Last week saw Sue Perkins launch her first ever sitcom Heading Out on BBC Two, which has an incredible cast including Dominic Coleman who I caught up with for a chat about him, the show and working with animals.
For those who didn't catch the first episode of Heading Out, what's it all about?
Heading Out is all about a 40 year old vet called Sara who is very confident at her job and very confident in many areas except for the fact that she hasn't come out to her parents.
How would you best describe your character Jamie in it?
Jamie is one of Sara's long running friends and he and her other friend Justine ( ) are sort of instrumental in this plan. Which is basically to put Sara with a life coach (Toria, played by Joanna Scanlan), and to work towards telling her parents that she's gay.
What attracted you to this role in particular?
I just loved that he was that lovely balance of someone who's so sort of confident in certain areas and sort of fastidious and very set in his ways. I loved that funny sort of conflict between the two you know?
What was it like working with Sue Perkins? She not only stars in the series but also wrote it. Was she precious about her scripts on set?
No. Sue is the least precious person you could ever meet. She's incredibly easy going. Genuinely great to work with.
You know, she's a really sort of, nauseatingly nice person. Absolutely. She's great and really up for changing things around, just really open to everything really.
I mean it's one of those things, we improvised loads when we rehearsed and I kept sort of telling her "what you've got is brilliant on the page. We don't need to do this."
You always get that "Don't worry about sticking to the script" and I'm like "No, the script is brilliant. Why wouldn't I stick to it, you know?"
From Jo Brand to Dawn French and even June Brown this series isn't short of a cameo or two. How was it to work with so many great comedy talents?
Very intimidating (laughs). No, they're delightful. I've been lucky enough to work with Dawn before (Psychoville) so that was great. I hadn't worked with Jo Scanlan before. I knew Steve Oram and I knew Nicola Walker so you know that was quite nice,
And then we had, throughout the show, some brilliant cameos. Mark Heap (Friday Night Dinner), Steve Pemberton (Benidorm) and I've worked or know them anyway so it was quite nice actually. It's a really great cast and it's a show you genuinely enjoy doing. It was great.
What about animals? They say to never work with children or animals and in this you have quite a few animals on set. How was that?
There's a reason why they say that. The animals were... a pain in the arse! I'm a dog owner, so I'm sympathetic to the plight of the dog but they were quite irritating. They were a challenge the dogs. It's one of those things you know. They don't do exactly what you want them to do.
Having said that, they were great. You got to learn, with each animal, what made them tick a little bit. You could work out their little quirks and you had to adjust accordingly. They keep you on your toes really. So it's no big deal really. It's fun - more lively than perhaps you'd like.
Without giving too much away about the first series? How does your character evolve?
My character... there's a definite frisson between him and Justine ( ) but I wouldn't like to say if it led anywhere. He scores a couple of times, you know there's certainly an interest there. I see him as a bit of a lothario but you know (laughs).
It's lovely. We meet Toria's parents who are great. We meet Sue's parents as well (laughs) sorry... I meant Sara's parents as well. Then we get the final sort of cliffhanger.
You mention cliffhanger. Again, without giving too much away, is there room for a second series?
Absolutely. Yeah, I think so. I think regardless of the outcome there's room. The premise perhaps wouldn't be the same but it'd be nice to see where they go.
I'm sure Heading Out isn't the last thing we'll see if you this year, as you seem to be in a lot of the shows that I sit down and watch. So what do you have planned? Any more Trollied?
I've just finished Series 3 of Trollied actually. Which is great, it's a really good fun show. It's lovely, it's a bit mad because it's a 13 week shoot, so it can get a little bit hectic. But it's a great job. It's really enjoyable and it's a lovely cast and crew and production. It's light, and it's good, and it's fun and that's lovely.
And then I'm doing Up The Women this week actually. I start tomorrow. That's with Jessica Hynes and Rebecca Front and that's for BBC Four.
Was it always your intention to get into comedy?
Well... no. It just sort of happened that way really. I was kind of just doing a bit of everything and then I ended up doing a short film and got a comedy agent off the back of that and I was still wanting to do bits and bobs of everything and then I started to write stuff.
A series of shows in Edinburgh which were very much down the comedy route as that's what I was into at the time and a lot of brilliant stuff was coming out of the comedy world. I mean I do do a bit of everything but I do like comedy more and more. I'm quite happy there. I'm happy doing drama as well but there's something about the warmth of comedy that's great you know.
Great, so apart from the ones you star in, what else are you enjoying on the telly at the moment?
Erm... crikey! What am I enjoying on telly at the moment? At the moment, I haven't really been seeing a fat load if I'm honest. I enjoyed Call The Midwife, which is odd. I enjoyed Ripper Street very much. I thought that was great.
I think Sky do some brilliant stuff. I mean the comedy output on Sky is fantastic. You know Moone Boy... some really good stuff. And other than that Mad Men, which is worth some time definitely. It's a good show. A really good show.
If I'm working, like I say, it's a long shoot for Trollied and I tend to just hit back and the line for a little bit and go to bed. So I haven't watched as much as I would normally to be honest.