TV Times – 27 July 2019

(Barré) #1



ctor Jason Watkins
has shown his
serious side in
some of TV’s
most compelling
dramas. Standout roles include an
obsessive forensics investigator in
BBC1 thriller Line of Duty and his
BAFTA-winning lead performance
in ITV’s real-life drama The Lost
Honour of Christopher Jefferies.
But when TV Times catches up
with him for an exclusive interview,
the W1A star couldn’t be happier
about reprising his role as gloriously
selfish Roger in the second series of
BBC1 family sitcom Hold the Sunset.

‘It’s a real joy,’ enthuses Jason,

  1. ‘Hold the Sunset isn’t easy to
    make because we want it to be the
    best it can be, but it’s just great to
    be doing comedy again.
    ‘Having done Trollied [Jason
    played store manager Gavin Strong
    in all seven series of the Sky One
    sitcom], I enjoy coming back to
    another show each year and using
    my funny bones again. It’s great
    balancing drama with comedy to
    keep all your skills honed!’
    After moving in with his
    pensioner mum Edith (Alison
    Steadman) in the last series
    following his marriage break-up,
    this time we find Roger up to more
    idiotic scrapes and no closer to
    letting Edith and her exasperated
    boyfriend Phil (John Cleese) leave
    Britain for a new life abroad.

Here, Jason tells us what’s ahead,
why sitcom is such a tricky beast and
why he’s fallen for a singing crocodile!

What do you like most about
playing Roger?
It’s great because I’d like to say he’s
childlike, but he’s actually childish!
He can’t let his own childhood go
but he forgets his responsibility to
those he is close to. Roger feels the
world owes him a living and needs
to wise up to his genius. He’s like
a middle-aged adolescent!

Does he have any new schemes
this time around?
Phil and Edith are still trying to sell
Phil’s house so that they can move
away and enjoy their lives, but
Roger’s doing his best to scupper
that. He hasn’t got a job and is

paying alimony to his ex Wendy
[Rosie Cavaliero], so he tries to
rent out part of Edith’s house as a
B&B and he and Bob [Edith’s one-
time boyfriend, played by James
Cosmo] also hatch a hare-brained
plan to be buskers. But anything he
does never quite pans out...

Roger takes Methuselah, his
crocodile ventriloquist’s dummy,
busking, doesn’t he?
Yes, my ventriloquism career has
taken off this series! I might give it
a go for real for a Summer season!
Methuselah often speaks what
Roger’s thinking but hasn’t the
gumption to voice. But Methuselah
has a life of his own. Roger is
talented, although whether he’s a
good singer or not I can’t say because,
of course, I’m not singing – he is!

Sounds like you’ve bonded!
[Laughs] Yes, he’s at home now
making some breakfast! But on set,


‘I’ve bonded

with a crocodile’

Jason Watkins on why he loves starring in BBC1 sitcom

Hold the Sunset – and making music with a cuddly toy!


Hold the Sunset


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