Frost in Farringdon: Nordicana pics (belatedly)

July 16, 2013

Nordic Noir beat the drums and the fans came running to Nordicana. Yes, it was some time ago (15 June) but it’s summer so I’ve slowed to the pace of a glacier, melting. I’m not a convention-al person normally, but it was nice to goggle at beautiful actresses and taste some pomegranate cider (unexpectedly lite). Like you care: here are the pictures.

Sidse!

Sidse!

Sidse!!

Sidse!!

Pleased as paj

Pleased as paj

Sidse besides Radio Times' editor Ben Preston

Sidse besides Radio Times’ editor Ben Preston

Rie!

Marie Askehave

Charlotte Jonsson

Charlotta Jonsson

Charlotta Jonsson: quelle cheekbones!

Charlotta Jonsson: quelle cheekbones!

Linda Wallander

Linda Wallander

Lars Knutzon

Lars Knutzon

Lovely Lars

Lovely Lars

 

 

 

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Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night

April 3, 2013

I was born in another age. remember the hooter in the steelworks over the road heralding the start to the day and the end of lunchtime.

It sounds like it was a hundred or more years ago. It looked like it was, too. My school was built, a model comprehensive of the future, with Modernist right-angles and swimming pool and youth wing, on top of a copper slag heap, in 1976. Here’s a picture I found of the site in 1963.

aberdiberthdi-street-1963

It’s from an excellent blog called Swansea Recalled. I hope they don’t mind me pinching it.

Pathé goes personal: communist footballing uncles

March 27, 2013

Here’s an extraordinary thing my sister found the other day. A Pathé Newsreel from 1935 of Hull City practising. Welshman Tabram? That’s my great uncle that is.

Watch it here.

This is him on a cigarette card:

tabram

I grew up two doors down from him. He looked the same as he did in 1935. He was a Communist and always got the Morning Star and then the Daily Star. I think the newsagent must have mixed the order up and he didn’t like to say.

Babett Redux

February 9, 2013

Questions, questions

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Sidse Babett Knudsen for this article in Diva. She was charming, lovely, engaging etc and said many fascinating, insightful things that didn’t make it to the final cut. It would be a shame to miss out on them. Here they are.

It’s been well discussed that Borgen was a surprise international hit. I’m curious to know if it was also a surprise hit in Denmark? 

It was a surprise that it was so well received. When we started, we came just after The Killing, which was a huge success in DK and crime has always been much more attractive than political drama, so everyone was prepared that it might not be a massive hit. So in that sense, yes, it was a surprise that so many people caught on.

How many years has it run for now? Four? 

We’ve just finished season three, which is showing now, so it’s getting finished.

In the UK, we very much concentrate on fact that it’s about a woman and they do that even more in France, where it’s Une Femme Au Pouvoir, so the fact that she’s a woman in very much the focus of what the programme is about. Was that the reaction in Denmark, or was it incidental that she was female?

It was definitely not as much as I feel that it has been taken in France, and in England as well. It was the story is that Birgitte Nyborg is the first female prime minister and there are certain episodes in the very beginning [where] it’s an important point andwe have a few episodes about gender, but the rest of the time it’s been received as political/private drama.

I think it’s as much a drama about being an adult, about grown-up compromises people have to make. I think you could put man in the role and not have to change too much. 

Exactly, that’s how I see it as well.

Some of it is quite Shakespearean. At the end of series 1, you have somebody who is stripped of everything until they are left with power but nothing else…

Exactly! I’m so happy you say that because that’s exactly how I see it.

We are getting towards the end of Series 2 in Britain and Birgitte is becoming more emotional.

Yes.

Did that come from you? How much of a hand did you have in the direction the character would take?

It didn’t come from me. There was a “dramatic curve”, like the big story, the development. Her travel was always supposed to be in first season. She starts off being this idealistic, very soft human being who enters the political world and comes in power. Then the first season is about how, what does it cost the human being to have that position and does power eat you up or not?

Second season, the big headline was her getting back to who she really is, so I think it’s to do with that curve, that much emotion at the end. Maybe also because then we can afford it because we’re into the story and we know her as a political character. So now we can see on a deeper level what she’s also made of emotionally.

