‘Not going there at all! The Crowns Lesley Manville sidesteps Prince Andrew question

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Lesley Manville has opened up about partly basing her new role on Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis. The Crown star opened up about this at a recent press conference, although she admitted she wasn’t going to weigh in on Emily’s Prince Andrew interview.

Lesley plays Susan Ryland in the new series Magpie Murders, which is based on the novel by Anthony Horowitz.

Speaking in an interview earlier this month, Lesley explained how she got into character.

In particular, the star admitted she based one aspect of her performance on journalist Emily.

She said: “I didn’t base it on Emily Maitlis but I’ve always looked at Emily.

“I saw her once at the BBC, I was waiting in reception and she was running across the foyer doing things.

“And I think she’s one of those handful of brilliant, brilliant women who are journalists, I’m fascinated by her mind.

“But I just watched her run across the reception and she looked fantastic, she had an amazing outfit.

“It was 10 o’clock in the morning and she had high heels and the lot on – and I just thought, that’s really interesting.

“You can form images of what you think someone in that position may be dressing like.

“And you could think about Susan Ryland [her character], she’s a publisher and maybe she could be a bit plain.

“And I just thought, ‘No, come on, let’s go a little bit Emily with her.’”

As a result, Lesley added during the recent Royal Television Society Q&A, how she wanted to channel the mixture of Emily’s “style and brilliant mind”.

However, the actress, who is soon to play Princess Margaret in The Crown, admitted she wasn’t going to comment on Emily’s interviews.

In particular, a fan asked what her character would think about Prince Andrew.

This is because Emily famously interviewed him about the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Speaking about this, Lesley laughed: “I’m not going there at all!”

Magpie Murders is available as a boxset on BritBox from today.

The series features six episodes and is exclusively available on the streaming platform.

Alongside Leslie, Conleth Hill and Tim McMullan also star in the murder mystery.

It follows Susan as her “life changes once she receives an unfinished manuscript.”

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