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BBC2 The Game: Chester actor Tom Hughes on his role in the Cold War drama

The former Upton High School pupils likens the series to the Mad Men

Chester actor Tom Hughes will be back on our screens this Thursday (April 30) in the much awaited BBC2 spy drama The Game.

Tom, a former pupil at Upton High School, plays MI5’s male honey trapper Joe Lambe in the gripping new Cold War drama, which stars Brian Cox as the paranoid head of MI5.

As a young man Hughes, whose parents still live in the city’s Garden Quarter, was a member of both Cheshire Youth Theatre and Jigsaw Music Theatre.

The 29-year-old, who famously modelled alongside Emma Watson in a Burberry fashion campaign, has likened the 1972-set drama to Mad Men for its attention to period detail.

Chester actor Tom Hughes models with Emma Watson for Burberry

He said: “Joe is quite a messed-up character. I don’t think he finds the job exciting, he just happens to be phenomenally good at what he does. To a degree he’s emotionless and in his own bubble.

“But he’s good at reading people. His instincts are sharp and MI5 like that. I’d like to be his mate as I think he’s a decent bloke, but there is a lot of darkness there and I don’t think I would like that in my own life.”

Period drama fans will remember Hughes as another ‘messed-up character’, the troubled Julian, in Stephen Poliakoff’s BBC2 drama Dancing on the Edge.

Tom Hughes in Dancing on the Edge

The plot of The Game follows the team of agents as they try to uncover a highly significant Soviet plot called Operation Glass.

Tom reveals he 'desperately wanted' the part of Joe because the character explores all the different sides of a man.

“From the pressure of being perceived to be strong to also dealing with emotion, I found that Joe had every single facet in one character,” he says.

“I couldn’t have been more excited. I’m not a big watcher of TV and films, but I have caught Mad Men and I really love the way you’re immediately transported to that time with all that attention to period detail.

“The same goes on the set of The Game – it’s amazingly good. I just have to put my suit and my sideburns on, I light a cigarette and walk onto the set.”

The Game starts on BBC2 tonight at 9pm.

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