You said in previous interviews that you felt she was being taken in directions that were too emotional, too unrealistic. That you wanted her to be more steely.

Yes, it was more to do with certain clichés that was the female aspect of her that’s not really necessary. We don’t have to have empathy for her and sympathy, because she is a character we follow, but we can allow her to be more, unsympathetic and more … maybe ‘harder’ is not the thing, but showing her emotions less and being more professional. I sometimes thought ‘this isn’t very professional’, the way she behaved in series one.

Where do we go in Series 3?

Two-and-a-half years have gone by and everything has changed. All the main characters have changed, they’re not where we left them.

She’s got she’s got new glasses

They keep falling down my nose, yeah!

Are you going to miss her?

Erm [long pause] Hmmmmmmmm. I don’t think so. I think that the fact that we did the third season because it was not originally planned.  It was not part of the big storyline; they had to sort of invent the whole new story for the characters in the same sort of universe, so we get to play more things out about the character. I think she’s finished now. It’s a good time that we end it after season 3, but I don’t sit here with the character and think ‘I need to get this and that out of her.’ She’s finished. That’s why we did season 3. I thought after season 2, ‘that’s the story told, very happy about it and the way 2 ends’ but when they started talking about 3, there was some of birgitte in me that hadn’t been done.

What’s it like as an actress, playing character for such a long period? You play the character, go away, do something else, come back. Is that strange?

I feel that I’ve just been there for that whole period. We had six months between 2 and 3 and I didn’t do very much. I did a crazy comedy and it was just on the side, so I think I’ve been very concentrated on this for a little more than three years and to me it’s massive. I don’t understand how crazy it must be for people who’ve done the same part for 10 years or more. Three years is already massive. It’s so interesting because you get so familiar with the part and sort of brave on her account, even character traits that aren’t written in her you see developing in to this or that. It’s so special. Every episode we have a different director or cameraman, so I find that I’m the person on set who knows the most about the character, which I’m not used to, because from film, it’s the director or the writer who you go and ask ‘is she meant to be like this or that?’ Here it was very much my character.

Has playing politician changed your view of them?

It’s expanded my view. I haven’t had the big ‘aha!’ experience, ‘now I see things completely different’, but I definitely know more. Spending so much time with these subjects, it’s become more nuanced and I understand many things better than I did before.

Would you vote for her? 

Oh yeah. Oh no, I don’t know actually, I’m not sure. But in Borgen I would, yeah, I would vote for her.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt wasn’t in power when you started filming Borgen, and then she came to power. Do you think that’s affected the length of the series, as something that was entirely fictional, entirely in the abstract, is now a commentary on something in real life.

Hmmmm No, I think the world’s a very… it’s two worlds apart. I think we would have done the series with or without her. I don’t think it would have made a difference and she would have been in power with or without us.

In this country, I think that we can’t make anything with a female prime minister because it would have to be a commentary on Thatcher because she’s cast such a shadow.

People are very keen to make comparisons, of course they are, but I don’t play Helle Thorning Schmidt and she hasn’t commented. We’ve kept on our own side. Of course, initially, the first time you saw the prime minister being a lady coming out – woaaah – the first prime minister who’s a woman in Denmark! Then you think about her, but Nyborg is nothing like Helle Thorning Schmidt. They are separate worlds.

Have you met her?

No I haven’t.

There’s a US version of Borgen coming out. How do you feel about that?

A bit astounded because we were so, or the writers and everyone else in Denmark was so inspired by the West Wing, so it seems very strange that they should reproduce what we’re doing and also the political systems are so very, very different. I don’t know how that will… do you know if it’s going to be in production? I don’t know anything more about that.

As an actress does it feel weirder to have a remake in another language, or to see yourself dubbed as they do in France?

The other voice is so odd! I’ve only seen two minutes and I went whooooa! It makes such a big difference. I’m so grateful you’re showing it in the original language, it makes an enormous difference. One of the first films I did was a romantic comedy in Denmark, it was called The One and Only and there was an English remake. I only saw one scene from it and it’s nothing like it, so I don’t think I would recognise my work in an American production.

