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Steve Coogan takes swipe at corrupt police ‘lacking ordinary decency’ ahead of Stephen Lawrence drama

STEVE Coogan has taken a swipe at corrupt police ‘lacking ordinary decency’ ahead of a new Stephen Lawrence drama.

Steve, 55, plays real life detective Clive Driscoll in the new three-part drama on ITV, Stephen.

Steve Coogan has taken a swipe at corrupt police officers ahead of his new drama, Stephen

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Steve Coogan has taken a swipe at corrupt police officers ahead of his new drama, StephenCredit: ITV
Steve plays real life detective Clive Driscoll in the ITV drama which is a sequel to 1999's The Murder of Stephen Lawrence

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Steve plays real life detective Clive Driscoll in the ITV drama which is a sequel to 1999’s The Murder of Stephen LawrenceCredit: ITV

The series is a sequel to 1999’s The Murder of Stephen Lawrence and sees Clive work tirelessly with Stephen’s parents to secure a conviction against two of the gang members who killed their son in April 1993.

Clive stepped in more than a decade after Stephen’s death – after the first investigation failed to secure any convictions for those responsible – and the Met Police was later branded institutionally racist following a public inquiry.

Speaking about the real man he is portraying, Steve said: “It was an honour to play Clive, really, because as an actor I don’t often play nice people so it was a nice change for me to play someone who has integrity. Simple, unannounced integrity.

Asked if Steve had felt any dismay at the hurdles Clive faced to secure justice, including corrupt officers within the force, he said: “The sense that I got, I asked him ‘you’re a working class copper, how come you didn’t end up being like one of those coppers who took back handers?’

“He said ‘well my mother was a single parent, and she was honest, decent and I thought I’d be letting her down if I did anything other than be honest’.

“I got a sense from him that, if you like, the old Sweeney school of policing which has had a bad rap, probably quite properly in some respect and has been this drive for graduate recruitment in the police, with people like Clive you wonder if maybe they got thrown out with the bath water.

“If in trying to civilise the police force, have we lost something of a sort of ordinary decency that is represented by someone like Clive.”

Steve took a further swipe at corrupt officers as he spoke about the show’s writers and their approach to the drama.

He said: “I also like the fact that in Joe’s writing – there are so many cliches about the cop who does a good job by breaking the rules – and this was about a policeman who did a good job by sticking to the rules and laboriously going through them, point by point in a sort of quiet, disciplined, dogged way, which is something or a story we don’t often hear, which is important.

“In light of all the awful things that happened, it ought to remind people in any drama that there are decent people in the world who – the world is full of cynics – but there are decent people who are trying to do good in the face of hatred and cynicism.” 

He concluded: “Clive Driscoll decided to help two people he didn’t know, just on the basis of, it was the right thing to do.

“And the antipathy and almost the hostility that other police officers and people in government showed towards the case is exposed and the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’, I think Clive is testament to that.” 

Stephen Lawrence, 18, was murdered in a racially motivated attack in April 1993

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Stephen Lawrence, 18, was murdered in a racially motivated attack in April 1993Credit: PA
Clive helped Stephen's parents secure convictions against two of the gang members who killed their son, more than a decade after his death

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Clive helped Stephen’s parents secure convictions against two of the gang members who killed their son, more than a decade after his deathCredit: BBC

Stephen airs later this year on ITV.

Steve Coogan is worlds away from Alan Partridge in first look at ITV’s Stephen Lawrence drama

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