Keeley Hawes read about Madeleine McCann ahead of The Missing role

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Keeley Hawes has revealed she read Kate McCann's book about her daughter Madeleine to help her prepare to play the mother of an abducted girl.

The Line Of Duty actress - a mum of three in real life - stars in the second series of The Missing, playing a woman whose daughter is discovered alive years after she vanished.

Keeley, 40, told the Mirror: "I read the book Kate McCann wrote about Madeleine going missing.

Keeley Hawes at a Bafta event
Keeley Hawes (Joel Ryan/AP/PA)

"It was fascinating and I just think it unbelievable she was able to (write it).

"But I imagine it must have been quite cathartic, in a way.

"It doesn't make for comfortable reading but then the story isn't comfortable."

She said her "heart goes out" to Mrs McCann.

Keeley admitted the role has been a challenge and that, as a mother, she used to avoid television shows about children being snatched.

"I probably did it now as the kids are older and it was really challenging and I do like a challenge," she said.