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Tom Davis calls time on Murder in Successville

"You don't want to be doing (series) four and five and it starts to creak and you start not loving it."

Each hilarious improvised episode of Murder In Successville saw Tom Davis play DI Sleet, a detective whose job it was to solve a number of crimes in the fictional town of Successville. A town filled with celebrities, played by some of the finest impressionists and comedy actors this country has to offer including Luke Kempner, Colin Hoult and Cariad Lloyd.

In each episode, Sleet would be joined by a different celebrity, known as a rookie recruit, who through improvised interrogation would help Sleet decide who was guilty. How? By pointing a gun and pulling the trigger, obviously.

When the series launched on BBC Three in 2015, it launched to rave reviews and over three series it won a string of awards including the BAFTA for Comedy Entertainment Programme in 2018. Since that win, everything seemed to go quiet on the Murder In Successville front with no news of a new series, but Tom was always the first to not rule another series out and even hinted on occasions at a feature-length film version.

However, speaking to Craig Parkinson on this week's episode of The Two Shot Podcast, Tom revealed the news that Murder In Successville fans had been dreading "I think I can say now and I think it's the first time that I've probably said it anywhere, is that it's sort of done really now. We've done three years of it, it was the most amazing journey, it was the most amazing thing to have been a part of, something that was so different. My whole career rests upon it."

"We've sold it to America now, so they can do their thing, but for me anyway I thought "That last series had three amazing incredible episodes, two that were brilliant but probably not as good as they could have been." You don't want to be doing (series) four and five and it starts to creak and you start not loving it."

"Every year people go "Are you going to do the Jamie Laing thing again when you're in his ear and making up stuff?" and we never did it again."

Speaking about his BAFTA win, Tom told Craig "I guess everyone says it but I really didn't expect to win the BAFTA. I didn't think it'd be us in a million years. I thought it was too weird and we'd probably missed our opportunity. I thought after that that we could do another one but will it be as good? To have made 18 episodes of something to a level that I'm proud of - and every series we won awards for it - that's enough. I have to move on."

Tom went on to talk about how he didn't think the series received the respect it should have done, "As much as that character's not me, as much as it's a character and it's a well thought out world, and I'm thinking on my feet and improvising, I don't think it necessarily was respected - and probably rightly so in certain circles - as being like that."

Talking about work outside of Murder in Successville, Tom said "The next step was to write Action Team but also King Gary which has been buzzing along for quite a long time, and just getting that right."

Action Team was a spoof comedy action thriller which followed the exploits of a special branch of MI6. The team was made up of four secret agents; the heroic Logan Mann, mix martial arts and bomb expert Monica Lang, crack sniper Graham Hooper and Huxley, who’s just on work experience.

They were overseen by the straight shooting head of operations Ruth Brooks, played by Vicky McClure and her assistant called Anne, played Derek Riddell. Also starring in the series were Jim Howick, Laura Checkley, Kayode Ewumi, Charlie Rawes and Wolfgang Cerny.

And last Christmas, Tom Davis wrote and starred in a pilot for BBC One as part of their Comedy Playhouse series called King Gary which starred Laura Checkley, Simon Day, Neil Maskell, Camille Coduri and Romesh Ranganathan.

The pilot followed childhood sweethearts Gary and Terri King whose aspirations are to achieve social acceptance and moderate material success in competitive suburbia.

Talking about the pilot, Tom told Craig "That's the one thing out of everything that I'll ever do that is the most important for me because it is my life."

"When it came out and people went "Oh these feel like cartoon characters" - this is where I'm taking it personally - it was reviewed well and went down well - but these aren't cartoon characters. Come and have a fucking drink with my dad! Come down the pub with my mate Rudgley. They're not cartoon characters! These are real people mate."

Listen to Tom's full interview with Craig Parkinson on The Two Shot Podcast here.


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