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Keeley Hawes says she was the victim of attempted kidnap at Belfast Airport

Hawes, who plays a detective suspected of corruption allegations in a new BBC drama, was left shaken by the experience

Keeley Hawes has claimed that she was the victim of an attempted “kidnapping” at Belfast Airport when she arrived in the city to film a new BBC drama series.

However, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has said it had no knowledge of the incident which occurred when Ms Hawes flew in to Belfast to shoot the police corruption drama Line of Duty 2.

The Spooks star said that she was met at arrivals by a pre-booked mini-cab driver brandishing a white board carrying her name in large letters. The man took her case and started leading her to his car.

Keeley Hawes: My Secret Life

She told Radio Times: “We’d just walked through the sliding doors out of the airport when I looked over and saw a bunch of drivers from a big cab firm and there was another sign with my name on. The second one looked slightly more official. I said, ‘Has there been a double booking?’ The guy with my case said, ‘I don’t know.’ I said, ‘Well, who called you?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’  Then he let go of my case and walked off.”

She added: “I should have noticed something when I said hello and he said, ‘Oh, I was hoping you’d be blonde.’ That’s not something people normally say – I guess it’s a bit creepy.”

Ms Hawes told a police advisor working on the BBC2 series (a “high-ranking officer”), who contacted local officers.

“He looked into it and put my mind at rest a bit,” she said. “The police tracked the guy’s numberplate through CCTV.” No arrests were made but the actress said the incident was “a bit frightening.”

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: “We have conducted a number of checks with local police and can find no record of the incident having been reported to police.”

There was no known issue of fake mini-cab drivers trying to pick up passengers at Belfast Airport, the police said.

Hawes, who plays a detective suspected of corruption allegations, said she filmed intense interrogation scenes in which she was “waterboarded”.

The actress recently quit the West End show Barking in Essex after continually clashing with her co-star, Sheila Hancock.