‘I tried my best’ Screw star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell addresses major change for Channel 4 show

Screw: First look at new Channel 4 prison drama

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Channel Four’s latest prison drama Screw premiered last Thursday and it’s on its way to becoming the biggest miniseries on the network. Jamie-Lee O’Donnell who played Rose Gill addressed a major change, which fans were quick to spot.

A synopsis for Channel Four’s latest drama stated: “This is prison as never seen before – the uncensored, shocking and often darkly funny reality of life as a prison officer in an all-male prison in 21st century Britain.”

The series did just that, as it gave viewers an insight into life inside the fictional Long Marsh prison, as well as the officers who worked there.

Screw followed Rose (played by Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), a 21-year old trainee officer who joined the staff at the start of the series.

Ahead of the show’s premiere, O’Donnell highlighted one of the biggest challenges she encountered as well as the change she had to make for it.

The actress revealed: “Doing a northern English accent. I tried my best! I really enjoy doing accents and although I was nervous, putting my heart and soul into it, thankfully people on set responded really well.”

O’Donnell is well recognised from the hit Netflix sitcom Derry Girls, where she speaks in her normal Irish accent, which had to be adjusted as her character Rose is from a Northern England town.

Fans also noticed her accent had changed and took to Twitter to share they were impressed with the star.

BlueSkiesG1 wrote: “Jamie-Lee O’Donnell’s accent is class too. Very good!”

MummyToADiva remarked: “Jamie Lee O’Donnell without the Irish accent is weird! #Screws”

While Jonezo offered a suggestion: “Loving #Screws already but @JamieLeeOD should have kept her amazing beautiful Irish accent. Good on you tho girl.”

Unlike many other prison dramas, rather than following the individual lives of the inmates, Screws focuses on the officers.

Writer, creator and executive producer Rob Williams revealed this was the intention: “They’re public servants, yet they’ve never really had their own TV show in the way that paramedics, firefighters and police have.”

He added: “I’ve met lots of officers and found myself not really thinking about them as individuals but as uniforms.”

As the latest trainee officer, Rose is barely out of her teenage years and considered “mouthy,” but she is smart and determined to prove herself.

She works under the watchful eye of Leigh Henry (Nina Sosanya), a no-nonsense supervising officer, who devoted her adult life to working in the prison.

While little has been revealed about Leigh’s personal life, there is a secret she is hiding which could cost her more than just her job if they ever got out.

While Leigh was unimpressed and didn’t trust Rose, O’Donnell revealed there were some similarities between herself and the character.

She shared: “Our journeys are quite different, but how she handles things and her attitude towards things feels quite familiar.

“Because of where she comes from, she has these really positive attributes about herself and she’s quite adaptable, I could definitely relate to that.”

Thankfully, the entire six-part series is available for fans to binge-watch, as they await a release date for the upcoming second season.

Screw is available to stream on All4.

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