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24 September 2014
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Ashes To Ashes 
Ashes To Ashes: WPC Shaz Granger (Montserrat Lombard)

Ashes To Ashes

Montserrat Lombard plays WPC Shaz Granger aka "The Newcomer"

Background: WPC, new member of CID


How would you describe Shaz?


Shaz is a very sweet, passionate girl. She has a heart of gold and really cares about the people on her team. She feels a little frustrated at times being stuck in the office, whilst the boys go out with Alex to get stuck into the action, and feels like she could do more given the chance.


Shaz is a bit of a dark horse and, throughout the series, often surprises those around her. She is a good Catholic girl, but her wild side comes out when she goes to the Blitz Club – she is a true early New Romantic and loves to experiment with clothes and make up whenever she can. Viewers will see that she is in her police uniform only when absolutely necessary!


How does Shaz fit into the team?


Shaz is a WPC, so she tends to do the clerical work in the office. She is also very much one of the boys and mucks in when she can, and definitely keeps up with their drinking, too! She is the youngest on the team but she is quietly very intelligent and shines when given the chance.


Do Alex and Shaz bond as two women in a predominately male world?


Shaz is slightly suspicious of Alex at the beginning because she can see that her introduction has put the boys' backs up and, as Shaz is fiercely protective of her team, she is cautious. Shaz has never seen a woman behave in this way in the work place, or with men, and as she starts to warm to her realises there is potential for her to be promoted to a similar position in the future.


It takes a little while for the two to bond as sometimes Shaz gets herself into sticky situations and then feels silly when bailed out by Alex, but I think secretly she is very much in awe of her and is keen to hear her opinion on different things.


How would you describe Chris and Shaz's relationship?


It is very up and down! Shaz really adores his sweet, sensitive side, but gets frustrated when he hides it at work and acts all macho and sexist. They are very good friends, and I think that is the loveliest thing about their relationship – Shaz can tease him and get away with it and with a little patience she thinks she might just make him a little more daring!


Did you enjoy filming at The Blitz Club?


Filming the Blitz Club scenes was unbelievable! I hardly recognised myself or Marshall! It was such an exciting time in the early Eighties with fab music and really great experimental homemade outfits.


Meeting Steve Strange, too, was so surreal! I had such a great time that day – posing, dancing and trying to keep my hair standing on end. It took ages to wash all the products out – I'm surprised anyone ever washed their hair!


Have you enjoyed being able to go back in time and try out the clothes, hair and make-up?


Definitely! I can't quite believe how massive everything was! I was nearly knocked out the other day by one of Gene Hunt's shoulder pads! Everyone made such an effort then and it really was all about glamour, bright colours and being bold. What's so scary is that we have all got so used to it now. I really have to stop myself from letting it seep too much into my everyday look!


Did you do any research for the role?


I spoke to a few ladies who were in the force at the time and got lots of incredible stories from them. I can't believe just how much they had to put up with – including the male police officers in their team purposely sending them to bogus raids that didn't exist, whilst they were all at the real ones.


I also saw an amazing documentary on the Blitz and read as much as I could on it and the people that went there. I listened to as much early Eighties music as possible and, after a while, I really got into it. It is now regularly being played on my iPod!


I think I never really realised how difficult and dark the Eighties were and how much the UK changed in that time – it was an extraordinary decade.



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