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29 October 2014
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Life on Mars
Dean Andrews is DS Ray Carling

Life on Mars


Dean Andrews plays DS Ray Carling


"You and me, Bare-knuckles. I'd have you."


What is Ray like?


"Ray is an old style copper, works on instinct; works on knowing the ins and outs of the city he's working in and the people that are in it. He doesn't always look at the evidence in front of him; he just goes with his gut instinct.


"That's the way that he has been brought through the ranks and he's been channelled in to that way of thinking. Basically, Ray is a bull in a china shop. He wades in before thinking.


"He is a man of his time and is the most un-pc PC. If he was married, his wife would be doing all of the house work whilst he went to the pub with the lads!"


Did you base him on anyone you know?


"Yes me! Not really. I was brought up in that era, in public houses all of my life, so we had lots of characters that came in the pub like that.


"They would come in the tap room and play darts, dominoes and crib and just think 'our lass is at home making Sunday dinner while I'm sat here enjoying myself' but think nothing further of it.


"They were very narrow-minded, so I suppose I picked little nuggets up from lots of different people rather than one specific person."


What are your memories of the Seventies?


"The Seventies were both my teenage years and earlier years, we were just getting interested in girls and I suppose those kind of memories stay with you for quite a long time.


"I wore all of the clothes, lots of brown, and the music of that era was very influential in my life."


How did you find ‘going back to the Seventies'?


"It was fantastic because it really pricked my memory. I can relate the music to certain memories and the clothes; flares, open neck shirts and medallions are all vivid memories for me."


Ray and Sam have a very strained relationship because Ray was the golden boy until Sam came along. Is that where the rivalry comes from?


"Yes. In Ray's eyes, Sam is just some little s**t from Hyde who has been transferred to their department and stars to change everything.


"I believe that Ray and Gene are very similar characters and Ray looks up to Gene and follows his lead.


"The natural progression for Ray is to become DI and that was the next step for him until Sam arrived. Sam walks straight into the job with all these new ideas and has taken Gene away from Ray.


"Ray feels mortified that he's lost his mate and thinking partner. Whenever new ideas come up they are all pretty resistant to it. They all pooh-pooh any new ideas straight away saying, 'no we've done it this way for years' so Ray thinks that anything Sam comes up with is a bag of s**t.


"He won't have anything to do with these ideas, even though Gene agrees to some, because he doesn't think it's right.


"Gene and Ray are men's men but Ray thinks that Sam is some namby pamby weakling. They don't do emotion like Sam, it's all fists and alcohol."


Did you have any funny moments whilst filming?


"One abiding memory is when John had a long technical speech that was really difficult. It was a long, tough speech and Marshall (Lancaster) made a bet with John that he wouldn't be able to manage to get the whole speech done in one take.


"John went in a corner and really concentrated, we had a couple of rehearsals where he stumbled over a few words so Marshall was rubbing his hands thinking he'd won the bet.


"But when it came to the take, John nailed it first time so that was it! Marshall had to drop his trousers and walk the full length of the CID corridor bare arsed!"


You started as a singer, why did you get in to acting?


"I was really lucky. I'd been a singer for 20 years, and Ken Loach came to do a film, The Navigators, in Sheffield. To put some authenticity in to his work he wanted to find local people in the area to be in the film.


"We had been part of the mining era when all the coal mines and steels works were in business round here, like my father was, and my grandfather.


"So, even though I had never acted before, I ended up with one of the five lead roles. It was purely out of the blue, I was asked if I would go along to an audition and meet Ken Loach, I didn't know who Ken Loach was!"


You worked with Jane McDonald at one point...


"We worked together on regular occasions. We were on the same circuit; we did the same holiday camps, social clubs and cabaret venues.


"There's a lot of talent working in the social clubs but it's very rare you come across somebody that's as talented as that. It's great that she's made it from the same roots as me because it gives everybody a bit of hope."


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