Barriscale: WPC 56 for my ancestors

James Barriscale has joined period crime show WPC 56 as Sergeant John Swift.

Press Association
Last updated: 11 February 2014 - 1.04pm

James Barriscale has revealed he felt a responsibility to honour his own family history by taking part in period crime show WPC 56.

The actor - who has worked on modern cop shows such as The Bill, The Vice and Silent Witness - has joined the BBC daytime show about the first woman police constable to serve in her local force in the west Midlands, as Sergeant John Swift.

James said: "When you play a character that's in the past, I think you take your own history. I'm from the Midlands as well - my mum and dad were living in Birmingham during the 1950s, so I think you are aware of that ingrained history.

"So I think contemporary cop drama is so much easier, because we see it all the time in different programmes and in life.

"But the older ones, I guess you have a bigger responsibility to honour your relatives, because this is the time they lived in and you want to tell those stories and honour that."

The show - starring Jennie Jacques as WPC Gina Dawson - is returning for a second series, and James insisted it would not be hard for a modern audience to relate to.

He said: "I think they're the same stories we're telling in any drama. It deals with string themes and serious crimes, which still exist, but how they dealt with them then was very different. So I think people will relate to any police drama set in any period, and see how they coped with those things then."

::The second series of WPC 56 is on BBC One now.