The Strip: articles

Channel Nine drama The Strip - new Underbelly on Gold Coast

FROM Underbelly to Blue Heelers, Frankie J Holden has played a cop many times in his career, but working on his latest show The Strip was a little more realistic than most.

As rumours circulate about an off-screen romance between the new Gold Coast crime drama's stars Aaron Jeffery and Vanessa Gray, Holden said the line between real life and fiction was a little blurry from the start.

Holden, who admits he doesn't watch much commercial television himself, said the cast of the Nine Network series were confronted with the seedy side of Queensland's famous beach city as soon as they arrived.

"Aaron Jeffery when he first arrived in town found a gram of coke in the lift of his hotel," Holden said.

"One night I walked out of my apartment and there was a very pretty girl walking out, and she was all dressed up at 5 o'clock at night, and so I said, 'where are you going all dressed like that at this time of day' and she was a receptionist at this strip club down the road.

"There is all that going on in the midst of the sunshine and the sun tans."

As for any romance between Jeffery and Gray, Holden denied any knowledge.

"Well if that's true I'll be most upset, because Aaron and I formed a very special relationship and as far as I'm aware we weren't seeing other people," Holden joked.

"So if that's true I'll be pretty pissed off."

The Strip centres on the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) - a small and elite unit of detectives who investigate major crimes that rock the city.

Holden plays Inspector Max Nelson, the boss of the Main beach CIB.

He said the Gold Coast was the perfect location for a police drama.

"I think it's really fertile ground for a show of this type because it's got a lot of elements there in real life that lend themselves to drama," Holden said.

"You've got all of that money, there is so much money floating around up there, you've got a transient population, there is sleaze up there, people go up there to have "a good time", so there's strip clubs and all that sort of thing there.

"There's lots of money gets washed through there, I know that for a fact."

With its slick look and murders-solved-in-an-hour premise, The Strip is already drawing comparisons to US series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Holden said he'd never watched the show.

"I've never seen those shows. I don't watch much commercial television," he said.

"But I could imagine that conclusion could be drawn."

The Strip premieres on the Nine Network on Thursday September 4 at 8.30pm.

By Alyssa Braithwaite
September 01, 2008 The Daily Telegraph