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Intruder Corrie actress tells of 'weird' experience of filming in Dublin during lockdown for new TV series

Corrie actress Sally Lindsay stars in new TV thriller Intruder, which was filmed here in Ireland

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FOR the first time in her career, Sally Lindsay is playing a police officer.

And it is a role the former Coronation Street star (47) has absolutely relished.

Intruder is her second collaboration with director/writer Gareth Tunley - they also worked together on Cold Call, Channel 5's first original drama.

The new series, a gripping, thriller about cover-ups, corruption and murder, follows affluent, high-flying married couple Rebecca (Elaine Cassidy) and Sam (Tom Meeten) whose lives are shattered after a break-in by two local teenagers at their luxurious house.

Family Liaison Officer Bailey becomes embroiled in the investigation, as it transpires there is more going on than meets the eye and she has a fascinating character progression over the four episodes.

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Sally in Intruder

Sally in Intruder

Sally in Intruder

"She's a character that I based on my mum," says Lindsay, who spent five years on the Weatherfield cobbles as barmaid Shelley Unwin.

"Bailey is an FSO, which is a very underrated cog in the police machine, in the fact that they are the only people that have contact with the families and they know exactly the relationships and inter-relationships within the family, and my mum is a social worker, and my stepdad is.

"And she used to say, when she walked in a room, after five minutes, she knew what was going on in that family, and they just had to sort of protect either the children or whatever was going on.

"It's this sort of sixth sense that these amazing people have."

At first, Bailey is quite a low-key character, but as the drama continues, we see her honing her skills as a police officer and detective, and Lindsay thought it was "just fantastic that she just really got stronger and stronger and stronger in her own abilities".

The mum-of-two, who is also known for Sky comedy Mount Pleasant, may not have portrayed a copper before, but she has created a police drama.

She and her former Corrie co-star, Suranne Jones, created ITV hit Scott & Bailey, which ran from 2011 to 2016, together.

The friends dreamt up the idea of a show about a female detective duo on a night out, because they felt there needed to be more TV roles detailing the lives of professional women in high-powered jobs.

"I've always been obsessed with police drama, whether it's Midsomer Murders, any high end sort of police drama - I love them all," Lindsay says before revealing she and Gareth have talked about "maybe taking Bailey's journey on, but I don't know whether that's going to happen".

"I loved playing a copper because I loved just how clever she was, but how understated she was.

"And I think for a female copper, that's perfect, in a way, that she empowers itself during the eps and realises actually, 'I've got this. I'm better than all you lot', even though at the start she doesn't think that at all."

Intruder was filmed here in Ireland. And one of the stand-out elements of the series is the setting.

Rebecca and Sam's house is known as "the toaster house" by locals in real-life, because of its unique shape.

The bespoke self-build is such an interesting space to see on screen, with its incredibly high ceiling and the beach-views.

And thanks to lots of very wide shots used in the series, you feel, as a viewer, like you are being really immersed in the drama .

When this is put to Lindsay, she notes how when bringing a show to life, "Gareth likes the house to be a character as well".

"It was a sign of Rebecca and Sam's wealth; it was a sign of their achievement. It was different, it was supposed to be kooky - they were the only people that could have this because they'd made it in life.

"And then this horrific thing happens, which makes them prisoner.

"I think it's really important to Gareth to get that house right to start with.

"What happens in that house, it's very sort of prison-like and closeting and this huge space is like a trap."

Shooting took place last autumn and there were strict Covid-19 guidelines in place for the cast and crew.

"I think we were the only production in Ireland at that time that didn't stand down," Lindsay says.

"I was staying in this flat in Dublin, which was lovely, but it was near St Stephen's place and usually, that's where it's all happening and it was just so weird because it was dead.

"But the amazing thing was it was the USA election, so Trump and his shenanigans, that was my entertainment.

"So that literally kept me sane, because we were so isolated; we couldn't see each other, we couldn't talk about the day in the bar afterwards."

On the topic of lockdown, has she picked up any new hobbies during this past year, while we've all been at home?

The actress is married to drummer Steve White, and they have twin boys, Louie and Victor.

"We're genius in finding programmes you can watch with 10-year-olds that don't bore you senseless," she says.

"So, therefore, we've gone through Cobra Kai. It's basically like watching The Karate Kid again every night."

Intruder starts on Channel 5 on Monday April 5


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