Ricky Deeming, Inspector George Gently, 2007
For Richard Armitage, one of the challenges of the role was learning to ride a motorbike.
"I had to learn how to ride an old 60s motorbike, a Manx Norton," he said during filming. "It’s a racing bike, so your body is really quite flat to the machine. But it’s a genuine bike, so you have to kick-start it. It’s a bit temperamental in cold weather - it was spluttering a bit yesterday because it was so damp.
"Although I have to drive at speed, I haven’t managed to quite get it out of first gear yet. It’s all worked by your foot, and to get it into second gear you have to get your toe under the gear and tap it upwards. I haven’t mastered that one yet, so I’ve been doing about 50mph in first. But you won’t notice that, hopefully."
Another challenge was mastering the Geordie accent. “Ricky’s from Durham, and there are so many North East accents,” he said. “I was lucky though, because the last job I did was The Vicar of Dibley, and one of the drivers was from Durham. When I heard him speak, I dug out a tape recorder and said, ‘Excuse me, mate, but could you record these lines for me?’ “
In an interview in the TV Times in March 2007, he seemed unsure how good the accent was, “Apologies to every Geordie out there!” But the TV Times previewer the week the show was aired praised his “excellent north-east accent”.
He seems entirely comfortable in the Geordie accent, and Ricky Deeming proves to be one of his most vividly realised characters.
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