We’re now seeing quite a lot of your work over here. Your back catalogue is being released on DVD:  Above the Street, Below the Water has just been released here. You seem to have the market in grown up women’s roles cornered. You are divorced or bereaved, or you’re in couples therapy.  

Well I’m happy you say that because in Denmark they still keep saying But you’re a comedian aren’t you? Isn’t it crazy for you to do something serious?’ And I keep saying, ‘I have done serious and adult parts,’ and remind them of the films that you just mentioned. Because they get lost in… I’ve done quite a lot of comedy and created comedy on stage and that’s most of what I’m known for in Denmark before Borgen. Right now, Brigitte has been most interesting part I’ve played in this time of my life, playing authority, somebody who… I’ve been playing very emotional characters before, see-through, searching-for-identity sort of characters and it’s been great to be playing a little more intellectual and having the words being important. That was definitely the direction I’d like to follow, if I have anything to say… (laughs)

You play a couple of lesbian characters.

Yes.

They seem to have a hell of a lot more fun than the married women you play.

Laughs

Can you tell me about them. Tell me about Lotte in Take the Trash…

Oh it’s just silly! I’ve got a bit silly in me. I went to drama school in Paris and it was all improvised. My acting comes from developing characters – not from text but from inventing characters, writing little dramas for it, clown and very physical stuff. So I’ve done that and when I entered theatre it was also with improvised work, very surrealistic text. It’s only in the late years that it’s become more naturalistic and realistic and adult. I’ve done this thing for four years in the summer, where I’ve played in variety with lots of little sketches and I’ve wrote my own little sketches and developed my own little characters, which I found funny for some reason. It’s a big part of me – comedy is really a big part of me.

If you are a well-known actress in this country who plays a lesbian, it would still be quite a story. Was it an issue in Denmark?

It hasn’t been commented on. What was commented on was in Dolly, she is a terrible person, a sexist. What do you say? She’s got… almost sexually harassing the young woman that she fancies in that film and that’s a bit new. If we show lesbian characters they should be sympathetic because we’re being progressive here. But no… I’m trying to invent something, I’m trying to go in and make conflict. There wasn’t any. It was never mentioned ‘Oh my god, Sidse Babett Knudsen is playing a lesbian!’ I’ve never seen that, anyway.

Maybe you are a perfect, liberal country and we’ll all have to move there. 

Maybe yeah, maybe.

You have a very international background. Tell me a bit about that.

My parents met while sailing in South America. They were both big travellers and then we went to Tanzania for two-and-a-half years: they were both volunteers. Then we stayed in Denmark for school because it’s got a great school system… am I talking too much now?

No! Carry on, it’s great. 

So I had in my blood that whenever I finished school I would go out and travel and go and live somewhere else in the world. So I went to France. It was coincidental, not because I was a Francophile or I just love Baudelaire. I just thought it was a beautiful city. I’d been there once and I thought: ‘I could live here’.  I was only going to stay while I was at theatre school and one thing led to another and I ended up being there six years. Then I went back to Denmark to do a play, Peer Gynt. A friend of mine was directing that and the company I was playing with was just great and they asked me to do another play and another play and now, 20 years later, I find that I’m still in Denmark!

You’ve also lived in New York.

No I haven’t. That has ended up on Wikipedia and I don’t know how to take it off! I went to New York for a month when I was living in Paris and studying because in the middle of doing my theatre school, I thought: ‘It’s crazy I ended up in France,’ because I didn’t have any references to French films. I was raised on American films. So I thought, should I go to New York and try Method, so I went to New York for a month and did different courses, but it was more researching and checking out the different schools there. Then I went back to Paris and I was perfectly fine in Paris.

You are a citizen of world but you ended up working back in Denmark. Do you ever feel constrained by it and get the urge to work in other countries again?

