Stephen Graham and real-life wife explain how they ended up starring on BBC drama Time together

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Married actors Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters have discussed how they ended up both starring in hit new BBC drama Time – where they play an on-screen husband and wife.

Stephen, 47, is highly involved in the show not just as one of the stars, playing Eric McNally in the gritty drama, but also as an executive producer.

While real-life wife Hannah was eventually cast as Stephen’s on-screen wife, Sonia McNally – but the pair insist the casting was down to talent and absolutely nothing to do with nepotism.

Speaking on a radio show this week, Hannah explained that she was initially embarrassed when her husband suggested she audition to be on his show.

Real-life husband and wife Hannah Walters and Stephen Graham play a married couple on BBC drama Time
(Image: PA)

However, she came around to the idea and eventually landed the role because of the “chemistry” she has with her husband.

She explained on Radio X:"I really told him off.

"I really told him off. [I said] 'What are you doing? Why are you putting my name in there? You shouldn't have done that."

Stephen added: "And then she put herself on tape and obviously out of all the actresses that had put themselves on tape, he picked her because she was the best for the role.”

Stephen is one of the main characters in Time alongside Sean Bean
(Image: BBC)

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Hannah then joked: ”Because, fortunately, we had quite good chemistry.

"It would have been shocking if we didn't!"

Stephen did, nonetheless, suggest his position of power may have influenced Hannah landing the role.

He said: "This time, fortunately, I was involved in the respective – I was an executive producer.

“I’m sitting at the grown up’s table, you know what I mean?

"I was able to make some suggestions along with casting and things like that and [director Lewis Arnold] was fantastic and really accommodating and that’s where I threw a few names in the hat – the likes of Bobby Schofield, James [Nelson] Joyce…"

Stephen is also an executive producer on the BBC show
(Image: BBC)

Asked is “Hannah Walters” was also a name that was thrown in the ring, Stephen confirmed: “Yeah and that’s how it kind of happened."

Time – starring Sean Bean as a convict inside a violent prison – aired on the BBC earlier this month, winning praise from viewers and critics alike.

The three-part drama is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.

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