ALAN Davies always brings a sense of mischief to interviews.
As is the way with television, we met up in August to discuss the return of Jonathan Creek on New Year’s Day.
While Alan also voiced his fears about QI’s move from BBC2 to BBC1.
The online version of today’s TV feature interview with Alan is here.
And here’s some of the extra material which failed to make the final cut:
On his Creek debut almost 12 years ago:
“When I originally started it was very good for me, because I hadn’t been on a film set before. So the first episode of Jonathan Creek was the first proper acting I’d done.
“And it was a very good school. You had to learn every last syllable and get it right, and get it right from every angle. So I was back to school, in a way. Here we are – this is proper television now.
“No-one cuts any corners, everyone focuses, works very hard, the scripts are very good, the cast are all excellent. