MISSING Line Of Duty? Fear not, because something similar is in the pipeline.
It may sound nothing like the cop show, but a large chunk of the cast in supernatural drama The Rig is lifted from the hit BBC1 series.
Set among a group of oil workers in the North Sea, the six-parter includes actress Rochenda Sandall, who played gangster Lisa McQueen, Owen Teale (villainous Chief Constable Osborne) Mark Bonnar (bent copper Det Chief Con Mike Dryden) and Richard Pepple — AKA PS Kyle Ferringham.
But the most recognisable face on the show is Martin Compston, who played AC-12’s Det Insp Steve Arnott.
He said: “It’s mad. The last series of Line Of Duty on at the same time as filming on The Rig.
“We all had such a laugh on Line Of Duty together and this is such an ensemble piece.”
Martin, 38, knew signing up for the new drama, which launches on Prime Video next month, would draw comparisons with his previous TV starring role.
The sixth season of the BBC cop drama, which also stars Adrian Dunbar and Vicky McClure, ended in May 2021 — and there are no guarantees of a return, despite many devotees being dissatisfied with the conclusion.
But Martin had a very personal reason for getting on board to play The Rig’s Fulmer, the communications officer on board the fictional Kinloch Bravo platform 150 miles off the coast of Scotland.
Martin said: “My dad worked on the rigs and a close pal still does.
“My abiding memory is hearing of him in Aberdeen all the time.
“Me, my mum and my brother would carry him off the train when he got back because they would all be drinking like fish on the way home.
“My dad was lucky to have his family life, because a lot of people just drink for two weeks, spend all their money, then go back on the rig to dry out.
“It seemed glamorous because my dad just disappeared to this place offshore. Obviously when you learn more you realise it’s anything but glamorous.
“But there is a romantic side to working in the middle of nowhere, cut off from the world. The rigs are kind of beautiful.
“Someone described them as Dracula’s cathedral in the middle of the sea. They’re incredible feats of engineering.
“But they’re tinderboxes at times, technically and emotionally. It’s a very tight place to be in if you don’t get on with somebody.”
That hothouse environment is evident in The Rig when an accident happens on board as a sinister fog creeps in.
Crew boss Magnus, played by Iain Glen, must try to hold the team together amid the growing tension and paranoia.
The show features some pretty dazzling effects as a series of explosive incidents bring devastation to Kinloch Bravo.
For one explosion, in one scene Martin went to extreme lengths which nearly cost him dear.
He said: “It involves a stunt I’ve got, which was a rough couple of days filming, but it’s gold dust for an actor. If the ignition light goes out on the flame stack, they have to light it manually with a flare.
“It was funny to see these old videos of people firing flares at this huge thing, which then explodes. I got to do that – and it was great fun.
“But getting set on fire! It was a tough couple of days, getting tied up in harnesses and firing the flare gun. Doing that five or ten times then diving through a wall – and the fire didn’t go out one time.
“It’s good fun, but hard work.”
It wasn’t all hard work and no play, because Fulmer is in a relationship with the rig’s petrochemical geologist, Rose, played by Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire.
Though that, in combination with the fact he doesn’t get his hands dirty like the rest of the workers, only dints his reputation with the crew even more.
He said: “Fulmer splits the two worlds. Day to day, he’s up in the office in the warmth, and his relationship with Rose is an open secret.
“When you’re working so close to someone where the options are quite limited in terms of who’s single and who you like, it can happen.
“Fulmer’s probably into it a bit more, and Rose is really career-driven. That scares him a bit because he feels like he’s going to be left behind, so he can be a bit nervous around her.
“If they didn’t work together, would they be together? It’s hard to say. But neither of them has time for the day-to-day politics of the rig, which is probably why they gravitate to each other.
“She’s not very well liked on the rig, but he keeps his head down and goes about his job. There’s a lot of testosterone and big egos, but he’s matured beyond that.”
As well as the character, there’s another reason why he was drawn to the new drama – it’s Scottishness.
Martin, who was born and raised in Greenock, near Glasgow, is a proud Scot who was thrilled to be the first actor to be asked to join the project, and the actor around whom the rest of the project was put together.
Other Scottish actors on the show include Mark Bonnar, Iain Glen and Emun Elliott, who are all from Edinburgh, as well as Molly Vevers, Stuart McQuarrie and newcomer Cameron Fulton.
Not only is it the first Prime Video show to be filmed entirely north of the border, it used to full effect the huge space that was the First Stage Studios in Leith, near Edinburgh.
That allowed them to build the sets, built after taking recces to Stena Spey oil rig near Orkney, and create epic scenes involving helicopter landings, explosions and violent storms.
