Line of Duty's Martin Compston: 'Female fans tend to be a bit handsy'

Martin Compston 
Martin Compston has adjusted to life as a 'sex symbol' following roles in In Plain Sight and Line of Duty Credit: ITV

As DS Steve Arnott, scourge of every bent copper in the BBC2 hit police corruption series Line of Duty, Martin Compston has become something of a sex symbol. 

“When people have a few drinks in them,” he confesses with a modest blush, “they tend to get a bit handsy. Women in particular.”  

My first thought is that something must be getting lost in translation. Unlike his best-known character whose accent is estuary English (based, the actor says, on Nick Leeson, the rogue trader who broke Barings Bank), in the flesh 32-year-old Compston has what he calls a “fairly strong” Scottish accent. 

But he runs his hands up and down his legs and torso to demonstrate the groping. “After last series, it definitely went up a notch.” Compston shakes his head in disbelief. “The short sex symbol, in a waistcoat.”

Compston in Line of Duty alongside Adrian Dunbar and Vicky McClure Credit: Steffan Hill

The diminutive DS Arnott’s garb in Line of Duty is a three-piece suit. “He is the hero because...


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