Clever Trevor takes on a new challenge

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Few people fill a room like Trevor Eve. His voice projects across the room as if it were filling a West End theatre and his famous hair - now grey when once it was dark - towers skyward, adding a couple of inches to his six feet.

It’s this presence which has seen Eve command the screen in roles such as creepy architect Peter Manson in the remake of scandalous family drama Bouquet Of Barbed Wire last year, and as Peter Boyd in Waking The Dead - a role he’s played since 2000.

The BBC crime series was subject to budget cuts and comes to an end later this year after what will be its ninth series.

“I don’t want to do it any more,” Eve says candidly. “I’ve done nine series, it’s a lot. I enjoy it, I love the people but we were going to stop in 2008 and then agreed to do a couple more series. It’s an expensive show to do well, and to make it work under the new budget we’d need to do 80 per cent in the studio.”

Eve’s latest role is as hostage negotiator Dominic King in drama Kidnap And Ransom (ITV1, 9pm).

The three-parter was made by Eve’s own production company and the role was developed to be an antithesis to DS Boyd.

“We were looking to do something that was very different to Boyd, who is a volatile, emotional, irascible person, and somebody came up with the idea of doing something on hostages,” Eve explains.

So where Boyd is hot-headed, King is cool, and where Boyd is impulsive, King is strategic - although that’s not to say he has no problems of his own.

Explaining King, who works for a private insurance company which provides assistance to those kidnapped abroad, Eve says: “I’m ex-military, someone who has not adjusted to a domestic life of peace and wants to relive it, but is too old to go on active service. He’s struggling within himself to know why he wants to do that.

“He’s also struggling to be a good husband and father, which is something he can’t get right either.”

The drama sees King at work on a case in South Africa, where a British woman has been kidnapped and where only the most intricate process will set her free. To learn about the fascinating techniques used by hostage negotiators, Eve and the programme makers met up with some real ones - although tracking them down in the first place proved difficult.

“They don’t want to be known, or seen. They essentially work undercover,” he says. “But we did manage to get in touch. They had an incredible woman who came in to this office. She walked in and said, ‘Do you mind if I keep my phone on because I’m expecting a call from the Somali pirates?’ The meeting was over because we all just stared at the phone,” he says.