Yes and every time I do, something in Denmark pulls me back every time I get the urge. I did actually go to New York again after a film; it was in 2003. I’d done some plays. I was a bit sick and tired of acting and I thought it was… I was a bit disillusioned by the fact, ‘we have to put on a play… what play can we put on, we’ll take this one.’ It didn’t come from the urge of wanting to tell this story and then we’ll put it on stage. It was just getting a little bit automatic. I felt that I was becoming a bad actress and I thought ‘I have to go completely away from it.’ I’ve always worked. When I was living in Paris, I worked in bars and changing money and I really missed that service, a job which is just a job and you just meet people because of the job and you go home and then you’re finished. I went to New York to become a waitress, which was very difficult because the irony was to go round bars and say ‘I’m really a waitress but I’ve been working as an actress for 10 years – but really I’m a waitress.’ It was not very convincing and just as things were falling in to place, I got a call from Denmark about a film by a director I always loved to work with and it sort of happens every time I think I’m bored, I should go elsewhere… then something turns up in Denmark.

 Would you like to work internationally now?

Yes, I’d really love to.

 Do you have anything in the pipeline?

Only the slightest little approaches, nothing real or concrete yet, no.

Where would it be? Where would you most like to work??

England – I love England. And France, yes.

Do you get recognised in this country?

Well last time in London I did, I was really surprised. I was recognised three times in a day: that was so nice, it was so sweet. The approaches were so sweet, so adorable. It was very nice.

You’ve become internationally famous in your 40s. What’s that like? Does it seem better as you’re more able to cope with it, or do you wish it had been earlier so you could have had more time? 

I got famous in Denmark when I was 30. I just made it before 30. Someone said it was super important to make something before you’re 30 or you can forget about it all, so I just made it. I became famous for that film, The One and Only, which was massive, really, a massive hit and I was recognised in the street. I played this lovely girl and I felt I had to be this lovely girl all the time, be extremely nice and sweet and no conflicts anywhere and dress more and more dull, so people wouldn’t recognise me, “excuse me, thank you, excuse me thank you.” I found it difficult, things like that. So, maybe half a year, then people forget about you. I’ve had that experience a few times: I do something that’s recognised as a scene and people recognise you for a while, then it sort of phases out again. It doesn’t scare me anymore and I can only be flattered if I get recognised in England, of course, because it’s very sweet for people to say ‘Oh I love your show.’ ‘Oh, I hate you, you coke dealer, you! Terrible film,’ wouldn’t be such a nice experience I’m sure

You were easy to recognise at the Baftas. You couldn’t miss you in that dress.

That’s exactly what I’m wearing now! Well not exactly: it’s in yellow.

We’re in Love with Scandinavian drama at the moment in the UK.  

That’s crazy, yeah.

Do you think we have a mutual love affair, and Denmark is also in love with UK drama?

Oh absolutely! But you’ve been our idols, actor-wise, it’s always been ‘the Brits are the best’. Their language, Shakespeare theatre and the classics. I think […]  your class system allows your dramas to have those differences, the hierarchies, which works with drama. I think we’re a little bit envious of [that] in Denmark because from high to low is much shorter and it’s more… we couldn’t do Upstairs, Downstairs, which was big when I was a kid. Really, really big. I loved that! A little bit of American as well, but mostly humour programmes from England, Monty Python and what have you, so there’s much love for the English in Denmark.

We think that Danish TV is wall-to-wall Borgen, Killing etc. But I’ve been there a couple of times and about 90% is imports.

When we see American TV shows, we think America does great TV now. HBO, they’re so daring and edgy and inventive but we see one per cent and the rest is same old, same old, shaky unoriginal TV. I suppose so.

You said in an interview you’ve never watched tTe Killing. Have you managed to see it yet?

No, I haven’t seen it because they promised to give it to me! I specifically said to them the day I finished, ‘Where are my DVDs? and they said ‘well ypou’ll have to buy them!’  So I’ll have to buy them because I want to see them all.

You should watch it. I recommend it. It’s very good.

I’ve seen little bits and pieces, I’ve seen enough to know that Sofie is absolutely perfect in it.

What UK drama what would you like to be in?

Don’t know what’s going on right now. What was the last one I saw? I mean when I think of England, I think it would be fantastic, fantastic to do something, be part of something that starts, not… I loved Sherlock

People obsess over that programme too.