Martin said: “I was really chuffed to be a part of it…It’s one of the most ambitious TV series to ever be filmed in Scotland.”
The Rig is on Prime Video from January 6.
Owen Teale as villainous Chief Constable Osborne[/caption]
From left: Martin Compston as DI Steve Arnott, Shalom Brune-Franklin as DC Chloe Bishop and Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings[/caption]
Gangster Lisa McQueen as played by Rochenda Sandall[/caption]
Emily Hampshire as Rose Mason and Martin Compston as Fulmer Hamilton in The Rig[/caption]
The Rig is on Prime Video from January 6[/caption]
But Prue, who is a member of the campaign group Dignity In Dying, respects the stance of her son.
Both of them will get food for thought in the US and Canada, where more than a quarter of the population now have the option of choosing a medically assisted death — and have done so since 2016.
But there are still people in both countries who strongly oppose the move and it remains a controversial topic.
The experiences of their emotional trip can be seen when the show hits our screens next year.
Romesh: I’m out of look
ROMESH Ranganathan has revealed his inner turmoil working with two of the best-looking men in sport.
The comic learned to laugh off the attention co-stars Jamie Redknapp and Freddie Flintoff got on Sky Max panel show A League of Their Own.
Romesh, Jamie and Freddi on Sky Max show A League Of Their Own[/caption]
On his new Netflix stand-up show The Cynic, Romesh recalls one occasion the lads posted a photo online after training with the marines.
He says: “I looked at the post and every comment was, ‘I’d shag Freddie’, ‘I’d shag Jamie’, ‘I’d shag both of them’, ‘I’d nibble them at the same time’, ‘They’re so hot’.
“I thought, ‘What is going on?’ I thought, ‘There must be one’, so I scrolled, scrolled and scrolled and eventually I got to a comment about me, and this is what it genuinely said, ‘Oh my gosh, I got so fizzy looking at Jamie and Freddie, I had to look at Romesh just to calm down’.”
NATALIA’S NAILED IT AS A WAG
PLAYING Rebekah Vardy proved a challenge for Natalia Tena – because of the Wag’s long nails.
She portrays the footballer’s wife in a TV version of the libel case between Rebekah and Coleen Rooney that airs later this month on Channel 4.
Natalia appears in Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama alongside Chanel Cresswell as Coleen.
On Graham Norton’s podcast, she said: “Her nails – that was one of the hardest things for me. They took three hours to put on me, and then I didn’t know how to use the toilet.
“Like, how to type? Learning how to be this whole new person . . . I had to ask Chanel. She was like, ‘Babes, use a knuckle’.”
Gemma off to the Alps
IT’S not often you catch a group of celebrities wearing such practical clothing.
But all togged up for the winter are this year’s cast of Channel 4’s The Greatest Snowman.
Gemma Collins leads the line-up for this year’s The Greatest Snowman[/caption]
The show, which challenges the stars to build an array of sculptures out of snow, is back for a second outing later this month.
I can exclusively reveal the line-up is led by reality TV queen Gemma Collins, who was clad in fuschia pink for filming in the Alps.
She’s joined by Gareth Malone, who wore a fetching mint green snowsuit and Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas.
Completing the set are DJ Melvin Odoom and Capital Xtra star Yinka Bokinni.
The Greatest Snowman returns to C4 and All 4 this Christmas, with Sue Perkins back as host.
Last year’s 90-min special averaged 1.8million viewers with stars including Johnny Vegas and Dani Dyer.
BONKING IS BACK IN BRIDGE
ONE of the toughest jobs in telly must be maintaining the bed springs in Bridgerton.
And Adjoa Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury, says those mattresses will be doing overtime in series three of the Netflix hit next year.
She told me: “More fabulous storylines, outfits, locations and more fabulous sex, of course. The people who love it will continue to love it and those who are not sure might be really intrigued. This series feels special.”
It is good news for fans who were disappointed by the lack of steamy scenes in series two.
Adjoa also said there would be “more Lady Whistledown revelations” as Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s love story is explored.
REALITY star Catherine Ommanney has hit back at critics that dubbed her a “cougar” over her fling with Prince Harry.
The mother-of-three, who appeared on Real Housewives of D.C, went on a series of dates with the young Royal despite a 13-year age gap.
Former Real Housewives DC star Catherine Ommanney hit back at critics that dubbed her a ‘cougar’ for her fling with a young Prince Harry[/caption]
Catherine Ommanney and Prince Harry went on a series of dates when the Royal was just 21[/caption]
Prince Harry, now 38, married Megan Markle in 2018[/caption]
And Catherine, now 51, faced a flurry of snarky online remarks when she broke her silence on the 2006 romance.
