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BROOKIE COP Irish star Amy de Bhrún reveals how watching Brookside as a kid helped nail her Scouse accent in Line of Duty

The Dublin actress, who plays Steph in the smash-hit BBC cop show, reveals how even real-life Merseysider Stephen Graham, who plays on-screen husband, undercover cop John Corbett, was fooled by her twang

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Line of Duty is currently the biggest show on TV, with its gripping storylines of cop corruption intertwined with organised crime attracting close to 10 million viewers on Sunday nights in Ireland and the UK.

Fermanagh actor Adrian Dunbar lights up the screen from the onset with the tense tune music and his northern lilt - his character Ted Hastings gives a distinctive Irish flavour to the series set in an English city.

But while the show is actually filmed in Belfast and its environs, there's another major Irish connection in the form of Steph Corbett.

With her Scouse accent it would appear that the glamorous blonde is a Liverpudlian through and through - but that's not the case.

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TV HIT: Amy in Line of Duty

TV HIT: Amy in Line of Duty

TV HIT: Amy in Line of Duty

In fact, Steph is played by Dubliner Amy De Bhrún, who grew up in Rathfarnham and now lives in Castleknock.

The talented actress could easily fool you with her flawless performance but she is in fact Irish and lives with her director and illustrator husband Seán Branigan, their beautiful 21-month-old daughter Billie, and their rescue dog Buddy.

Amy left Ireland at the age of 19 to go to drama school in London and spent several years there doing plays and one-woman shows before returning to these shores in 2013 to star in a two-part video for Kodaline's All I Want, in which she plays a stunning office worker who is the victim of an obsession by a deformed co-worker.

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CO-STARS: Amy worked alongside Martin Compston and Stephen Graham in Line of Duty

CO-STARS: Amy worked alongside Martin Compston and Stephen Graham in Line of Duty

CO-STARS: Amy worked alongside Martin Compston and Stephen Graham in Line of Duty

The first video has amassed a massive 154 million views on YouTube and got her major attention.

"I remember Fearne Cotton tweeted about it when she was on BBC radio," she recalls. "It was a great little marker for me over here. So they were going, 'Oh you're the one who's in the Kodaline video', that was my first introduction here sort of."

She won a role as a CIA operative in Jason Bourne, which she filmed in Warner Brothers studios in London with its superstar Matt Damon.

"He was very friendly," she reveals. "Like everybody else would be at work, talking about kids, wife, family life and things like that. It's lovely when someone is that successful and they can still maintain a completely normal life, which I suppose is the goal - to be able to do both well."

Amy also got to tread the cobbles of Weatherfield when she played an Irish model agent in Coronation Street.

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"I remember the day I filmed, the woman who played Audrey [Sue Nicholls] was finishing her day of work," she recollects. "She was saying to us, 'Good luck, everybody'. She was genuinely caring.

"I went over and I was ready to do a Manchester or London accent, but they said, 'Let's hear your own' - and they let me do an Irish one."

She admits she was only vaguely familiar with Line of Duty when she went for a role in the show.

She had to don a Liverpool accent for the role of Steph and found her "misspent youth" watching Brookside came in handy for playing the wife of undercover police officer John Corbett, played by real-life Merseysider Stephen Graham.

"With the read-through I was going to him, 'Is that OK with the accent?', because you don't want to offend somebody who is actually from there," she smiles. "And he was going, 'I didn't know you weren't Scouse', and I was like, 'Well, that's good enough for me!'"

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MUSIC: Amy starred in the Kodaline video for All I Want

MUSIC: Amy starred in the Kodaline video for All I Want

MUSIC: Amy starred in the Kodaline video for All I Want

The current series has seen Steph not only become friendly with Steve Arnott, but also end up in bed with the AC-12 officer.

"It all happened very quickly in that one episode. A lot happened and they are two people who are quite lonely and they are troubled, as you see in the episodes leading up until that and it seems like they found a bit of comfort there," she points out.

Fans were left on the edge of their seats when Steve scoured through her attic and found a stash of notes in a brown envelope hidden away.

"That links back to the last series, where we saw at the very end where Ted gives her a brown envelope so I think people put two and two together," she says. "Now Steve is in a very difficult position because I guess he has built a bond with Steph, but he also has his suspicions about where this money has come from, so it will be interesting to see where it goes - but I'm not allowed to say!"

So is Ted the mysterious 'H'?

"I think that's the beauty of the show," she teases "It's anyone's guess. It's the eternal search for who is H.

"At one point, it has been in the papers, and online people are going, 'Her kitchen tiles say H' - it's mind-blowing. I think probably such a selling point for the show is that people are dying to figure it out themselves. They don't want to be told who H is, they almost want to find out themselves, 'It was that person all along'."

She loved filming in Belfast, which she describes as "absolutely gorgeous", while Adrian is "really lovely".

Amy has the luxury of being anonymous mostly, so posing for selfies has never been an issue.

She laughs: "I usually get, 'Where do I know you from?' 'I know you from somewhere?' or 'Have we met before?'

"And it's funny, I think the accent really throws people off but people are really finding out now that I'm Irish. But I think I look so different in every role that I do. Also the face-masks at the moment help."

Warm and funny in person, Amy adores fashion and Sienna Miller and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are her style heroes.

"I quite like suits and heels, nothing very formal or girly. I like dresses - but something fun and with an edge.

"I love good tailoring and I love finding something that is vintage or second-hand that is completely unique. In general it really depends on my mood with clothes. One day I could be wearing a dress, the next day I could be wearing leather trousers and blazer. I kind of like to express myself through my clothes for sure, definitely."

Slim and tall, the Rathfarnham native does yoga to keep fit and clearly misses the social life we are all dreaming about.

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LOVED UP: Amy with her husband Seán Branigan

LOVED UP: Amy with her husband Seán Branigan

LOVED UP: Amy with her husband Seán Branigan

"I really genuinely love yoga," she continues. "It's something that has not only kept me sane through lockdown, but it has kept me sane through my career, it keeps me kind of nice and grounded.

"I love going for meals, meeting people, going to parks and socialising, the simple things. I love travelling and seeing new places, and bringing Billie as an added bonus. I got to bring her to Belfast for Line of Duty and she loved it. She's two in July.

"It was weird because when we went into lockdown, she was about seven or maybe eight months, so it's been kind of like her whole life, but we have a rescue dog, Buddy - he's good company.

"They are like a little pair of pals. I can't believe how good Buddy is. He has the patience of a saint. He never snaps, he never goes near her and he is a collie. There's a lot of collie in him so if she cries he goes into her room and lies down beside her, which is very sweet."

It's more than likely that Twitter will go crazy on Sunday night as the penultimate installment of the sixth series is screened - with streaming making live TV, which we all watch together, almost a distant memory.

"My sister was a huge fan of Line of Duty before I ever was and she was texting me to recommend it and it was on the list of things I needed to watch.

"Then I got the audition for it. Just to kind of prepare myself, because it wasn't on the iPlayer and I don't think it was on Netflix, I just watched a few clips to just get the tone of the show. I felt, 'OK, I got that'.

"As soon as I found out I had the part and we went and we did the read-through in series five, I was like 'these scripts are amazing.'"

Line of Duty continues on BBC One this Sunday at 9pm

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