Oh, I can imagine because that’s so inventive and original and still super respective of the story, that’s really well done, something like that and something new, but anything period, I’d love that, any Jane Austen-ish, I’d love that. Yeah, I’ll play the woman who can’t speak, on a horse, in a beautiful hat. I’d love that.

You’re coming to Scotland on Sunday to do THREE Q&A sessions. What will that be like?

I imagine you sort of get in to it. When I’m at festivals, the more time you spend talking about the same project, the more crazy you get about the project: I’m gonna love Borgen by the end of the day! [laughs]

Scotland is crazy about Borgen, I heard. Why do you think that is?

From what I’ve heard, it’s the same size and the political system sort of also resembles a little bit. Yeah, maybe there’s a resemblance there. I like Scottish people as well – I’ve met them abroad but I’ve never been to Scotland before, I’m excited about it. How far away is nature?

Not far.

“Where can I go and find some nature please?” (laughs). I’ve been to Ireland quite a lot, I love Ireland.

What do you have planned for the future?

Nothing that concrete yet. I think I’m going to do a small part in a big period thing about Danish history, a historical piece. I haven’t signed yet, but I think that’s going to be the next big thing then I’m looking at some projects. It would be nice to have a goo  ,interesting, something challenging. After Birgitte Nyborg, something challenging and interesting.

Are you going to have a well-deserved rest?

I will, yes.

And now some quick questions: Nyborg’s scarves. Do you tie them yourself?

I don’t . I get assistance and they have to put in sound. Sound loves my scarf. When we put on a scarf, we want the sound department to applaud.

Who would win in a fight? Nyborg or Lund? 

Physical?

Yes, physical

Yeah, I’d win.

Who’d win in a fight? Nyborg or Hillary Clinton?

If it was in words, she’d win. Definitely.

If you could work with any director in the world, who would it be?

Oh there are so many and they are all going for first place, I can’t choose one.

Michael Haneke. Ang Lee. Wong Kar Wei. David Lynch. The Irish [director]… In the name of the father, what’s his name? [Jim Sheridan]

You’ve got all four corners of the world covered.

Yes.

Hail, Sidse

February 7, 2013
Photo Courtesy of Arrow Films/Noble PR

Photo Courtesy of Arrow Films/Noble PR

In a bid to speak to all the lovely Danish actresses in the world, this time I spoke to Sidse Babett Knudsen. Here’s the link.

 

She said many more interesting things that didn’t fit into the final cut. Full transcript to follow. Soon.

Jack Wolf on Literary Trans-gressors

January 28, 2013

jack wolf

When? Saturday 23 February
Where? M-Shed, Bristol, Princes Wharf, Bristol BS1 4RN
What time? 2.30 pm

Jack Wolf explores characters and writers who were (probably or possibly) transgender and discuss his research into real life 18th/19thC women who chose to live as men. He will also discuss the challenge of writing a trans character in a historical novel whose experiences are as real as possible yet still make sense to modern readers. Jack’s novel, The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones, has just been published by Chatto & Windus to much acclaim and was recently praised on Radio 4’s Open Book..

Free but donations to OutStories Bristol project welcome. Tickets via http://www.eventbrite.co.uk or on the door

Michael Dillon: The Man Who Invented Transsexuals

January 17, 2013

Michael Dillon

 

When? Saturday, 16 February
Where?  M-Shed, Bristol, Princes Wharf, Bristol BS1 4RN
What time? 2.30pm

Michael Dillon was the first person in the world to undergo medical gender transition from female to male. Oxford educated, he trained as a doctor and played a key role developing the modern medical view of transsexuals. He also assisted with the UK’s first male-to-female gender surgery. Cheryl Morgan explains how the modern history of trans people began here in Bristol, and how two World Wars helped make this gender revolution possible.

