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24 September 2014
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Ashes To Ashes 
Ashes To Ashes: DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster)

Ashes To Ashes

Marshall Lancaster plays DC Chris Skelton aka "The Cautious One"

Background: Manchester CID


How does Chris fit into the CID team?


Chris is a natural dogsbody, eager to please and loyal to Gene Hunt. It is only the arrival of DI Drake that upsets the "normal" running of CID. Chris is eager to learn but avoids work when possible. He enjoys practical jokes and is easily led.


What's his relationship with Shaz like?


I think Chris has an interesting relationship with Shaz as I think she genuinely loves Chris – he becomes her hero after rescuing her in episode one. Shaz is a "modern" Eighties woman, however, and won't stand for any sexism or homophobic comments, and she makes Chris suffer accordingly.


When Shaz takes him out clubbing, viewers see a more "daring" side to his fashion sense. Does he do this just to impress her, or has there always been a more adventurous side to him?


I think Chris does anything to please Shaz, and is prepared to take risks for her. She brings the daring side out in him. I think he is also desperate to bed her!


How does Chris deal with life in the Met and working for a female DI?


Chris adapted to working in London very well. Wherever Gene goes Chris follows, and London and the Met are no exception. I think Chris accepts Drake as his superior very well – and who wouldn't?


Did you enjoy filming the action scenes on the River Thames?


We could not wipe the smiles off our faces filming that scene. I could not actually believe that I would have a moment like that in my acting career. I was wearing shades whilst carrying a gun! The strange thing is nobody batted an eyelid when they saw us – which was worrying!


What were your favourite scenes to film?


In one scene, there is an Eightiess "A Team" shootout with bullets flying everywhere, but no one ever gets hurt! I love filming the scenes in the Audi, and the first time we arrive in episode one in that car is magic.


Have there been any funny stories on set?


In one scene later on in the series, my character, Chris, has to search down the toilet bowl in a Portaloo for a hidden gun. Jonny Campbell, the director, and I came up with a plan where I pulled a Mars bar out instead – much to the surprise of the gang!


What memories do you have of the Eighties?


I remember TV programmes like The Muppets, The A Team and The Fall Guy. The Rubik's Cube drove me mad, though. Oh, and I remember Pacers, those green and white sweets. They were nice!



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