But in an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun, the British interior designer hit back to say she doesn’t feel any shame over their one-month fling.
She said: “I genuinely don’t care what people say about me. I’ve got haters and lovers all over the world.
“I don’t feel any shame, life is too short. Let your haters be your motivators, as they say.
“I have enough people who love me, and I consider myself very fortunate to have met Harry and have spent time with him. We didn’t do anything wrong.”
Catherine went on a series of dates with Harry when he was just 21 years old and reportedly in a long-term romance with Zimbabwe-born socialite Chelsy Davy.
The unlikely couple met in a bar in London’s fashionable Chelsea district and the prince literally swept her off her feet.
At one point – Catherine says – he lifted her into the air like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing and gave her a passionate kiss.
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The Brit, who was divorced with two daughters when she met Harry, went on to move to the States where she married White House photographer Charles Ommanney, who snapped presidents including Barack Obama.
The couple appeared in the Real Housewives of D.C together in 2010, but the marriage collapsed after two years and she returned to Europe and had a third daughter.
Catherine now lives on the Spanish island of Majorca.
She decided to open up about her time with Harry, 38, ahead of the publication of his memoir, called Spare, in January.
One UK magazine wrote about Harry’s “travails in cougartown” following the article.
Shaun Pinner was taken prisoner by the Russian army while fighting for Ukraine[/caption]
The Sun met Shaun and Larysa at a secret location we agreed not to reveal for fear Russian agents might threaten their lives[/caption]
Shaun, 49, jetted back to Ukraine less than ten weeks after being freed in a prisoners swap brokered by ex-Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich.
The dad-of-one has promised his mum Deborah, 65, and adult son not to fight on the frontline again. But he insisted on returning to the warzone — despite daily deadly missile strikes — to be with his Ukrainian aid-worker wife Larysa who is helping to save lives.
The Sun met Shaun and Larysa at a secret location we agreed not to reveal for fear Russian agents might threaten their lives.
Shaun — whose British Army days included time in Northern Ireland — joined Ukraine’s forces in 2017 and was sent to a frontline post north-east of port city Mariupol a few months before Russian despot Putin ordered his February 24 invasion.
By April his men had been forced back and were holed up around the Illich steel plant, on the northern edge of the city, with Ukraine’s 36th Marines. Hundreds more troops from the Azov battalion were trapped with their wives and kids in the sprawling Azovstal steelworks on the southern edge of the city.
They had been hammered by air, tank and artillery strikes for 47 days as Russia reduced the city to a hellscape of rubble and dead bodies.
The ex-Royal Anglian soldier has spoken for the first time about the moment he was captured by Russian forces, pictured here alongside Aiden Aslin and Sadun Brahim[/caption]
At one point the Russians attacked Shaun’s position by rolling a train carriage packed with explosives up to his bunker and, just yards away, blasting a crater 35 metres wide.
Shaun spent two days in hospital recovering from flash burns before returning to frontline duty.
He said: “It was war. It was miserable. We would get up in the morning and not know who was coming home. We lost three BTRs (armoured infantry fighting vehicles) to air strikes. We ran out of food, ammo, water.”
The city was cut off, surrounded by tens of thousands of Russians, and Ukrainian bids to break through had failed. The UN and Red Cross were trying to broker ceasefires to let women and kids escape.
Mums who made it through said sick Russians at checkpoints had strip-searched them to look for Nazi tattoos and taunted them with threats to send their husbands’ heads to them in boxes.
Order had came from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to try to get out, but Shaun said: “We were surrounded by Russian soldiers, there was no hope of a rescue breaking the siege from the other side.
“We were fighting patrols as close as 20 metres. My commander said we could either surrender or try and get out. Straight away, he said there was no way he was going to surrender. I was with him.”
A few days before they fled, Shaun had a phone call with Larysa. He said: “I thought she was going to break down. She screamed, ‘Survive!’ — then we lost contact.”
Makeshift armour was welded to lorries for the escape. Shaun said: “They looked like something out of Mad Max. Everyone was s**t scared.”
At 3am on April 13, Shaun’s convoy rolled out of a warehouse under cover of dark — but Russian drones with night-vision cameras spotted them almost instantly.
Shaun, 49, jetted back to Ukraine less than ten weeks after being freed[/caption]
The dad-of-one has promised his mum Deborah, 65, and adult son not to fight on the frontline again[/caption]
Shaun said: “They hit us with everything — air strikes, white phosphorous, mortars.” Around 100 soldiers burst out of the convoy vehicles and scrambled for cover in nearby buildings. Shaun helped a wounded officer unable to walk but in the chaos they got separated from the main group.
