In Spotlight: Vicky McClure’s best TV roles – from This Is England to Line of Duty

She certainly knows how to pick her roles – we take a look at some of Vicky McClure’s biggest moments on screen to date.

By Katie Archer Published: 26 April 2021 - 2.22pm
BBC Line of Duty Vicky McClure

Vicky McClure is currently drawing in huge audiences every Sunday night as one of the stars of BBC’s hit police drama Line of Duty.

But it isn’t the only time she’s fronted a ratings triumph, as the Nottingham-born actress has some very impressive titles on her CV.

Whether she’s playing a detective or a member of a skinhead gang, McClure makes unmissable TV - here’s our pick of her best roles so far.

This Is England

Although we now know her best as detective Kate Fleming, there was a time not so long ago when we thought nothing would ever make Vicky McClure more famous than This Is England.

She starred as Lol in the 2006 Shane Meadows film, as well as the ’86, ’88 and ’90 spin-off TV series about the skinhead gang on a Midlands council estate.

McClure was noted for her performance as single mum Lol who suffered post traumatic stress disorder from her troubled past with an abusive father, and was a favourite character with viewers.

Lol was a world away from Kate Fleming, but McClure fans will always associate her with her breakout role.

This Is England box set is available to watch on All 4.

Broadchurch

Broadchurch Vicky McClure ITV

Just a year after Line of Duty debuted, McClure signed up to appear in another detective drama that had the entire nation talking.

Broadchurch, which starred Olivia Colman and David Tennant as the detectives investigating a young boy’s mysterious death, was must-watch telly. Series one also featured McClure, although here she was a journalist rather than a member of the police.

Her character Karen White worked for a national newspaper but set up office in the town to report on the strange case, ruffling a few feathers as she took advantage of a local hack.

Sadly, Karen White didn't return after the first series, but it was another impeccably chosen role for McClure as her TV career took off.

Broadchurch series 1-3 is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

The Replacement

McClure was unnervingly creepy in this psychological thriller about a woman ousted from not just her job, but most aspects of her life after taking maternity leave.

She featured as Paula, the replacement of the title and a seemingly competent maternity cover for Morven Christie’s architect character Ellen. Once Paula got her feet under the desk, however, she quickly began to overstep a number of personal and professional boundaries.

As Paula’s lies began to unravel, it became clear that she was after more than just a permanent job, as her strange back story revealed her to be Ellen’s worst nightmare.

Line of Duty

DI Kate Fleming (VICKY MCCLURE), DS Chris Lomax (PERRY FITZPATRICK) Line of Duty BBC

As Kate Fleming, McClure has enjoyed one of the most exciting star roles on the police procedural.

Her detective character hasn’t just been instrumental in cracking some of AC-12’s trickiest cases – she’s also worked undercover a number of times and in series six is part of a murder investigation team, while also feeding back secret info to her old anti-corruption squad.

Fleming and Arnott’s partnership is a fan favourite on the series, with her cool-headed character acting as the perfect foil to troubled Arnott (Martin Compston).

She’s even earned the grudging respect of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who despite being miffed that Fleming abandoned his team has now accepted he can’t do without her help.

In series five of Line of Duty, McClure was also reunited with a co-star from her other most famous show – This Is England’s Stephen Graham played John Corbett, the undercover officer being investigated by AC-12.

Line of Duty is currently airing on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm. Series 1-5 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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