Line of Duty season 6: Star Tommy Jessop’s mum didn’t think ‘oddball’ line ‘was a big deal’

Line of Duty star Tommy Jessop and his mum Jane Jessop
Line of Duty’s Tommy Jessop with mum Jane (Picture: Twitter @jane_jessop /BBC)

Line of Duty star Tommy Jessop’s mum has shared her view on the ‘oddball’ line about her son’s character in the police drama, saying that she ‘didn’t think it was a big deal’.

Last month, the highly-anticipated sixth season of Line of Duty returned to the BBC, reuniting fans with old-timers Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), in addition to suspicious newcomer Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald).

The show also saw Tommy reprise the role of Terry Boyle from season five, with the character being questioned over the murder of journalist Gail Vella (Andi Osho).

In the first episode, Hastings describes Terry as an ‘oddball’, a line that some criticised as they believed it was in reference to the character having Down’s syndrome.

Line of Duty boss Jed Mercurio defended the inclusion of the comment in the script, saying that ‘oddball’ has ‘no connotation for learning difficulties. It describes a loner, an eccentric’.

In a new interview with The Telegraph, Tommy’s mum, Jane Jessop, addressed the line, saying: ‘I didn’t think it was a big deal. Jed’s a very talented writer; I feel he’s bringing into the light things that need to be brought into the light.’

Tommy Jessop in Line of Duty
Tommy’s character Terry is questioned by the police in episode one (Picture: BBC)

The former marketing executive added that she prefers to place her focus on the joy that her son spreads, stating: ‘He’s enriched us enormously. I’m delighted with the young man he’s turned out to be.’

Tommy, 36, has several big acting credits under his belt, having previously starred opposite Nicholas Hoult in BBC drama Coming Down the Mountain, as well as appearing in Holby City and Casualty.

Despite his skills in front of the camera, Jane admitted that when Tommy first revealed his aspirations to become an actor, she didn’t ‘really believe’ him.

‘We didn’t really believe him. We were thinking: “Well, Tommy likes books, why doesn’t he work in the library?”’ she said, recalling when her son made his desire to become an actor known when he was a teenager.

Tommy added in the interview that it’s a ‘great honour’ to be a part of Line of Duty, saying that he believes ‘people living with Down’s syndrome should be given the chance to be on TV, because they really can show what they are capable of as actors, and in life in general’.

Line of Duty returns tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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