Frank Blake plays Shane Bradley in Blue Lights series 2

Blue Lights on BBC One: This is how you recognise actor Frank Blake, who plays handsome new hero Shane Bradley

He plays the new addition to the PSNI team

Frank Blake has joined the cast of Blue Lights series 2, and his confident character Shane Bradley has caused quite the stir amongst the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) team.

And not just because he was half naked when we first set eyes on him! Although (cough, cough), it wasn’t an unpleasant sight. Just ask Annie Conlon, who has been gooey-eyed ever since she first met her new partner.

Viewers may well recognise the actor from his roles in Game of Thrones, Sanditon, and Bridgerton. Although those of who you watched Normal People, might struggle to forgive him for playing the heinous bully Alan.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Irish actor, including if there’s another will-they-won’t-they romance on the BBC One show!

Frank Blake as Shane Bradley in Blue Lights
Actor Frank Blake joined the cast of Blue Lights series 2, as Shane Bradley (Credit: Two Cities Television/Christopher Barr)

Who plays Shane Bradley in Blue Lights?

Frank Blake portrays Shane Bradley in Blue Lights on BBC One. The actor joined the cast at the beginning on series 2, which started on Monday, April 15, 2024.

The character made quite the entrance, when he appeared half naked in his first ever seen. Viewers will know that Annie Conlon (Katherine Devlin) walked in on the new constable while he was changing.

While he may be easy on the eye, the new recruit is treated with a hint of suspicion. The reason? Newbie Shane Bradley has been added to the team by pushy boss Murray Canning, who isn’t afraid to step on toes, and seems to have his own agenda.

However, Frank immediately proves himself to be an asset to the team – he’s good at his job, that’s for sure. He’s brave, strong, and saved colleague Grace’s life in the first episode of the returning series.

And, yes, Shane appears to have a flirtatious connection with Annie. So that’s two sets of simmering sexual tensions, including Grace and Stevie’s will-they-won’t-they relationship.

Do Shane and Annie get together in Blue Lights?

Speaking at a press event for the new season of Blue Lights, co-creator Declan Lawn said: “Yeah, there’s definitely something going on there. Frank’s an amazing addition to the police family. Obviously we lost a big character in Gerry, and we can never replace him – he’s a unique soul.

“But it did allow us to bring in new energy and I think with the response cops being a year in, then Frank comes in, and he’s kind of a bit more experienced than them, it creates a really nice, interesting dynamic. He’s been put there by Canning. So they right out of the gate know that there’s something brewing.”

Meanwhile, Blake told ED! and other press: “He enters the unit in a strange time of transition for them. Canning has brought him in and I don’t know how many of those guys feel about Canning. And I guess they’re still kind of in mourning from the loss of Gerry, so he feels that atmosphere a little bit maybe.”

He added: “He’s quite tentative with how he’s approaching things – they all have their own dynamics and relationships already that he’s trying to figure out.”

Alan pours water over Marianne's head in Normal People
Frank Blake played Marianne’s bully brother Alan in the cast of Normal People (Credit: BBC)

He auditioned for series 1 of Blue Lights

Frank may have won a role in series 2 of Blue Lights, but he was turned away for series 1. The actor admits he auditioned for the first series of Blue Lights, which aired in 2023.

He went for the role of Mo McIntyre – the son of Republican crime boss James McIntyre (John Lynch) – but the part went to Michael Shea as they “went in a different direction”.

Talking to, Frank said: “I remember reading the scripts for the first series and thinking ‘God, they’re brilliant’. I watched it when it came out and that surprised me again.

“The show was so texturally different to so many police shows, which often put the plot before the characters, whereas this is the other way around and the characters come first. Each character has got an interesting story.”

He revealed that co-star Desmond Eastwood – who he worked with on Normal People – got him a part in Blue Lights season 2. Desmond, who plays DS Murray Canning, got in touch with him when he heard about a new character joining the show.

Frank explained: “DS Canning brings Shane into the unit. Des text me last summer saying there’s this part in Blue Lights and I think you’d be really good for it, you should follow it up!”

And the rest is history!

Who is Frank Blake? What else has he been in?

Frank Blake is an Irish actor, who has been on screens ever since 2017 when he appeared in the short film Inside I’m Racing. The actor played Mike in the film, about a young autistic boy fascinated with Motorsport who unexpectedly finds a chance to put his passion to the test.

That same year, Frank won the high-profile role of Constable Pip Bircher in the Sean Bean series The Frankenstein Chronicles. He went on to portray Conor Corcoran in Resistance, before landing a role in the acclaimed HBO drama Game of Thrones. He played a Northern Sentry in one episode of the series in 2019.

In 2020, Frank won arguably his most prestigious role to date, when he starred as Alan in the record-breaking Normal People. Anybody who watched it – and it was streamed by a whooping 23 million viewers – will probably despite his character. Frank played Marianne’s bully brother Alan, who tormented her whenever she was at home. He admits he felt “awful” filming the scenes opposite his co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones.

Frank Blake as Captain Fraser in Sanditon
Frank Blake as the rather dashing Captain Fraser in Sanditon (Credit: James Pardon)

Was Frank Blake in Bridgerton? Who did he play?

The actor went on to play Harry in the episode of Bridgerton entitled Swish, and Madden in one episode of Invasion. He subsequently secured another impressive part. In 2022, he played Captain Declan Fraser in period drama Sanditon. Fans will know that Fraser was one of the nicer redcoats – a gentleman, who fell for and ultimately proposed to Alison. Unlike his Normal People character, Fraser was an absolute darling.

Other notable Frank Blake roles include Birger in Vikings: Valhalla and, more recently, Sean McGuire in detective series Blackshore. After his role in Blue Lights, he’s set to play America’s failed 50-year war on drugs.

His film roles include Marcus in 2023’s Double Blind, and Doctor Murray in the comedy The Bright Side.

How old is Blue Lights actor Frank Blake? Where is he from?

Blue Lights star Frank Blake was born in 1996 in County Clare, West Ireland. He is currently 27.

He grew up in the village of Tuamgraney, and graduated from the prestigious Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art in 2016 at the age of 21.

His parents, Michael and Mary Blake, run East Clare Equestrian Training Centre and Frank often competed in events as a youngster. He also spent much of his spare time caring for horses, saying: “I walked from one sort of life into another.”

Frank is the grand-nephew of Irish novelist and playwright, Edna O’Brien. She is perhaps most famous for writing The Country Girls trilogy.

Is Frank Blake on Instagram?

The actor does have an official Instagram account. On it, he posts pictures from behind the scenes of his work projects, including Blue Lights.

Fans wondering if there’s any sign of a partner… We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. However, there’s no sign of a love life on his socials.

Read more: Blue Lights: Siân Brooke in profile: Her award-winning husband, real link to police force, and cause that’s close to her heart

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See Frank Blake in Blue Lights, every Monday night at 9pm on BBC One.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor