Mark Addy's 'tricky' alcoholic role in The Syndicate

Mark Addy found it "tricky" to get into the role of alcoholic hospital porter Alan in the new series of 'The Syndicate' as he lost track of how intoxicated his character should be throughout the scenes

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Mark Addy

Mark Addy

Mark Addy found it "tricky" to play an alcoholic in 'The Syndicate'.

The 49-year-old actor struggled getting into the role of hospital porter Alan, who falls down a path of drink and drugs after winning £14 million in a fictional Mercury Millions lottery, as he lost track of how intoxicated his character should be in certain scenes.

He told The Sun newspaper: "It doesn't take Alan long to fall off the wagon and that was tricky because we were shooting the scenes out of sequence. You have to remind yourself how drunk you have to be. He really gets stuck into the vodka and the weed."

The second series of the BBC drama follows the changing lives of five poorly-paid hospital staff after they scoop the jackpot and Mark revealed his alter ego has a "dark side", which begins to show as the episodes continue.

Mark said: "Alan has a dark side. He isn't a bad person but he makes bad decisions about his relationships and everything else. The fact he suddenly has money doesn't stop him making those decisions. That's just him.

"He starts to develop a relationship with Rose - Alison [Steadman's] character - but there are lots of mixed messages and he gets the wrong end of the stick.

"He'd missed a couple of AA meetings before the win and starts using the lottery as an excuse to drink, kidding himself he can handle a couple of glasses of champagne - followed by half a bottle of vodka."

The 'Full Monty' actor likes writer Kay Mellor's approach to the programme - which also stars Downton Abbey's Siobhan Finneran, former 'EastEnders' actor Jimi Mistry and Prisoners' Wives' Natalie Gavin - because of the characters' "personal" stories.

He added: "Kay and I have known each other for years through mutual friends. She told me when she was writing this, 'You keep popping into my head with this character.'

"The great thing about 'The Syndicate' is not everything is served up on a plate for the audience straight away. Each show focuses on one person, everyone else just features a bit. In their personal story you learn why they are doing what they are doing."

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