A wry look at life and lockdown with actor, writer and comedian Joe McArdle

I’ve found myself recently watching a lot of crime dramas. When life is so uneventful, it’s natural we look to telly programmes that are very eventful, and where better place to start than a crime drama?

Suspense, thrills, twists, turns, murder, kidnap and corruption, all the things we don’t want in our actual life, we get to experience vicariously through characters on our screens.

The North has done a good job of this recently, with The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime (based in Manchester) and of course, the one we were all waiting for, Line of Duty.

With Line of Duty being the most watched crime drama on the telly at the moment, I’ve found myself attempting to try and reconcile myself with their jargonistic, police-style dialogue.

It’s one of the only dramas where I find myself lost in what they’re saying to each other yet when it ends, I’m dying for next Sunday to come around.

They’ve managed to light a fire in me that desires to be held in suspense but also be completely lost at the same time.

When watching, it’s like a tennis match of “who’s that again?” and “oh my god yeah!” until it ends and you’re annoyed you can’t carry the momentum of LOD information you’ve stored up for the past hour, straight into the next episode, like our Netflix-sculptured minds want.

Alas, we have to wait like the old days, one week at a time. Yet, it manages to cut out all the usual cliches.

Instead of over-the-top villains, adorning scars and smoking cigars in the interview room, or a hero detective, who is troubled yet able to push past their alcoholism to achieve justice, we are faced with a group of people whom we don’t even know if they are villainous or heroic.

Every episode you are betrayed by your own favourite character, only to be redeemed a few episodes later.

It’s one of the only programmes where I cheer and applaud at certain lines.

Whenever I hear Hastings demand justice over “bent coppers”, castigating them in his authoritative, Ulster twang or of an officer being lost in the “line of duty” I fling my hands in the air at this titular line, uncaring of the red wine that’s flying about as I do it.

All of this written and created by Jed Murcurio, a lad born in Nelson.

Yes people, he’s one of our own.