He said: “I carried the officer into a building and left him with a medic. We found another wounded soldier in the building, and another hobbled out of the trees. It was like zombies.” They were exhausted, cold and starving.
Shaun had eaten just two cabbage leaves in five days. He said: “I went looking for food but couldn’t find anything. We had got separated from the main body. I had lost my platoon in the darkness and I had to make a really hard decision.”
The nearest friendly positions were more than 80 miles away, to the west and north-west of the city.
Shaun said: “I had helped these guys find shelter but there was no way they would make it 80 miles. I was fit, armed and could still fight. I was exhausted but it was my duty to try and get out. I told them I was going, and I left.”
Alone, and without map or night-vision goggles, Shaun crept from building to building, moving west across the city’s outskirts in search of a highway to lead him to safety. It was a near-impossible mission. He said: “We had half the Russian army after us.
‘I had to pray I wasn’t betrayed’
“But to survive Mariupol was one miracle, so there was nothing I thought we couldn’t do.” As dawn broke, he reached a village on the city outskirts. He changed into civilian gear, stashed his fatigues and weapon and went in search of food.
He said: “I had to pray I wasn’t betrayed.” He could not find anything to eat, changed back into uniform and advanced slowly up a hill.
But he said: “As soon as my head crested the knoll they fired a warning shot. There were troops dug in and I was almost on top of them. I dropped out of sight but knew the game was up. I threw my phone into a pond and watched it disappear. Then I yelled in Russian and in English to say I was British, and hoped they would’t shoot me.”
It was roughly 9am, six hours after they launched the escape. Shaun said: “I walked up the hill with my hands up. I knew this was the most dangerous moment. You are taught that if you are going to get killed this is the time it’s most likely to happen.
They were kicking and punching me all over — in the stab wound — but not on my face and that made me think I was valuable.
“They asked me if I was on my own and I lied. I said there were others with me because I didn’t want them to think they could just shoot me and nobody know.”
“Within minutes he was frog-marched to a command post and heard officers on the radio discussing what to do with him. He said: “I was constantly listening, gathering information.
“That was what I had been trained to do. I heard someone say I was going to be moved on. That meant I was of interest. So I knew they weren’t going to kill me.
“I thought, ‘I just have to get through this’.” He clung to that thought — but then a squad of Spetsnaz special forces arrived and one of them knifed him in the thigh. He said: “This guy just walked up and stabbed me.”
His captors mockingly asked if he wanted to phone home, as troops taped electric cables to his thumbs and used a wind-up field telephone to electrocute him. He said: “It was so painful. I was strapped to a chair but somehow standing. They beat the f* out of me for about an hour and a half.
“They were kicking and punching me all over — in the stab wound — but not on my face and that made me think I was valuable. They didn’t want the beating to show.
“That helped me. I knew they were not going to kill me.”
He was moved to two more prisons, repeatedly quizzed, beaten and fed just a starvation diet of occasional bread — before a kangaroo court convicted him of terrorism and sentenced him to death, along with fellow Brit prisoner Aiden Aslin.
He lost more than three stones in captivity, and the beatings have left him with long-term damage to his back, hips and legs.
He added: “One of the lowest moments was when they took my wedding ring off me..”
Shaun’s wife Larysa had scoured the internet for signs he was alive and noticed the ring was missing when his captors released a propaganda video. She bought him a replacement and wore it round her neck until Shaun was released on September 22.
He said: “When we landed in England, Larysa was there to meet me and had the ring for me to put on. She said, ‘I saw the Russians stole it. I bought another’.”
‘I feel like the luckiest man alive. People ask if I am religious. I was for those six months in captivity. Every day.’
When he got home, his mum Deborah was furious. He said: “She was so angry. But she said, ‘I can’t kill you — everyone tells me you are a hero’.”
Reflecting on his return home, he said: “I feel like the luckiest man alive. People ask if I am religious. I was for those six months in captivity. Every day.”
Standing in his mum’s garden, he was overwhelmed with emotion. He said: “It was the first time I had felt the wind for ages and I burst into tears. I had been living in the dark, when we were first deployed outside Mariupol — we were in the trenches.
“And then we got captured. It takes a while to get used to normal life again.”
President Zelensky awarded Shaun the Order of Courage medal for “personal courage and selfless actions” last week, along with fellow ex-PoWs Aiden Aslin, Andrew Hill and John Harding.
