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Byline: STEPHEN HENDRY
Douglas Henshall leaves Gordon Brown behind to play his toughest role yet
SCOTS star Douglas Henshall has made a career out of difficult roles - dealing with mental illness, domestic abuse and incest.
Now, in Loving You, on ITV tomorrow at 9.05pm, he plays a man whose life falls apart after he is accused of sexually abusing a young girl.
"Easy roles are the last thing I want," said Douglas, 37, who will soon be back on our screens as Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown in TV drama The Deal.
"To keep on playing the same kind of characters, month in, month out, would drive me mad. I am always striving to do something different from what I've done before.
"But it's not easy to find a script that's as good as the one for Loving You. So much TV is formulaic, predictable rubbish."
In Loving You, he plays educational psychologist Dan Whitmore who meets teacher Chloe Langdon, a divorced mother- of-two played by Niamh Cusack.
It's a love story that took them by surprise and, after just six months, they have moved in together to enjoy unexpected but welcome domestic bliss.
But it all comes crashing down around them when the police arrive at their door, claiming a six-year-old girl Dan has been working with has made an allegation of sexual assault against him.
Immediately suspended from his job, he looks to Chloe for support. She wants to back him up but finds her faith in Dan is tested to the limit.
The police seem convinced of his guilt and she is shocked by what appear to be provocative photographs of her own young daughter and a friend, which the police claim were taken by Dan.
Things only get worse for Chloe when her ex-husband Adam, played by Keith Allen, threatens to take the children away from Chloe if she continues to see Dan. And when she sees a video of the alleged victim talking about her abuse, the seeds of doubt already sown in her head begin to grow and take over. How well does she really know him?
Loving You is partly a standard detective story about Chloe's battle to find the truth. But it is also about the devastating effect that allegations of sexual abuse have on the lives of everyone involved.
"That's one of the saddest aspects of the whole story," said Douglas, who is from Barrhead, Renfrewshire.
"Dan and Chloe are well-matched people who genuinely love each other but are torn apart by the accusation.
"The drama is as much about their relationship as it is about the crime he is said to have committed."
Douglas's career has seen him notch up a long list of impressive credits. He starred as a wife-beating soldier in Dennis Potter's Lipstick On My Collar, alongside his real- life close friend Ewan McGregor. He played a frustrated father who attacks his autistic son in hard- hitting drama Kid In The Corner and was a psychiatrist battling his own demons in Psychos. …