Ex-EastEnders stars Tamzin Outhwaite and Paul Nicholls talk new series of Law & Order: UK

by Lynn Connolly

Former EastEnders stars Tamzin Outhwaite and Paul Nicholls – who played Mel Owen and Joe Wicks respectively – have been reunited on the set of the new series of Law & Order: UK, and the pair have been telling What’s On TV magazine all about it.

Beginning with Tamzin, who plays the role of a “smug and smarmy” barrister in L&O, she explained that she visited a real court room to experience what it was like.

She said, “I’ve never been in a courtroom for real, so we were told to watch what we can and do some research.

“But it seemed to me that being a barrister is a bit like being an actor..

“It’s almost like a show in the courtroom, so it felt much more normal for me than I expected.”

And of playing an authority figure, complete with a barrister’s wig and gown, Tamzin said, “That’s so weird. You did feel a sense of authority in the wig and gown, but isn’t it strange that they’ve never updated that?

“You do feel that people give you a certain level of respect because of the wig.”

And finally, when asked if she would consider a return to Walford, Tamzin said, “They’ve never asked me back! And I don’t know how I’d come back, I have no family. There’s only Phil or Ian…

“But yeah. Since then there’s been Red Cap, Hotel Babylon and The Fixer – I was gutted when The Fixer didn’t return, I thought it was one of ITV’s strongest dramas, but things move on.”

Over now to Paul Nicholls, who plays DS Sam Casey in Law & Order, who explained that his character is “under enormous pressure” in the new series.

He said, “When a police officer is shot the whole of the Force is looking to the investigating office to make sure the guy gets caught.

“So Sam is under enormous pressure.

“On top of that he has to deal with DI Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) who is personally involved and quite emotionally disturbed.”

Paul went on to reveal that the working relationship between Sam and Ronnie evolves as the series wears on.

He said, “Initially it’s tense, but as the investigation goes along, Sam realises that Ronnie is a very wise and experienced detective and he can learn from that.

“At one point the tables are turned and Ronnie is leading with Sam following along like a little puppy!”

And when asked if he’s glad he landed the role on the show, Paul said, “Absolutely. It was nerve wracking coming in to a show that’s so well established and I really felt like the new boy.

“But everyone was so lovely, especially Bradley. I felt at home after a couple of weeks.”

We’ll see both Tamzin and Paul in Law & Order: UK when it airs on ITV1 on Friday, January 6.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.