Daniel Mays says the 'Des' cast understood why David Tennant kept himself separate from the other actors.

Daniel Mays

Daniel Mays

The 42-year-old actor played Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay in the three-part ITV drama, which was focused on real life serial killer Dennis Nilsen (Tennant) who murdered at least 12 young men between 1978 and 1983 in north London.

Appearing on ITV's 'This Morning' on Monday (21.09.20), he said: "He kept separate to all of the actors playing the police. We had bonded as a group... that really comes across in the piece as well.

"Certainly when David steps out when we were doing the interrogation scene in the first episode - I think we instinctively all knew that he was keeping himself separate and he was very focused on what he had to do.

"Collectively as a group of actors, we respected that. To sit across from David Tennant in that role - I've been acting for 20 years, and it's one of the most eerie, captivating performances I've ever worked across from.

"For me money, I think he's giving the performance of his career. He's absolutely stellar in this performance."

Daniel praised David's talents, and his skills at recreating Dennis' mannerisms on the small screen.

He added: "You can see an actual interview with the new Nilsen, and when you compare it to David's performance it's uncanny."

Daniel's comments come after 'Des' was hit by seven Ofcom complaints from viewers who were left horrified by details of his crimes.

Meanwhile, the first episode of the show broke a ratings record for ITV as it became the broadcaster's biggest drama launch of 2020.

The broadcast was watched by an average audience of 5.4 million people, according to new data, which confirmed that it was ITV's biggest drama debut since 'Cleaning Up' in 2019.

'Des' also surpassed the viewer numbers of 'Quiz' - the drama show about Charles Ingram winning 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' - which attracted 5.3 million viewers earlier this year.

The thriller series peaked at 5.9 million viewers and research suggests that it was watched by nearly one-third of all TV viewers across its time slot period.


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