ITV News West Country presenter, Ian Axton, is a huge Broadchurch fan. So when he cheekily asked creator, Chris Chibnall, if he could be in the new series, he didn’t expect to get a yes.
Chris wanted a news presenter to appear in the first episode of the new series of Broadchurch, and he didn't have to look too far, "I watch ITV News West Country at home in Dorset, so got in touch with Ian Axton," said Chris.
Being an avid fan of series one, Ian was thrilled to be asked, "Chris and I chatted on Twitter after he'd been a guest on our programme. I'd joked about a cameo and thought nothing more of it. He then messaged me to say, let's talk."
In the first episode, Ian is seen reporting outside the fictional Wessex Crown Court - while Hollywood star, Charlotte Rampling, watches him on her TV at home. As Ian is the nightly news presenter for the area, Chris felt he would be a perfect fit, "We always want to be as real and truthful as possible, so having Ian involved was very important to us."
The plot of the new Broadchurch has been top secret, with all the cast being told they can't say a word about what happens, including Ian. "I was on set filming with Arthur Darvill (Reverend Paul Coates) and new cast member, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, last summer and I couldn't tell a soul. It's been so hard to keep schtum for six months."
The West Country provides a breathtaking backdrop for the drama and Chris describes the series as a letter to the West Country, "I've been very proud because I love this area, it's great for people to be able to see it looking so beautiful.”
Ian’s first cameo seems to have given him a taste for ITV drama, "I suppose sharing a scene in Britain's biggest crime drama with a Hollywood actress isn’t a bad way to start a cameo career. Julian Fellowes also lives in the West Country and I reckon I'd make a good third footman!"
Watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Ian's appearance here:
Tune in to the new series of Broadchurch on Mondays at 9pm on ITV.