In Spotlight: Vicky McClure’s top 5 TV and movie roles you need to watch – from This Is England to Line of Duty

She certainly knows how to pick her roles – we take a look at some of Vicky McClure’s biggest moments on screen to date, as she stars in Without Sin on ITVX.

By Katie Archer Updated: 3 January 2023 - 2.23pm
BBC / ITV / FilmFour Vicky McClure in Line of Duty / Broadchurch / This is England

Vicky McClure drew in huge audiences every Sunday night as one of the stars of BBC’s hit police drama Line of Duty.

But it isn’t the only time she’s fronted a ratings triumph, as the Nottingham-born actress has some very impressive titles on her CV - whether she’s playing a bomb disposal expert in Trigge Point or a member of a skinhead gang in This Is England.

She has also fronted two Our Dementia Choir documentary specials for BBC One. She formed the choir in 2019, after her late grandmother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer's taught her the healing power of music.

It's safe to say that whatever she's in, McClure's presence makes for unmissable TV.

Here’s our pick of Vicky McClure's top 5 best roles so far, as she stars in Without Sin on ITVX.

1. Trigger Point - Lana Washington

ITV

In 2022, Vicky McClure starred in ITV's bomb disposal thriller Trigger Point, in which she played the lead role of Lana Washington - a bomb disposal operative.

With the backdrop of counter-terrorism policing and the work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad in contemporary London, the series followed the ‘Expo’ officers who risk their lives by walking towards danger.

McClure's performance was praised by critics, who compared the character of Lana Washington to that of Kate Fleming in Line of Duty.

Ed Cumming from The Independent wrote that McClure "keeps being cast in this kind of role because she could do tough-yet-sensitive professional with her eyes closed".

Catch up on Trigger Point on BritBox.

A second season has been confirmed.

"It's an explosive show!": Vicky McClure Trigger Point interview

2. Line of Duty - Kate Fleming

BBC

As Kate Fleming, McClure has enjoyed one of the most exciting star roles on the police procedural, which premiered on BBC Two in 2012.

Her detective character hasn’t just been instrumental in cracking some of AC-12’s trickiest cases – she’s also worked undercover a number of times and in series six is part of a murder investigation team, while also feeding back secret info to her old anti-corruption squad.

Fleming and Arnott’s partnership is a fan favourite on the series, with her cool-headed character acting as the perfect foil to troubled Arnott (Martin Compston).

She’s even earned the grudging respect of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who - despite being miffed that Fleming abandoned his team - has now accepted he can’t do without her help.

In series five of Line of Duty, McClure was also reunited with a co-star from her other most famous show – This Is England’s Stephen Graham played John Corbett, the undercover officer being investigated by AC-12.

Line of Duty series 1-6 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Line of Duty season 6: Secrets from the Set

3. The Replacement - Paula

McClure was unnervingly creepy in this psychological thriller about a woman ousted from not just her job, but most aspects of her life after taking maternity leave.

She featured as Paula, the replacement of the title and a seemingly competent maternity cover for Morven Christie’s architect character Ellen.

Once Paula got her feet under the desk, however, she quickly began to overstep a number of personal and professional boundaries.

As Paula’s lies began to unravel, it became clear that she was after more than just a permanent job, as her strange back story revealed her to be Ellen’s worst nightmare.

The Replacement is not currently available to watch on demand.

4. Broadchurch - Karen White

ITV

Just a year after Line of Duty debuted, McClure signed up to appear in another detective drama that had the entire nation talking.

Broadchurch, which starred Olivia Colman and David Tennant as the detectives investigating a young boy’s mysterious death, was must-watch telly following its 2013 launch.

Series one also featured McClure, although here she was a journalist rather than a member of the police.

Her character Karen White worked for a national newspaper but set up office in the town to report on the strange case, ruffling a few feathers as she took advantage of a local hack.

Sadly, Karen White didn't return after the first series, but it was another impeccably chosen role for McClure as her TV career took off.

Broadchurch series 1-3 are available to watch on BritBox and ITVX.

Best British crime dramas to binge watch now

5. This Is England - Lol

Although we now know her best as detective Kate Fleming, there was a time not so long ago when we thought nothing would ever make Vicky McClure more famous than This Is England.

She starred as Lol in the 2006 Shane Meadows film, as well as the ’86, ’88 and ’90 spin-off TV series about the skinhead gang on a Midlands council estate.

McClure was noted for her performance as single mum Lol who suffered post traumatic stress disorder from her troubled past with an abusive father, and was a favourite character with viewers.

Lol was a world away from Kate Fleming, but McClure fans will always associate her with her breakout role.

This Is England is available to stream on BritBox and ITVX.