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"I could've ended up in a bad way": Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters on growing up in London

The 'Bulletproof' stars reflect on adolescence and friendship

"I could've ended up in a bad way": Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters on growing up in London

Noel Clarke (Kidulthood) and Ashley Walters (Top Boy) have been men about London town for years. In fact, they’ve known each other for two decades, but have only just collaborated on their first project, Bulletproof – premiering on Sky One, Tuesday 15 May.

The show sees Clarke and Walters as Bishop and Pike, two best friends and partners in (solving) crime. The pair take on a case that features shootouts, corruption and breaking a lot of road rules as they delve into the underbelly of East London. But at its core, the show is an exploration of friendship and the importance of trust and connection.

It’s a theme that both actors relate to. Much like his character Ronnie Pike, Ashley Walters grew up in London and knows the gritty realities of city life. 

Below he reflects on where he’s from and how his childhood friendships have shaped who he is now, plus what the alternative might have been had he not taken up acting…

Similarly, Noel Clarke takes the opportunity to return to his home turf in West London with his childhood group of friends to talk about his lasting relationships.

In an era of rapid gentrification, Clarke reveals the importance of long-lasting bonds with the community he grew up in, despite where life might have taken him.

Mirroring his character Aaron Bishop in Bulletproof, when the going gets tough, Clarke finds support in his best buddies.

It can be hard keeping in touch with the friends you grew up with, but here Clarke explains how the guys he’s known forever have kept him grounded.

Catch Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters in Bulletproof, airing on Sky One from Tuesday 15 May