'Ashes To Ashes' star Philip Glenister has been receiving fan mail from real-life police officers.The 44-year-old actor claims his character DCI Gene Hunt has become a "hero" to policemen who admire the politically incorrect, no-nonsense approach he displays in the BBC drama.He said: "Gene Hunt has become a hero to many policemen. He's a throwback to a time when there wasn't so much paperwork and fewer restrictions."Gene may behave in a way they would like to behave - given half a chance. He nails the bad guys but I'm not sure how long he'd survive in the modern era."Hunt was a huge hit with audiences during 'Life on Mars', the police show set in the 70s which ran for two series and spawned spin-off 'Ashes to Ashes'.He is renowned for frequently beating up suspects and possessing homophobic and sexist attitudes.'Ashes to Ashes' is set in the 80s, and Philip admits Hunt's methods will begin to appear outdated.

He said: "Hunt's already starting to look like a bit of a dinosaur in the 80s. We won't be doing another spin-off. He would be out of place in the 90s."