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I TALK TO Javone Prince

One of the most underrated sitcoms in my opinion of the past few years has been PhoneShop and I recently caught up with Javone who plays Jerwayne to find out what's in store for Series 3.

If you've not seen the show before, it's set in a mobile phone shop - I know, who would have thought that by the title - in Sutton and follows the team as they go about their day to day business.

There's Store Manager Lance, who's played by Martin Trenaman then the core selling team of Ashley (Andrew Brooke), Jerwayne (Javone Prince) Janine (Emma Fryer) and of course Christopher (Tom Bennett) or as he's often referred to - New Man.

It's been a while since the last series. So what can we expect from Series 3?

There are some new adventures for New Man and a few little lies that Jerwayne might have told gets him into a bit of bother, a little bit of trouble. So he has to weave himself out of this lie, which everyone in PhoneShop tries to help him do.

So what it is, they see me tell this lie and they're just looking like - "Dude, what are you doing?" so they all kind of just help me out. It's very funny, very funny.

You mention New Man there. Is this a nickname that's here to stay?

Yeah. New Man's back, New Man's back. He will always be New Man. Even if we get a new New Man, he's going to be called New Man.

Some people will remember PhoneShop from the televised pilot. Now three series in did you ever imagine it would go on to become what it has become?

No. No way. I thought that once we did the pilot it was so crazy, the response that we got from everyone, that after we made the first series I thought we weren't going to make another. The support that we've got, and the fans, is amazing. It's so good. I can't believe we've done a third one.

What do you think it is about PhoneShop that has got people watching and supporting the show?

I think, some people relate to it. It's sort of working people, working class people, every day. What people go through, the banter that people have - you can be anywhere. You can be in a phone shop or a bank, somewhere where you've got a good team so you can sort of bounce off each other. 

I think it's the one-liners as well - the chat that we have. A lot of people enjoy it.

You mention the one-liners there. That's something I definitely associate with the show. What's been your favourite one-liner so far?

"If man says him a ting, him a ting." "A-OWL." is brilliant! And, I don't know if I can swear (he can) but "You go tell Dr Dre that. He will fuck you up man innit." - That has always been one of my favourite lines.

What's it like working with Phil Bowker?

He is - absolutely amazing! He's a genius. He's so generous with his work, like he'd write a script and then say - "This is a base of what it is. What I want." But on the day we have a lot of input and he's so kind to say - "You know what, if that's not working... change it." - you know, to what makes it better.

And even on the day when we're filming we're still changing the script as we go. It's amazing!

So this is the dreaded 'third series'. Did you feel any pressure at all?

I ain't gonna lie to you, the first two series were good, they're good. I enjoyed them. We watched four eps the other week and they're SO good. I cannot wait for it to come out. 

I was on my knees laughing... tears came out! I'm shocked that it's funny, it's funny! Listen dude, you're going to have such a treat. I can't wait.

In the past you've had Adam Deacon and Kayvan Novak on the show. Any more cameos this series?

I can't say. But we have some wicked guests that come on the show. I can't tell you who's coming back or who's going to be there but there will be guests there man (laughs), there will be guests.

Do you ever see Jerwayne a bit further down the line taking over from Lance as manager?

I think he's happy on the ground selling. I think this is just for the time being until he decides what he wants to do, which is - he wants an empire like Jay-Z. He wants to big like Jay-Z.

Have you ever worked in a phone shop yourself?

No, I haven't, but my brother has. He worked for a phone shop, so when I was researching it, I was speaking to him about what he would do, what's the chat, what's the lingo so he was very very helpful.

He told me what people do in a phone shop, people take pictures of customers, or they go through people's phones to see what data is on their phones. He never did that. He was the good guy, but he knows people that have.

For example, if a really beautiful girl comes in and you've sold her a phone, you've got her phone number, so yeah... yeah (laughs).

How about yourself, Tom (Bennett), Martin (Trenaman) and Andrew (Brooke), do you all get on outside of work, socially?

We're such a tight group. I don't know if that's very rare or not but we have such a lovely time. It's been four years that we've been hanging together, and it's cool. We enjoy each other's company. I've known Andrew, who plays Ashley since I was 19, we've always just mucked about and acted like idiots in public.

You mentioned earlier that doing series two and three was a shock. Can you see a fourth?

I think there could be another one. I think it depends on what the fans want. Because sometimes you can kill a series, if you do too much, and then it's like - "I don't know if it's funny anymore." But I think there could be another.

PhoneShop returns Thursday 25th July at 10pm on E4


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