LINE OF Duty star Adrian Dunbar has revealed the inspiration behind his character Ted Hastings’ most popular catchphrases.
Dunbar, from Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, was already an established star of the stage and screen before landing a major role in the hit BBC crime drama.
It’s a role that has catapulted the 62-year-old to a whole new level of fame thanks in no small part to his character’s inspired turns-of-phrase.
Phrases like “Mother of God”, “Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee Donkey”, and “Now we’re sucking diesel” have helped make Hastings a firm favourite with viewers.
The latest series of the show has thrown up a few more classic Tedisms too including “I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble” and “I am calm! I am bloody calm!
What many Line of Duty fans may not realise, however, is the heartwarming Northern Irish origins behind such brilliant lines.
According to Dunbar himself, many of these improvised phrases are inspired by his late father, Sean.
A former construction company foreman, Dunbar was just 21 and working over in England when his dad sadly passed away after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
The oldest of seven children, Dunbar found a unique way to pay tribute to his dad by weaving some of his most memorable sayings into Jed Mercurio’s script.
“The ‘Mother of God’ stuff comes from my dad who used to use that all the time," the Northern Irish actor revealed.
“Those were phrases that my father used.”
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Speaking on the How To Fail With Elizabeth Day podcast Dunbar elaborated: “The Mother of Gods are a way of saying thanks to him in certain ways.”
Dunbar had a complicated relationship with his father who was often under pressure with problems at work.
“I was the first-born and he was very proud of me but he was never able to tell me that,” the Line of Duty star explained.
“There was always friction between us but now I realise it was born, in part, out of the stress he was under. Yet I never managed to have even one conversation with my father. I didn’t have a relationship with him at all.”
Though there was distance between Dunbar and his father, he remains in close to his 86-year-old mother Pauline.
It’s not been an easy year though – Pauline suffers from Alzheimer’s and lives in a Northern Irish care home with Dunbar unable to visit and only staying in touch through video link.
Despite the distance and personal difficulties associated with his mum’s disease, Pauline would no doubt be proud of her son’s success and his special tribute to Sean.