Soap star on board for HMS Suffolk drama

HE was the man millions of soap fans loved to hate in his break-through role as EastEnders' wife-beating baddie Trevor.And now award-winning actor Alex Ferns is to swap his villainous façade for the role of a hero in his latest television project – with the help of a fictional Suffolk ship.

HE was the man millions of soap fans loved to hate in his break-through role as EastEnders' wife-beating baddie Trevor.

And now award-winning actor Alex Ferns is to swap his villainous façade for the role of a hero in his latest television project – with the help of a fictional Suffolk ship.

The Scottish actor, a former member of Colchester's Mercury Theatre Company, will play Commander Martin Brooke in the ITV drama Making Waves.

The six-part multi-million pound series is set on the high seas aboard fictional warship HMS Suffolk, and is due to be screened later this year.


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But it is not easy to mock-up a 3,500 tonne Royal Navy destroyer so Carlton TV, which is currently filming the show in Portsmouth, has turned to another ship with links to the region.

Ipswich's adopted warship HMS Grafton has been transformed into the fictional vessel, with name plates, funnel badges and even battle honours being changed for television.

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The massive ship, which is also affiliated to the Ipswich and Southend Sea Cadets, is providing the stage for the series during her rest period at her home port.

And while the film crew set up lights and create sets, the ship's seamen and women are still hard at work training and ensuring she will be fully operational for a potential deployment at the end of June.

Lt Commander Kevin Fincher is the man helping link the worlds of TV production and life in the military.

He said: "One of the remits given to me is to make sure that not only is it entertaining for the British public, but that it is true to the Navy and their families in the way that life is depicted.

"With the care and attention that is being lavished on this programme by Carlton TV it looks like this drama will have the status 'not to be missed.'"

Staring alongside Ferns will be Lee Boardman, famous for the role of Jez Quigley in Coronation Street, and relative unknown Emily Harrison, who will play the ship's second in command.

Peter Mares, spokesman for Carlton TV, said filming for the series is set to finish next month.

He added: "The show is about life in the Royal Navy in 2003, with Alex playing the commander of the frigate.

"It's a bit like Soldier Soldier, but on the seas. We are hoping it will go down well and we are looking forward to it appearing on the screen for the first time."

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