INSIDER: Eleanor Matsuura Discusses Brand New Police Drama Cuffs

Brand new eight-part police drama, Cuffs, is BBC One’s first drama commission in the 8pm slot for eight years – and we’ve got high hopes! Starring Top Boy‘s Ashley Walters, Broadchurch‘s Shaun Dooley, Amanda Abbington and Eleanor Matsuura (Utopia), the series takes us to the frontline of policing where the level of danger is high. We find out more from Eleanor Matsuura, 32, who stars as response officer, PC Donna Prager…

What can we expect from Cuffs?

It follows the work and personal lives of eight police officers in Brighton who encounter everything from an elderly farmer’s wife with a shotgun to a booby-trapped cannabis farm – all the stories were inspired by real events! It’s a drama at heart, but Julie Gearey, who wrote it, has a great sense of humour, which really comes through.

How did you get into that world?

I spent a week training with an officer in the Brighton Police, learning everything from how to put handcuffs on someone to performing an arrest. I learnt so much that if we didn’t start shooting, I think I’d have had to become a police officer! I went on a ride-along with the Brighton police too, observing what a typical night out on response is like in Brighton – mostly drunk lads on stag dos!

What challenges does your character face?

Donna is often the first to the scene of a crime and puts herself in many dangerous situations. She’s loves her home life and her long-term girlfriend, but the series explores what cost being good at her job has on her personal life. I think finding that work/life balance is a struggle for anyone with a job they’re devoted to.

What was your favourite action moment?

We did a rescue of a person trapped on the tracks of a live railway just outside Brighton. With the train passing at certain times, the pressure was really on the get the shot right! There was a lot of running – and adrenaline – involved. Luckily, I do a lot of high intensity interval training and yoga to keep fit, which came in very handy.

Cuffs starts on Wednesday 28th October at 8pm on BBC One.

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