
She says: “I am a bit like Doreen, I organise it all and I’m like, ‘Here is where we are going, here is your itinerary, here’s our budget.’ I’ll get us all matching outfits, matching towels, the whole hog.
“When I’m busy with work, I don’t get to see my friends a lot, so when we get time for a girls’ weekend, I like to go all out.”
Another of those guest-starring tonight is John Thompson, the Cold Feet and Fast Show actor who recently took part in the second season of The Masked Singer.
“I play Jimmy, who is the chairman of Bath Eagles rugby club,” he explains.
“He is throwing a party at his house for some of the rugby players.
“The boys go out for drinks before the party and they meet some young girls who are on a hen night.
“They invite the girls to the party, but unfortunately one of the players dies and he is found dead near the railway tunnel.
“That is when things start to get interesting…”
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