BBC The Responder's Martin Freeman speaks out on Scouse accent reaction: 'Got away with it!'

BBC The Responder's Martin Freeman speaks out on Scouse accent reaction: 'Got away with it!'

WATCH HERE: Martin Freeman stars in The Responder season 2 trailer

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 05/05/2024

- 07:00

The 52-year-old returns to screens as questionable Liverpudlian copper, Chris Carson

Martin Freeman has delved into the feedback he received after donning a Scouse accent for his role in the BBC drama, The Responder.

The crime drama is returning for a second season on Sunday night on BBC One as Freeman's Chris Carson reunites with the likes of Adelayo Adedayo's Rachel Hargreaves, Emily Fairn's Casey and Josh Finan's Marco.

There's also a new antagonist in town after the explosive events of season one saw Carson's equally questionable pal and criminal player Carl (played by Ian Hart) killed off.

This time around, Chris lands himself in a fresh series of sticky situations Adam Nagaitis debuts as Scouse crime lord, Franny.

Inevitably, the gritty writing from creator and former police officer Tony Schumacher will take centre stage when season two drops but one feature that will likely catch the eye again is Freeman's accent.

Born in Hampshire and raised in Surrey, Freeman's usual sound is rather different from that of Liverpudlians, but he's now revealed the warm reception he's received by those who've seen him switch to Scouse on-screen.

BBC The Responder: Martin Freeman and Adelayo Adedayo

BBC The Responder: Martin Freeman and Adelayo Adedayo return to screens


"It was a massive relief!" Freeman told the BBC regarding the reception he received from the public about his take on the accent.

He continued: "It still gives me real joy when I hear people say, 'I didn't know Martin was a Scouser'.

"And when Scouse people say to me, 'I didn't know you were from here', that's the best. It's like being a double agent, I got away with it!"

Back when the first series of The Responder debuted in early 2022, all one had to do to see the reaction to Freeman's take on the accent was log into Twitter.

BBC The Responder: Martin Freeman

BBC The Responder: Martin Freeman leads the cast as Chris Carson


Even to this day, the now-named X is awash with praise about Freeman's performance, including from one viewer who penned: "The best scouse accent I have heard from a non scouser in a long time! #TheResponder #MartinFreeman."

A second echoed: "Just another Martin Freeman masterclass in #theresponder. And as a scouser my dad says the accent is spot on!"

And a third similarly praised: "Just as I didn’t think it possible to appreciate Martin Freeman’s diverse talents any more, The Responder drops!

"Wow. A sublime performance from Freeman, and he absolutely NAILED the accent. Take a bow, sir #TheResponder #HonoraryScouser." (sic)

It wasn't just the reaction to his accent that blew Freeman away as he also opened up the success season one garnered.

"We were all excited by the first series and hoped what we were making was a good show," he added to the Beeb.

BBC The Responder

BBC The Responder: Martin Freeman speaks out on reaction to Scouse accent


"There are a few times in your life, if you're lucky, when people connect with something you've made in a way that goes beyond your dreams or what you could have wished for.

"I really believed in the show and felt it was a very good piece of work.

"It’s one of the most successful things I've worked on and I knew within reading the first five pages that I wanted to play this character."

The Responder season two begins on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm and BBC iPlayer.

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