7 things tele­vi­sion has taught me...

TV Times - - Interview - CRIME DRAMA DCI Banks WED­NES­DAY / ITV / 9.00Pm David Hollingsworth

don’t wear red on Star Trek

‘If you’re beamed aboard the

USS En­ter­prise un­der the com­mand of James T Kirk as a new crew mem­ber, don’t join the queue for red shirts! If you get a red shirt, you’ll be sent as an ad­vanced land­ing party to some strange planet and the odds are you won’t be com­ing back. So, ei­ther wear a dif­fer­ent colour shirt or nip down to see Dr Mccoy and tell him you’ve sprained your wrist playing space chess.’

Sooty should be a day­time chat show host

‘Most ac­tor in­ter­views on day­time telly last about five min­utes. So why not have Sooty whis­per into the ac­tor’s ear and then the ac­tor can re­ply,“what’s that, Sooty? You want me to tell you all about my lat­est project?” In the back­ground you could have Sweep in his dun­ga­rees try­ing to do some dec­o­rat­ing.’

Wild at Heart had lots of an­i­mal mag­netism

‘My dad al­ways told me to re­mem­ber that, as a TV ac­tor,

I’m a guest in peo­ple’s homes and that’s true enough. Peo­ple come up to you as if they’ve al­ready met you be­cause they’ve in­vited you into their house by watch­ing you on the telly. These days they nor­mally want a quick selfie or an au­to­graph. It’s al­ways nice to get a bit of en­cour­age­ment from the view­ers.

‘Peo­ple of­ten ask if Wild at Heart is com­ing back. I’d love that, as I re­ally miss the an­i­mals. Work­ing with them

was a spe­cial treat.’

em­brace tech­nol­ogy we’re ad­dicted to hos­pi­tal and cop shows

‘We can’t re­sist watch­ing what hap­pens to peo­ple who end up in hos­pi­tals or po­lice sta­tions. If you ever do wind up in the lat­ter, you’d want some­one as dogged as Banks help­ing you.

‘Ac­tu­ally, talk­ing about hos­pi­tal shows, once upon a time I al­most landed a role as a reg­u­lar on Ca­su­alty. It was be­tween me and Rob­son Green [for the role of porter Jimmy Pow­ell] and, of course, he got it. That was my Slid­ing Doors mo­ment – who knows, I could have ended up singing with Jerome!’ ‘If TV sport cov­er­age has taught me any­thing, it’s that we shouldn’t be afraid of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances. In cricket, you can now tell whether a bats­man is out LBW or not and in foot­ball we now use goal-line tech­nol­ogy, which means we no longer have to de­bate whether the ball was over the line or not.

‘Plus, it’s been great for ten­nis, as you can see whether the ball has landed in or out. Em­brace the fact that it has en­hanced the whole ex­pe­ri­ence im­mea­sur­ably.’

Now DCI Banks is back for a fifth se­ries, Stephen Tomp­kin­son tells TV Times what he’s learnt from a life­time watch­ing the box

ra­dio breeds great Tv

‘We should also re­mem­ber how in­flu­en­tial ra­dio is on tele­vi­sion. Ra­dio shows can of­ten be suc­cess­fully adapted for TV, es­pe­cially in com­edy. Han­cock’s Half Hour, The League of Gen­tle­men, Good­ness Gra­cious Me and Lit­tle Bri­tain all be­gan life on the ra­dio be­fore be­com­ing huge TV hits.

‘My all-time favourite ra­dio show was a 1981 BBC Ra­dio 4 pro­duc­tion of Lord of the Rings, fea­tur­ing Ian Holm, John Le Mesurier and Bill Nighy. I was hooked on it as

a kid, I thought it was ab­so­lutely bril­liant.’

writ­ers are the key

‘Writ­ers are the heart of any show. They should be cher­ished, yet they’re of­ten ig­nored. I’ve been ter­ri­bly lucky with the ones I’ve worked with. When I did Drop the Dead Don­key, Andy Hamil­ton and Guy Jenkin would still be pen­ning the script on the day it was recorded, which was the day be­fore it went out on C4.

‘I was also lucky to work with Kieran Pren­diville, who cre­ated Bal­lykissan­gel. The show at­tracted 15 mil­lion view­ers, which is the big­gest au­di­ence I’ve ever had.’

‘Who are you call­ing a Chee­tah?’ Owzat! Eng­land pace­man

Stu­art Broad cel­e­brates

Oh no, looks like Scotty’s in trou­ble...

Silent wit­ness Sooty waits for co-star Sweep to squeak up

Rob­son got the green light in­stead of Stephen

My dad al­ways

told me to re­mem­ber that, as a TV ac­tor, I’m a guest in peo­ple’s homes and that’s

true enough Han­cock en­joyed a lot more than half-an-hour DCI BANKS is pre­viewed

on pages 66-67 Tele­vi­sion set: The cast of Drop the Dead Don­key

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