The Tower’s Jimmy Akingbola details ‘instant chemistry’ with co-star Gemma Whelan

The Tower: ITV release trailer for new police drama series

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The Tower is a three-part police drama based on the novel by ex-detective Kate London which aired its first instalment on Monday night. The plot centres around DS Sarah Collins (played by Gemma Whelan) and her righthand man DC Steve Bradshaw (Jimmy Akingbola) investigating the deaths of a teenage refugee and police officer who fell off a tower block. Ahead of the ITV series airing, Jimmy revealed having an “instant chemistry” with co-star Gemma. 

Much of the gritty ITV series is structured around different on-screen partners and most of Jimmy’s scenes are with Game of Thrones actress Gemma. 

Jimmy, who spoke to and other publications about playing DC Bradshaw, admitted it was “heartbreaking” when he and Gemma’s character had on-screen fights. 

The star said: “I met Gemma very briefly, I think a week before we started we did a BBC script reading with Danny Dyer and she was very funny in that.” 

He told Gemma he had a part in The Tower which she was playing the lead in and was looking forward to working alongside her. 

“And that was it, I think sometimes you do these jobs and you hope you get on and you have that chemistry and we had it immediately,” Jimmy added. 

“And also I love Gemma’s work as she effortlessly goes between comedy and drama, but I feel like when we did meet on set we immediately worked on our backstories and we saw that they had a lot in common. 

“I felt like they weren’t always the cool kids, and they were both passionate about the work and I think a mixture of our characters and personalities just bled into the screen. 

“It was really easy to work with Gemma, but also heartbreaking when we started having fights and not agreeing.” 

Jimmy explained how he and Gemma were able to just “let the get script to the work” during the filming of the series. 

In response to Jimmy’s flattering words, Gemma explained: “It feels to me like we have known each other for a long time and in real life, we clicked immediately. 

“It just sort of flowed really nicely for us, the great script and our chemistry made for a really nice time on set. 

“Our comedy backgrounds allowed for some levity between takes.” 

The duo also detailed how “well-rounded” the characters in the mini-series are and highlighted the importance of the story including such different personalities. 

In the series, DC Bradshaw works with DS Collins and the pair have a great relationship as they have masses in common. 

When he hears about what happened to new police officer Lizzie Adama (Tahirah Sharif) it is an abuse of power he has witnessed for many years.

Lizzie and a five-year-old boy were the only two people left alive after the tower incident, but Lizzie quickly disappeared near the start of the first instalment.

Across the course of the three episodes, viewers will discover why she made such rash decisions.

The drama has been adapted from the first series of detective novels by Kate London who served in the Metropolitan Police Force.

The first episode dropped on ITV on Monday and the final instalments will air tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Tower continues tonight (Tuesday) on ITV at 9pm and the first episode is available on ITV Hub. 

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