Watch: Line of Duty's Martin Compston on travel adventures in Norway for new BBC travel series

"Everyone was on champagne and hot dogs at nine in the morning"

Line of Duty star Martin Compston and pal Phil MacHugh follow the success of their Scotland road trip with a new travel adventure. Martin Compston’s Norwegian Fling is a six-part BBC series featuring a spectacular journey of almost 2,000 miles the length and breadth of Norway from Oslo to the North Arctic, they take in some dramatic remote scenery and unexpected urban exploits - the duo immerse themselves in modern Norway, sometimes literally, and get under the skin of what it means to be Scandinavian.

The journey this time goes from roller-skiing to zip-lining down a sky jump towering in the sky on the outskirts of Oslo, to being on stage and crowd-surfing at a Black Metal concert to Martin getting up close with a wolf and belting out the tunes while on the road.

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The series will be broadcast first on BBC Scotland, with all six episodes available on BBC iPlayer on February 22 before also then being shown across the UK on BBC Two on February 23.

The series starts in Oslo with Martin and Phil embracing the Nordic way of life. First, they head to the country’s centre for skiing excellence, Holmenkollen, where they have a crash course – literally for Martin - in roller-skiing, with Olympic gold medallist cross country skier Ragnhild Gløersen Haga and champion roller skier Ragnar Bragvin Andresen. As the series continues, Martin and Phil celebrate Norway’s National Day and try out some traditional jobs with scenic landscapes along the way. 

BBC Scotland/Tern TV

We met Martin and Phil today to find out more about their new travel series and what they discovered on their road trip. While discussing getting to grips with the Norwegian language, Martin said he would be open to starring in a Nordic noir detective series while Phil recounted being left floating in the North Sea and why the pair make good travelling partners.

We spoke about the connections between Norway and Scotland and whether Phil and Martin felt a sense of kinship while they were there with Martin recalling: "On National Day the whole country is on hot dogs and champagne at nine in the morning. There's a huge parade and we were part of it with the Bergen Pipe Band, there were people from Gourock there! It was amazing and brilliant to hear the pipes as part of it. Robert the Bruce's sister is buried at the Cathedral in Bergen."

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Going to somewhere completely unfamiliar presented new opportunities for the show that Martin thinks makes it more entertaining for the audience: "Last time there was a bit of a safety net, knowing you would get a bit of the patter because we were in Scotland. This one we were going into the unknown. They are quite direct, the Norwegians, and I think the series works better because of that. We just had to get stuck in and learn about the culture."

As the series continue, the pair travel from Bergen to Voss  as Martin and Phil dive into oil industry training and get a taste of local delicacies before getting their first glimpse of Norway’s epic fjord landscape with a final stop at Stegastein overlooking Aurlandsfjord. 

There's a chance to experience the Viking way of life, traditions and history before meeting Norwegian pagans Sigrid-Annette and Ivan of the Åsatru religion and take part in a blessing for the god Ægir. They then trek up into the fjords to experience the epic Romsdalen Gondola and its jaw dropping view across the landscape of the Troll Wall, Europe’s tallest vertical rockface.  

Trondheim brings a taste of modern Nordic life with a sauna, fine dining and a Black Metal gig. Martin’s last big drive of the trip is along the Atlantic Ocean Road and the Storseisundet bridge, famously seen in James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’. Their reward is a sojourn in a beautiful floating sauna in Molde

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Getting to Trondheim, Phil is in his element as the pair visit Credo, the Michelin star restaurant with the first Michelin sustainability award ever given. Chef Patron is Heidi Bjerkan, former private chef to the Norwegian Royal family and the first female chef in Norway to gain a Michelin star. They’ll get stuck in helping to prepare meatball soup for the kitchen meal for the restaurant team, before getting to sample some of the traditional ingredients Heidi is reimagining for her clientele, such as turnip and herring.  

From the refinement of Michelin dining to letting go Norwegian style at a death metal concert, Martin and Phil head to Svartlamon.  Once Trondheim’s squat settlement, it’s now a buzzing eco-district and tonight local lads and death metal band Hypermass are playing a sold out gig.

The boys finally reach the Arctic Circle as their epic road trip comes to an end. They head to Tromsø and meet local hero and international pop star Dagny to explore how Norway’s northern enclaves inspire her music, before she sends them on their final leg to Nordkapp with a sneak peak of her new track ringing in their ears.  

Their final destination beckons as Martin and Phil take to the skies one last time northwards to reach Honningsvåg - a tiny town at the edge of Norway where they’ll go hunting for king crab and have a singalong with the young people who call the northernmost town in Norway home. 

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