Shaun said: “None of us went there for medals, but it means a lot to be recognised. It is really about remembering the fallen, the guys who didn’t come back. They are the real heroes.”
SHE appeared alongside singer Boy George in I’m A Celebrity and now Scarlette Douglas wants to follow in his footsteps off screen.
The property developer and telly host has revealed she has a secret talent for singing and wants to release her own music next year.
Scarlette Douglas revealed she has a secret talent for singing and wants to release her own music[/caption]
In an exclusive interview at last week’s Mobo Awards, Scarlette told how she has written her own songs for years and is the full package as an aspiring pop star because she can also dance.
On the prospect of launching a music career, she said: “I’d like to. As long as people would take me seriously, I’d make sure I made good music. I’ve come from a musical background and I’ve always sung and danced. Maybe I’ll release an EP.
“I used to write a lot of music and I don’t write as much now but I’d like to get back into the swing of it.
“I love entertainment, singing and dancing. As much as I love property development, I’d love to do more entertainment shows.”
She was previously in a two-year relationship with singer Lyndrik Xela, who appeared on The Voice, but split from him earlier this year.
Speaking about her favourite artists, she said: “Cat Burns — she is incredible.
“When I went through my break-up earlier this year, I listened to one of her songs, Go, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, she literally put everything I was thinking into this one song.’ ”
One person who won’t be featuring on her records though is jungle campmate Matt Hancock, who proved he isn’t vocally talented when he gave a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Perfect in the ITV show.
Asked if she was shocked that the former Health Secretary made it to the final of the competition, Scarlette admitted: “I was actually surprised.
“But when he was in there he did everything.
“People want to see people do the trials and he did the trials.
“Ultimately he did what he was supposed to do in the jungle.”
Dua need a size smaller, madam?
DUA LIPA looked like she’d borrowed one of her dad’s old suits when she stepped out in this oversized outfit at the Variety Hitmakers celebration in LA.
She was the big winner at the sixth annual bash, taking home the Hitmaker of the Year award and teasing what to expect on the follow-up to 2020 smash Future Nostalgia.
Dua Lipa stepped out in this oversized outfit in LA[/caption]
Selena Gomez and Dua Lipa at the Variety Hitmakers celebration[/caption]
Film Song of the Year winner – Selena Gomez, at the event[/caption]
The Levitating singer said: “I’m in the process of writing it and it’s shaping up nicely. It will definitely be up-tempo.”
At the event, she posed with Film Song of the Year winner Selena Gomez, who won for My Mind & Me – the track featured in her Apple TV+ docu.
CARDI B had the last laugh after being mocked for doing a tiny show in Miami.
Hitting back at a snide tweet suggesting she must have been desperate to perform in a garden, she shared her invoice, tweeting: “I got paid $1m to perform at this bankers’ private event for 400 people and only for 35 minutes.
“Think about that when you type about this Grammy winner.”
Grab Oasis art as Noel backs charity
IT is one of the most famous song lyrics of the Nineties.
Now the classic line “You can have it all but how much do you want it”, from Oasis’s debut single Supersonic, is being immortalised in a new piece of art.
Noel Gallagher has partnered with artists The Connor Brothers to produce 100 limited-edition prints – all signed by Noel and the brothers – with the proceeds going to the Teenage Cancer Trust charity.
The Connor Brothers’ works sell for thousands, but they and Noel have decided to open it up to all.
For a donation of £25 to the Teenage Cancer Trust, fans will be entered into a raffle to win the exclusive print – the first of the 100 being created.
The raffle comes as The Connor Brothers have been announced as ambassadors of the Teenage Cancer Trust – joining long-term charity supporter Noel.
MATT GOSS has been single for years but reckons he has finally found The One in girlfriend Chantal Brown – so much so that he hopes to marry her.
The Bros star who has never wed, started dating the ex-wife of former EastEnder Paul Nicholls last year.
Matt Goss reckons he has finally found The One in girlfriend Chantal Brown[/caption]
He quit Las Vegas this summer after ten years of performing there to move back to London, where Chantal has a home.
In an exclusive chat, Matt said: “It’s wonderful. We get to build a life and go to the movies and find our local restaurants and watch the England games. It’s a beautiful thing. I feel very fortunate to be able to have love back in my life.”
And asked if he could see himself getting married to jeweller Chantal, he continued: “Of course. What’s the point if you don’t see it going all the way? That’s the plan. I’m a romantic.”
But what isn’t quite as romantic is Matt’s other motive for moving back here.
He said: “The main thing that made me want to come back to London is because of the architecture and the feeling that you have here. It’s a very humbling and beautiful thing.”