‘We detested each other’: Christopher Eccleston on his relationship with Mark Strong

Christopher Eccleston has revealed that he and ex-colleague and actor Mark Strong once hated each other.

The pair acted alongside each other in the Nineties BBC drama Our Friends in the North, but apparently didn’t let personal feelings get in the way of their professionalism.

The series aired in 1996 and also featured well-known actors including Daniel Craig, Gina McKee and David Bradley.

The series told the story of four friends living in Newcastle over 30 years and was adapted from a play written by Peter Flannery.

Eccleston played the character Nicky Hutchinson, while Strong played Tosker Cox, forming two of the main four characters.

‘We detested each other. We really did not like each other at all,” Ecceslton told the BBC about his relationship with Strong, in a recent interview.

“When we did the scenes together, that dislike which was key between Toscar and Niki was also put aside.”

He added: ‘We were professional, we weren’t sabotaging or hijacking, because we had so much respect for Peter Flannery and the project.”

Actor Mark Strong who played Tosker Cox in Our Friends in the North (Getty Images)
Actor Mark Strong who played Tosker Cox in Our Friends in the North (Getty Images)

Ecclestone compared the relationship to “going to the office – there are people in the office you don’t get along with”.

He said that despite their differences, he and Strong appreciated each other as actors.

“It was very interesting for me, because I didn’t like him as a person, and he didn’t like me as a person, but I admired him so much as an actor,” he said.

“I always felt that Mark’s was possibly the best performance in it.”

Eccleston went on to play the lead role in the BBC’s hit series Doctor Who, in 2005, while Strong has appeared in films such as Cruella and Stardust.