Free but donations to OutStories Bristol project welcome. Tickets via http://michaeldillon-eac2.eventbrite.co.uk/?ebtv=Cor on the door

Diana Souhami on Lesbian Lives: Bristol 2 February

January 16, 2013

souhami

When? Fri 8 February
Where? Bristol Central Library, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL, 0117 903 7200
What time? 7 pm

Diana Souhami’s biographies explore the most influential and intriguing of 20thC lesbian (and gay lives). The subjects of her unflinching eye include Radclyffe Hall, Garbo, Cecil Beaton, Gluck, queens of the Parisian demimonde, Natalie Barney and Romaine Brookes, and Violet Trefusis, who had a passionate, eccentric affair with Vita Sackville-West. She has also written about the nurse Edith Cavell, and the story of her stay on ‘Robinson Crusoe’ island.  Her latest book, Murder at Wrotham Hill, examines the case of a murder that took place in Kent shortly after WWII. All her books from Gluck to Coconut Chaos are being rereleased by Quercus in February, in paperback and Kindle formats.

More information on Diana Souhami’s website.

Book via eventbrite, at the library or on the door.

Neil Bartlett at M-Shed Bristol on 2 February

January 14, 2013


Bartlett

    

                                                               

What? A talk by Neil Bartlett

Where? M-Shed, Bristol

When?  2.30pm, 2 February 2013

A writer, director and performer whose work is steeped in gay men’s histories, Neil Bartlett’s first book, Who Was That Man? about Oscar Wilde was published in 1988. He has also written several novels, including Mr Clive and Mr Page (which weaves together incidents from the lives of Gordon Selfridge and Rock Hudson) and numerous plays, including A Vision of Love Revealed In Sleep, about gay Jewish East End artist Simeon Solomon.

Anyone who is interested in LGBT literature and history must come to this event.

Donations to OutStories Bristol gratefully received. Book via www.eventbrite.co.uk or turn up on the day.

There is Nothing Like A Dane

January 4, 2013

This article was originally published in the December 2012 edition of Diva magazine

It’s BAFTA 2012 and the Specialist Factual winner has just been announced. Its producer is flustered after being kissed by the award’s presenter. “And breathe…” she says, fanning herself. “I’ve got a bit of a girlcrush on Sofie,” she splutters. “And relax…” She’s just been handed the award by Sofie Gråbøl, aka Deputy Superintendent Sarah Lund in The Killing, which returned to BBC4 for a third series mid-November. Lund has that effect on women.

Lund (never, ever just “Sarah”) is lynchpin of the Danish drama, which, despite niche viewing figures, attracts countless obsessive followers who are fixated on the monomaniacal, unsmiling detective. Tickets for November’s Q&A with Gråbøl at the BFI sold out in under an hour and at the Scandinavia Show at Earl’s Court in October, people queued just to look at jumpers like those worn by her in the show.

Numerous women have a man-size girlcrush on her: Jennifer Saunders shoehorned a 50-second Lund cameo into AbFab’s Christmas special. The Duchess of Cornwall engineered three separate meetings with Gråbøl during a four-day state visit to Denmark. She has set social media’s hearts collectively a-thud: “HUGE girlcrush! STOP BEING SO DAMN GORGEOUS!”; “I am 99% hetero, but I believe that I am somewhat in love”; “I just started watching it with hubby and we’re addicted. I think she’s gorgeous!” There’s also a loyal lesbian following: Emma Kennedy has written The Killing Handbook; Stella Duffy mentioned being “a little in love with” with Lund. Val McDermid – who’s created several iconic crimefighters herself – is a fan: “She’s up there in the pantheon, she’s definitely well on the way to being a classic of the genre,” she says.

What does Lund have, then, that Scott or Bailey lack? After all, these are tough ’tecs too, with difficult jobs and complex lives. According to Radio Times’ Alison Graham (“I certainly have a slight crush on her”), Lund is magnetic because she is unlike any woman on television: “The convention of tough, female heroines is that they may be very clever at what they do but they’ve always got to have chaotic personal lives and they always have to go home and fall apart. Which she never did. She’s every woman who doesn’t drop to bits.”

Loving Lund means putting in hard work: plots are bleak, particularly series one, dealing with the ripple effect of the murder of a teenage girl. Episodes are long, subtitled, with little action and sparse dialogue. But stick with it and you’ll be rewarded by a character so intense she makes Frankie Alan seem like Amy Childs. (Incidentally, Gråbøl was playing characters who have sex in morgues when Frankie was still playing with Action Men.) 

