Stephen Graham 'Nearly Got Sacked' From The Watchman 'For Having A Beard'

Stephen Graham has nearly got sacked from The Watchman “for having a beard”.

Copyright [Channel 4]

The This Is England star has joked writer/director Dave Nath - who makes his drama debut on the project - wasn’t entirely sure the star should take on the leading role in the end because he had never thought of this character Carl as having a beard.

Stephen said: “He nearly sacked me from the job because I had a beard, so it just shows you! I was filming something else, so I had to have a beard, and when I told him, he was really worried.

"He kept going, ‘Oh. I never thought about Carl with a beard. I don’t know.’

Copyright [Channel 4]

"I was going, 'It looks fine,’ and he was going 'Yeah, but a beard?’ So he says all those lovely things, all those superlatives, but he nearly f***ed me off because I had a beard!”

The drama tells the story of CCTV operator and father-of-two Carl as he is forced to deal with a group of drug dealers he has been watching through his screens while working alone on a night shift.

Despite admitting he never thought Stephen would take on the role, Dave wrote the part with the Boardwalk Empire star in mind, but was “too embarrassed” to suggest him for the character.

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He added to Channel 4: “I’m a massive fan of Stephen, and of This Is England. But I just assumed there was no way he’d do it. I didn’t want to get excited about something that was never going to happen.

"I was too embarrassed to even suggest him in a meeting with Channel 4, but their commissioning editor, Nick Mirsky, said it first. I never expected him to do it, and when he said he’d do it, I suddenly went, 'God, this film could be quite good.’ ”

The one-off drama airs on Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 4.