Line Of Duty star Adrian Dunbar says the Government must ensure theatres do not get into disrepair while they lie empty as “they are part of the fabric of the country”.
The actor, 62, was able to keep working during the pandemic, filming Line Of Duty and a new TV series in which he “reconnects with his roots” on a trip on the “wild and rugged west and north coasts of Ireland”.
But while the TV industry has got back on its feet, the nation’s theatres remain closed.
“I do worry about it. I don’t know what can be done,” Dunbar told the PA news agency.
We are so excited to share with you a sneak peak of Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland, Episode 1.
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“I would hope that the Government would still support those small, struggling independent theatre companies and also maybe look to the built architecture of the theatres because we can’t let them get into disrepair.
“They are part of the fabric of the country,” he said.
“The Frank Matcham theatres in the West End in particular are incredible pieces of architecture,” Dunbar said of the designer behind dozens of venues, including the London Palladium, Blackpool Grand and London Coliseum.
“So I would hope the government has an eye towards that.”
Dunbar’s new Channel 5 series was filmed following safety guidelines for the industry in the pandemic.
“There were only three or four of us at any one time,” the actor, best known for his role as Ted Hastings in Line Of Duty, said.
“We followed all the procedures and we took the temperatures and did the tests.
“Our business, the film business, seems to have done quite well in convincing the insurers, in particular, that we have working practices that work.
“We’ve been pretty disciplined. So we managed to do that and we managed to get through Line Of Duty as well”.
Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland sees the actor, who was born and raised in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, climbing the summit of Skellig Michael and swapping stories with the salmon fisherman on Carrick a Rede.
He said of the trip: “It just reminded me of how wonderful travelling the coast is and that west coast in particular, how spectacular that west coast is, and why I’ve always been drawn to it ever since I was a kid.
“It’s where we used to go for a holiday.
“So once I’m out there I know I’m on holiday.
“So it was really good.”
He said filming the next series of Line Of Duty was very different amid the pandemic but for the viewer: “I’m hoping it’s going to be just as normal.”
Asked about the prospect of another series after the next instalment of the hit police drama, he said: “I really don’t know that.
“If the public wants one, we’d all like one.”
The Government has unveiled a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund for the arts.
Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland is due to start on February 4 at 8pm on Channel 5.