It’s brooding intensity that lies at the core of her appeal. Tamsin, 30, says: “She’s so moody and inscrutable and that’s incredibly appealing.” 32-year-old Camilla agrees: “She’s complex. You never quite have her figured out, which makes her totally compelling.” For Jayne, 28, unpindownability is the key to her allure: “I read an interview in which [Gråbøl] said she made a conscious decision to ‘play her like a man’ in terms of her emotional detachment and non-reaction. That brings an interesting – even verging on gender-play – element to Lund, which is never a bad thing.” Lund is ostensibly heterosexual (she had a husband; there was a boyfriend; although relationships, not even with her own son, aren’t really her thing) but the way she talks, moves, dresses and compartmentalises her life, all resonate with lesbians. As McDermid says:That sort of difference, that being apart, speaks to the lesbian experience because for a lot of lesbians, that’s part of their early experience, being the outsider. I’m not alone, probably in seeing aspects of my own experience in Lund.”

McDermid also admires the fact that she’s “someone who’s clearly a ‘no shit’ figure”. She can stop planes, swagger into cellars or deserted abattoirs without hesitating – meaning she’s invariably shot at and knocked about the head with blunt instruments. McDermid says “she takes hold of a situation without a second thought, without a backward glance,” and, indeed, all the women I spoke found her fearlessness intoxicating. “She’s so gutsy and brave,” says Camilla, while for Jayne:  “She’s so competent and capable, she wouldn’t take any shit – and she looks like she could administer throw-down!”

So is Lund a superhero in chink-free armour? For Graham, she probably is: “We want her to be vulnerable because that’s what we want from women. But I’m not sure she is.” Yet for 23-year-old Bethany, she’s this extraordinary mix of incredibly stern and tough and no-nonsense while also being a bit of a mess.” Lund is played with such subtle strokes that any vulnerability is only ever whispered and it’s up to us to infer weakness from her Nicotinelle addiction, or softness from her sweater, which Bethany says ishot, because it’s sort of ridiculous. She’s so stern and unfrivolous that it’s cute she wears a semi-goofy jumper.” For McDermid the jumper is intrinsic to Lund’s lesbian appeal: “The jumpers [are] very lesbian.  You know, in the winter, your big thick jumper, because you’re going to go out and chop logs – or at least look like you’re chopping logs.”  Whichever way you look at it, the now iconic knitwear is etched in the national consciousness, appearing in everything from Vogue to Primark. If you’re currently sporting a Nordic-patterned anything, then be certain the hand of Lund is behind it.

A stony-faced cop in an adorable snowflake jumper is never going to be easy to put in a box so, while for McDermid “she’s on the side of the angels,” for Jayne “Lund epitomises the ultimate anti-heroine.” Watching the programme, you sense she may be concerned less with right vs wrong and more with always being in the right, and that she’s not a million miles from Patricia Highsmith’s Thomas Ripley. That character, also rather androgynous, has a steely determination for having his own way and –like Lund – woe betide anyone who gets in the way. In fact, Gråbøl herself recently said in a Danish interview:  “I’ve always felt […] she’s more associated with the perpetrator than the victim.”

We may find out more in series 3, which promises to focus on her private life, filling in gaps from her past: let’s just hope it doesn’t colour in all the blanks. What’s certain is that this series is the last. So what next for Lund? Everyone I spoke to want her to find happiness – they also agreed that this could only come through work. “If she gets all lovey-dovey then all the things that make Lund who she is would be made a mockery of,” says Jayne. Graham agrees we’ll never see Lund in The Great Danish Bake Off: “She’d let us all down if she moved to a cottage with Bengt [her boyfriend from series 1] and baked rye bread,”  while for Tamsin, “Lund would never settle for happily ever after.” McDermid believes “finding love and happiness would be terrible for her! It would undermine everything we know about her.”

So does that leave only one thing? Camilla says “If she gets killed off I’ll be devastated.” Of course, Lund being Lund, she could go out in a Butch-Cassidy-and-the-Sundance Kid-style blaze of glory, leaving us dangling on a string just wondering if that really is the end or if, just maybe…?

If you aren’t already addicted to Lund, this is your last chance to tune in. Trust me: you’ll never hold a flashlight the same way again.