Duo 'thrilled' to produce film with Line of Duty's Vicky McClure

A rehearsal shot from HOLD, filmed entirely within the claustrophobic confines of a car

A rehearsal shot from HOLD, filmed entirely within the claustrophobic confines of a car at an RAF base near King's Lynn - Credit: HOLD, Jonathan Blagrove

A local screenwriter and director duo have teamed up to produce a critically-acclaimed film starring the woman everyone is talking about - Line of Duty's Vicky McClure.

Nine-minute thriller 'HOLD', which was nominated for Best East Anglian Film in 2020, is currently showing at the Los Angeles Crime and Horror Festival online.

HOLD film poster, starring Robert Whitlock and Vicky McClure

HOLD film poster, starring Robert Whitlock and Vicky McClure - Credit: HOLD, Jonathan Blagrove

The three-character short features Robert Whitelock as Tommy, an out-of-work building contractor who faces the consequences when a series of phone calls exposing a lie spiral out of control. One of the voices at the other end of the phone is Ellie, played by Vicky McClure.

It was filmed at the West Raynham air base near Fakenham in March 2019 with a local crew, and is brainchild of Scunthorpe-born but Norfolk-living director Jonathan Blagrove, and screenwriter Lynda Williams from Drayton.

Ms Williams went to Hellesdon High School and did a masters in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, adding that she felt "thrilled" to have written a screenplay for an industry in which only 12pc of writers are women.

Lynda Williams and her daughter Olivia

Lynda Williams (left) and her daughter Olivia, who was involved in publicity for several Hollywood films such as Wonder Woman, Judas and the Black Messiah and Tenet - Credit: Lynda Williams

She said: "Most people who want to get a foot in the door think you've got to be in London, but I want to put Norfolk on the map.


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"My 21-year-old daughter Olivia, who also went to Hellesdon High, is now doing publicity for Warner Brothers as an intern. 

"I just hope it shows that your background shouldn't stop you doing what you want in life."

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She said while the role was written with Vicky McClure in mind, it was a pipe dream that she'd actually agree to take part.

HOLD Short film

HOLD being filmed in Norfolk - Credit: HOLD, Jonathan Blagrove

The short film being shot near Fakenham at an RAF base

The short film being shot near Fakenham at an RAF base - Credit: HOLD, Jonathan Blagrove

A still from the film HOLD, shot near Fakenham at an RAF base

A still from the film HOLD, shot near Fakenham at an RAF base - Credit: HOLD, Jonathan Blagrove

Mr Blagrove said: "I became good friends with Vicky while working on a documentary for the BBC.

"I asked Vicky if she'd do it because she's such a fantastic actress.

"We fully expected her to say no, but to our surprise she said she'd be up for it."

The film will be available to stream in the UK in September

Line of Duty series six on BBC One

DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) in Line of Duty series six - Credit: BBC/World Productions

Mr Blagrove said because London studio space is oversubscribed due to the filming backlog caused by the pandemic, a lot of companies are choosing to film in Norfolk.

He said this was evidenced by the filming of Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, starring Emma Thompson, here in Norfolk just weeks ago.

Ms Williams said: "It would be great to write for Olivia Colman from Norwich."

Line of Duty's season six finale will show on Sunday night at 9pm on BBC One.

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