Martin Freeman feared he ‘bored’ Prince William after The Hobbit exchange

The Responder: Martin Freeman stars in BBC trailer

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Martin Freeman stars in The Responder, which will air on BBC One tonight. He plays Chris Carson, a police response officer who can’t remember the last time he did something good and is struggling with his mental health. In the first episode, Carson comes to the aid of a young heroin addict, but his colleagues question his behaviour. Mr Freeman’s career has seen him star in huge shows and films.

One such role saw him star as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, based on JRR Tolkien’s books.

One surprising fan of The Hobbit and of Lord Of The Rings is Prince William, who spoke to Mr Freeman about this in 2014.

The actor and the royal met at the London premiere of the first The Hobbit film.

A week later, Mr Freeman said: “He was a nice guy. He is the biggest royal fan. We have fans everywhere, it is a very beloved book .

“William wanted to be there at the premiere as Kate was in hospital at the time so he obviously wanted to be there.

“He knew all the facts about Middle Earth and I think I kept him talking too long.

“You know the protocol, you have got to let them say what they want to say and let them move on but I think I was boring him a little bit as I held onto him talking about Middle Earth.”

The Duchess of Cam­bridge had been admitted to hospital after suffering from acute ­morning sickness.

Mr Freeman prepared for his latest role by speaking to himself in a Liverpudlian accent for a year, he revealed this week.

He told Metro: “I walked around for a year and a half, occasionally just talking to myself in scouse. Even though you’re not always the best judge of your own thing, I do trust my ear.

“If I say something, I know when it sounds off. I got very, very exact about that stuff. You have to be, because if I don’t do it well, it’s a terrible accent to get wrong.”

He went on to joke: “There are some accents where you don’t want to be in that city among the inhabitants of that city making a balls up of it.”

Meanwhile, William and Kate have been busy on a visit to Burnley and Clitheroe.

The royals met two new parents at a hospital, and even got the chance to hold their baby

Kate let out a loud “awww” which echoed throughout the room, prompting William to joke: “Don’t give my wife any more ideas!”

The crowd laughed, and Kate began to carefully pass Anastasia back to her parents.

William joked again: “Don’t take her with you.”

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Kate and William have three children together: Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three.

In 2020, the Duchess hinted that William did not want any more children while meeting with fans outside the Khidmat Centre in Bradford, Yorkshire.

Tony Schumacher, who wrote the show, spent 11 years as a first-response cop on Merseyside.

However, he told The Guardian this week that he left the force after a mental breakdown and that he was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder:

He added: “I still have some not-great days now.”

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