The Ipcress File’s Joe Cole Teases Scheduling Conflict With Brother Finn Cole

The Ipcress File’s Joe Cole and his brother, Peaky Blinders actor Finn will go head-to-head this Sunday as their respective series go head-to-head in the TV lineup.

Appearing on The One Show last night (March 1) to promote his upcoming ITV spy thriller, Cole joked that his brother’s role in Peaky Blinders season 6 (in which he plays Michael Gray) has forged a rivalry between them. Peaky Blinders fans will recall that Joe Cole also starred in the hit crime drama, playing John Shelby until 2017.

When The One Show presenters mentioned the predicament, Cole said: “Yeah…actually it’s my chance now, where’s the camera? Mum and dad, if you’re watching: The Ipcress File, ITV, 9pm . And There you go. “

The Ipcress Dossier is adapted from the Harry Palmer series of novels by Len Deighton, with Cole playing the role of iconic British spy Harry Palmer. It’s the first major screen adaptation since the classic film starring Michael Caine as Harry.

Set in 1963 Berlin, we follow former British Army Sergeant Harry Palmer (Cole), whose dodgy dealings as a repairman and smuggler come to an abrupt end, landing him in prison. But when the British Secret Service knocks on the door, it seems Harry’s knowledge of Berlin’s underworld might come in handy after all – and maybe even keep him out of jail.

On why his The Ipcress File character is the anti-Bond, Joe told “He’s a detective, he’s a spy, but he’s very different. I think he’s, you know, he doesn’t have a lot of money He’s from a working class background He’s in a different world with different classes He’s super smart and he’s fun, and for me the most important thing was to ‘try to capture that.”

He explained that he tried to make Harry Palmer more palatable to modern audiences, but also stayed true to the spirit of the 1960s character, adding: “It was this constant battle to try to make it not look like an ad**k , [to] somehow make him toe the line between not being facetious, not being sarcastic; friendly but also pressing those buttons, but just enough so that you don’t turn off immediately.”

Joe stars alongside Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody) as Jean, Tom Hollander (The Night Manager, Birdbox) as Dalby, and Ashley Thomas (NYPD Blue, Top Boy, Salvation) as Maddox. The drama is directed by Emmy Award-winning James Watkins (McMafia, Black Mirror, The Woman In Black).

The Ipcress file will air on ITV on Sunday March 6 at 9 p.m. Check out more of our drama coverage or visit our TV guide to see what’s on tonight.

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