Who is Frank Blake? All we know about new Blue Lights star

 Frank Blake plays Constable Shane Bradley in Blue Lights season 2.
Frank Blake plays Constable Shane Bradley in Blue Lights season 2.
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Blue Lights season 2 gets a hunky new member of the team when Constable Shane Bradley arrives at Blackthorn Police Station in the first episode of the new series.

He's soon partnered up with Constable Annie Conlon (Katherine Devlin) and the pair share some banter as they head off on patrol around Belfast. However, it soon becomes clear that Shane's more than just your usual bobby on the beat...

"Frank's been drafted in by DS Murray Canning and he brings a different sort of energy to the group," says Frank Blake, who plays him. "He doesn't really play by the rules, he's very results driven and that can get some good results and some bad results.

“Shane has aspirations to go into intelligence policing with DS Canning and this posting is almost like a final exam. But he’s bringing a lot of experience, so he’s not like the new recruits last year!"

We'll be finding out plenty more about Constable Shane Bradley as the series goes on and here's everything we know about the man playing him!

Frank Blake is from County Clare

Blake was born in 1996 in County Clare, West Ireland, and grew up in the village of Tuamgraney. He's the grand-nephew of Irish novelist and playwright, Edna O’Brien, and his first acting role was in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar by East Clare Musical Society.

He graduated from the prestigious Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art in 2016 at the age of 21.

He starred with Sean Bean in his first TV show

In 2017 Blake worked with the Game of Thrones star in the second season of ITV's period drama The Frankenstein Chronicles, as Constable Pip Bircher.

"It was one of my very first jobs when I finished college," he told us. "It was great fun and I learned a lot, but I had no clue what I was doing. I was 22 and it was pretty cool working with someone like Sean Bean. I grew up playing him on the GoldenEye video game!"

Sean Bean in The Frankenstein Chronicles
Sean Bean in The Frankenstein Chronicles

He played a villain in Normal People

Irish psychological drama Normal People became a runaway hit in 2020, with everyone in Britain and Ireland watching it while locked down during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones earned plenty of plaudits for playing the star-crossed couple at the centre of the tale, Connell and Marianne, yet who remembers Marianne's villainous brother Alan?

Frank played the leading lady's abusive sibling and viewers may remember how he mistreated her physically and verbally, at one stage even drenching her with water.

"I used to worry on set, ‘I’ve just done another mean thing’,” he says. “There was a bit in Normal People where I throw water on Marianne. I just felt awful that day. You know, because I’ll throw water on her, and the director's not going to go, ‘Good man’. They called cut, I stand in the bold corner for a while, Daisy Edgar-Jones gets dried off for the next take, where the same thing happens again.”

Frank Blake and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People
Frank Blake and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People

He loves riding horses

His parents, Michael and Mary Blake, run East Clare Equestrian Training Centre and Frank often competed in events as a youngster. He also spent much of his spare time caring for horses before becoming an actor. "I walked from one sort of life into another," he says.

He auditioned for Blue Lights season 1!

Frank told us he went for the role of Mo McIntyre — son of Republican crime boss James McIntyre (John Lynch) — but the part went to Michael Shea.

"They went in a different direction," Frank told us when we spoke to him last year. "I remember reading the scripts for the first series and thinking 'God, they're brilliant'. I watched it when it came out and that surprised me again."

"The show was so texturally different to so many police shows, which often put the plot before the characters, whereas this is the other way around and the characters come first. Each character has got an interesting story."

Michael Shea plays Mo McIntyre in Blue Lights
Michael Shea plays Mo McIntyre in Blue Lights

Co-star Desmond Eastwood got him a part in Blue Lights season 2

Frank has known Desmond Eastwood — who plays DS Murray Canning in Blue Lights — ever since they worked together on Normal People and his mate got in touch with him when he heard about a new character who reports to DS Canning.

"DS Canning brings Shane into the unit," says Frank. "Des text me last summer saying there's this part in Blue Lights and I think you'd be really good for it, you should follow it up!"

He's been in Bridgerton

Frank is no stranger to Regency drama and had a small role as Harry in the first season of Netflix hit Bridgerton, before playing Captain Declan Fraser in the second series of ITV's Sanditon.

Based on an unfinished book by Jane Austen, the show was set in the early 1800s, during a time of great social change and saw Captain Fraser finding love with Alison (Rosie Graham).

"These kind of projects allow you to explore such different things than you'd get to with contemporary writing," he said. "I'd never been a part of romantic storylines before, so that was exciting for me!"

He had a role in Game of Thrones

Frank Blake played a 'Northern Sentry' in the eighth season of hit HBO drama Game of Thrones. He appeared in the penultimate episode of the series The Bells and was burned alive by one of Daenerys' dragons. Ouch!