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Andrea Lowe - DCI Banks

February 2015


THERE is a scene in the new series of Yorkshire-based crime drama DCI Banks where a murder investigation leads to Nottingham.

“Yes and no,” laughs actress Andrea Lowe, who plays DS Annie Cabbot.

“The story does travel to Nottingham but sadly we didn’t for the filming, which was a shame,” says the actress who grew up in Arnold.

“So we pretended to be in Nottingham to visit a relative of a victim but it was all filmed in Leeds. Although, I was back in Nottingham last week for a friend’s 40th birthday party,” adds Lowe, who now lives in London.

“And I brought my son up to hang out with my mum and dad in Woodthorpe.”

Lowe had her first child, now two, during the second series, which is why Annie Cabbot was written out as being on maternity leave.

Lowe was back for the third series last year and able to see her newborn during filming as she and partner Terry Betts, a fashion buyer, relocated to Leeds for the duration.

“But he was back at work when we did this series at the end of last year,” she says.

“I did travel to London every week to see him but it was like a pit stop every time. Filming hours are always long so I wasn’t back home for long before I had to be back on the train up to Leeds.”

The fourth series, which starts on ITV1 next week, reunites Lowe with Stephen Tompkinson as Alan Banks, whose on/off relationship with Annie sees her reuniting with an old flame.

“The relationship is most definitely off,” insists Lowe, despite the trailer for the series showing the characters holding hands.

“That’s a reassuring gesture. Banks has a really traumatic time in the first episode and Annie is there for him but she’s very much back with the father of her daughter.

“Alan finds it hard to let go of their relationship. He wants her back. Annie still has feelings for him but a year has passed and in that time her feelings have almost diminished. She’s getting on with her own life.”

In the first of the three, two-part dramas, Banks suffers a family tragedy, although it doesn’t get in the way of the job in hand, investigating the discovery of a body. In fact, all three stories are about the discovery of bodies.

Does she call Tompkinson, who starred in the Nottingham-set BBC drama Truckers, Honky Tonk on set?

“Or Steve-O,” she laughs.

“He gets referred to as Mr T. He’s lovely. He’s not someone who finds problems, he finds solutions, which is helpful. Yeah, he’s a good guy.”

The first three series were based on the novels of Peter Robinson but this time new writers were brought in with CVs that include Law & Order: UK, Lewis, Midsomer Murders and Death In Paradise.

“We’re taking guidance from Peter Robinson so it’s not too much of a departure,” says Lowe, 39.

“There are still lots of options of who could have done it.”

She’d be able to work it out, having told ITV researchers for the programme’s publicity material ‘I would make a good police detective... I have a really investigative mind. I like to know where people are and what they are doing so I can get my head around things.’

It comes as a surprise to the actress that she actually said that. And that ‘there was a dalliance on set and I was straight onto it.’

A dalliance?

“I didn’t think ITV would put that in the notes,” says Lowe, sounding genuinely horrified.

“But yes I did some marvellous detective work when one of the actors had a fling with someone on set.”

Who?

“I can’t say!” she laughs.

Filming the series during the winter caused a few problems.

“It was really windy a lot of the time and so I’ve had to record some of the dialogue again to be overdubbed. Not that you’ll be able to tell.”

She adds: “There was a once scene where we chasing a car and the director and Stephen forgot to tell me that there would be another car involved. So I see this other car hurtling towards us and think it’s really happening,” she laughs.

Lowe’s love of acting goes right back to her childhood in Arnold, where she grew up alongside two brothers.

At Redhill Comprehensive School she appeared in a production of Under Milk Wood and in her spare time attended Lesley Reason School of Dance in Gedling.

After studying English and theatre at Goldsmiths College in London, she cut her teeth doing small parts on telly, such as Peak Practice and The Bill.

Since then her TV credits have included Monroe, Accused, The Tudors, Shameless and Where The Heart Is.

Her first film role was alongside her friend and neighbour Samantha Morton in the musical comedy drama The Token King set in a high school in Nottingham.

“I really want to do some more work in Nottingham,” she says.

“I wanted to do Truckers with Stephen but it didn’t make sense to have us together in another drama.”


DCI Banks begins on ITV1 on Wednesday at 9pm.

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