HolbyBlue actor Jimmy Akingbola plays PC Neil Parker. Keen to join CID and thrilled when he gets the job – but not so happy to hear why he was chosen.
Why does Neil want to join CID so much?
Neil is as a very ambitious copper whose main goal is to work in CID. He has old head on young shoulders. Neil has been a policeman for a while and although he enjoys being a PC he’s always wanted to be the best and climb the career ladder. I think he will get there when the time is right.
Even though he’s more than capable of working in CID, he’s offered the job mainly based on his colour. Why did he turn the job down?
Neil certainly doesn’t want any free gestures, whatever he achieves he wants to have earned it by himself the honest way.
I’ve spoken to some black officers and they want the higher positions to be available but only because they deserve it. That’s what I like about Neil, this is what he’s always wanted but he turns it down because it’s not on the right terms.
Do you think the audience will respect Neil for his decision?
I think some viewers might think he should have kept the CID job because we need more black officers in high positions. I think it’s a great story line to instigate a debate on the subject.
And what about his relationship with Kelly?
First of all he respects her as a police officer, he really trusts her, and she’s damn good at her job so he loves working with her. Something grows between them which often happens when people work closely together. Kelly’s husband isn’t terrible but you wonder why she is with him!
Did you follow any real police officers in preparation?
I spent sometime with the Camden police and just before I met up with them there had been a shooting! They can be driving around in the car and then out of nowhere an incident happens, so you just don’t know what is going to happen one day to the next.
We also had a police officer showing us how to use the handcuffs and the asp so it was really good to have it explained first hand.