ACTOR Martin Compston revealed how he almost turned down the Line of Duty role that has made him a household name during a triumphant return to his home town in aid of Ardgowan Hospice.

Martin told how his determination to play Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris in The Wee Man almost forced him to knock back the part of Steve Arnott in the BBC crime drama.

It was one of a string of stories from behind the scenes of the hit show as the 37-year-old joined co-stars Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar on stage at Port Glasgow Town Hall for a one-off fundraiser, hosted by broadcaster Gordon Smart.

Martin said: "Paul Ferris is engrained in the west of Scotland culture, and when the part came up, I was desperate to play him.

"The problem was the filming was initially going to clash with series one of Line of Duty. I still have sleepless nights thinking about how I could have turned down Steve Arnott, but thankfully it all worked out in the end."

Joining the trio, who have been nicking 'bent coppers' now for a decade, was LOD creator Jed Mercurio, who also gave fans an insight into the casting and crafting of the smash hit show.

Other highlights included the trio recreating their viral TikTok dance, a raucous sing-song led by Adrian and Vicky revealing which female co-star she would have 'happily kissed'.

Martin also told the crowd - which included Scottish millionaire Sir Tom Hunter - how he feared he had been killed off after a shock phone call, the secrets behind Ted Hastings' famous catchphrases were revealed and Gordon put the question on everyone's lips about a potential new series.

He exclusively told us: "It was brilliant to have the guys here in Inverclyde.

"Not only was it our first time together as a group since we finished filming, but it was the first time I've been able to get them in the car and show them where I'm from.

"They all know I'm a huge supporter of Ardgowan Hospice - it only took one message and they were all on board."

Tickets for the event sold out in 48 seconds, however fans who missed out still have the chance to see an exclusive recording of Saturday's action courtesy of the Tele.

Martin, who shot to fame 20 years ago in hit film Sweet Sixteen, added: "We know we could've taken the show to Glasgow or somewhere bigger, but I've always said that anything I do for the hospice will be kept local.

"It was great to be back home and have my family and friends in the crowd. It was a brilliant night and the feedback has been amazing.

Our exclusive screening of the AC-12 reunion is now available to online subscribers. Those taking an annual subscription will also receive a £10 M&S gift card. To subscribe to view the event, which is for online not page-turning edition subscribers, click here.