Murder on the Blackpool Express
saturday / gold
An Agatha Christie-inspired murder-mystery spoof – what’s not to love? Comedian and actor Johnny Vegas tells us about heading the all-star cast, which includes Car Share’s Sian Gibson, Una Stubbs and Nigel Havers…
There’s no sign of Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple in Gold’s new comedy drama Murder on the Blackpool Express, but the star-studded one-off whodunit plays fond homage to Agatha Christie’s finest with red herrings, sinister clues and gruesome corpses aplenty.
It centres on long-suffering coach driver Terry, played by Benidorm’s Johnny Vegas, and tour guide Gemma
(Car Share’s Sian Gibson), who are trying to give their demanding passengers a coach trip to remember as they visit the locations used in a mystery writer’s novels. But when the tourists gradually start being bumped off in ways that resemble the novels, who is responsible?
TV Times climbs aboard the death coach with Johnny, 47, to find out more… How would you sum up the feature-length comedy? Gemma runs this down-atheel coach company and it’s really their last chance trip to make some money. But strange things are afoot. They suddenly realise that these can’t just be accidents and that they might all be in danger, so Terry, who is suspicious from the start, takes charge.
What’s Terry like?
He’s an unambitious guy who’s had a lot of disappointments in his life, but he has held a secret torch for Gemma for a while. There’s a lovely chemistry between them, but
he doesn’t think anything will come of it. But then what happens on the coach brings out the best in him, so Gemma starts to see him in a different light…
The cast list is incredible…
If you’d told me that one day
I’d be sitting on a coach with
Una Stubbs and Nigel Havers and all these other amazing people, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had to keep pinching myself. It was good seeing Sheila Reid from Benidorm again and Griff Rhys Jones was great fun. We couldn’t get through scenes for laughing, even when we were standing over a beheaded corpse.
What was it like filming the scenes in Blackpool?
Great. I used to go to Blackpool as a kid, we’d always go to see the illuminations. It was lovely filming in the Tower because I had never been up there before, so it was another tick off the bucket list. I visited the Comedy Carpet too and saw my quotes on it, which was nice.
Are you a fan of whodunits?
I do like a murder mystery and I was a massive fan of Columbo and my mum has always got something like CSI on. She’s addicted to them. We just went on holiday to Wales and I had a full week of Vera. But if I am watching something and I’m the smart Alec who guesses the villain, I tend to keep it to myself. I don’t like being wrong!