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Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt pays tribute to Sherwood co-star

Sherwood: Extended Trailer

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Joanne, who famously played maid Anna Smith in Downton Abbey, made her debut on Monday night in the BBC’s new drama, Sherwood. The actress plays Sarah Vincent in the series, who is campaigning to be a local councillor. Sarah is also married to Neel Fisher, who is portrayed by Bally Gill.

The BBC drama, which will play out over three weeks, is based on two real-life murders that shook the Nottinghamshire mining village of Annesley Woodhouse back in 2004.

At the time, the killings sparked a massive manhunt in Nottinghamshire.

Speaking in a Q&A with Express.co.uk and other press, the Angela Black star spoke about what drew her to the role.

She also paid a moving tribute to the show’s writer James Graham for his “fantastic script”.

Speaking of her experience on set, Joanne beamed: “It was incredible.

“I mean… wow what an ensemble cast and, you know, I don’t want to embarrass James but it always comes down to being drawn to a fantastic script.

“And, you know, this isn’t just a fantastic script, it just has so much more meaning to it in so many ways.

“And Lewis Arnold our lead director just did such a fantastic job and you know, when we filmed the wedding scene, I sort of went, ‘This is a good gang, isn’t it? I am in this gang, this is great’.

“So I was just thrilled to be a part of it, thrilled to be part of this story and also to be to be on this team.”

When asked how she would describe the BBC drama, the Liar star said: “Heartfelt, important and complex.”

David Morrissey, who plays Detective Chief Superintendent Ian St Clair, went on to admit that the series can’t be “pigeon-holed” into one category.

“I think it certainly is a thriller but I do think it’s very relevant as well and I think it’s very timely so that’s what I would say,” the Missing actor said.

Speaking about what research the cast did for their roles, and what they remember from that time, Joanne admitted she was too young to have an understanding of the Miners’ Strike.

“For me, I was coming from a slightly different angle because obviously, my character is the generation so obviously as you’ve seen, my character is striving to be the Tory councillor.

“So you could say she’s an antagonist in the story.

“But so for me being four years old in 1984, I was obviously too young to have any possible understanding of what was happening.

“But even at that young age, I have vague memories of seeing news footage because my parents and family were constantly watching it and it was very prevalent in my childhood.

“So to be able to look back at documentaries and sort of do some general research into the Miners’ Srikes as an adult in a sort of more in-depth way was really fascinating.”

Recalling her own childhood, Joanne added: “My grandparents are from South Yorkshire so I’m not from mining towns, and I didn’t grow up in a mining town but I’ve always been around these towns and villages.

“So I’ve seen for myself over the years, the effect it’s had on communities, so it just felt kind of grounding to be able to sort of revisit that as a grown-up.”

Sherwood returns on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC One.

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