Suranne Jones is about to take one final turn as DC Rachel Bailey in ITV’s biggest crime drama – but don’t expect the same old story from Scott & Bailey’s last hurrah…
The former Corrie star, who recently wowed us all with her fierce performance in Doctor Foster, tells Essentials magazine in our exclusive interview, ‘We’re trying to come up with some new ideas together as this is the last series.’
‘Sally [Lindsay, Suranne’s friend and fellow actress with whom she conceived the idea for the show] and I came up with the characters of Janet Scott and Rachel Bailey because we wanted to see interesting, flawed women on screen. We wanted to show how things had developed or not developed for women working in a man’s world in the noughties.
‘And also how these women juggled relationships and children and marriages and all that – sadly they haven’t done so well with the marriage part! But that’s often the case with a job that requires you to be on 24/7. There are divorces because you really can’t juggle as much as you think you can.’
Suranne, who welcomed her first child, a son with husband Laurence Akers, in January, added that although the format of the series is obviously well loved, she was keen for fans to see something fresh for the final outing.
‘When they asked me to return for a fifth series of Scott & Bailey, the first thing I asked was “What’s exciting about this series?” You want it to be good for the audience who have stuck with it for so long.’
Suranne with co-star Lesley Sharp
‘The show has always been focused on the lives of the two women rather than the crime itself but with the new series, we spend three episodes on the same case so while the women are still the focus, the crime kind of fits in with the women’s relationships and what they’re going through.’
‘At the beginning, they haven’t seen each other for a year – Rachel’s been in London working on Vice and Janet’s been in Manchester holding the fort since Gill retired. We wanted to explore what happens to two women in that situation, as it’s difficult when you’re living such separate lives then you’re thrown back together.’
And that’s not the only new adventure in store for the actress, as she’s taking the on the role of producer too.
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‘I’ve always been very involved with each series, but it was great that they offered me an official role in production this time. I was quite hands on: getting up at 6am to look at my emails and respond to them then filming all day and, after getting home at half 7 and quickly eating something, watching the rushes and joining in the email conversation about the work we’d done that day. It was full on but do-able. I’m going to be Associate Producer on the next series of Doctor Foster too so I’m looking forward to starting that in September.’
Read Suranne’s full interview in the latest issue of Essentials magazine, on sale now. The new series of Scott & Bailey begins on Wednesday 13th April, ITV, 9pm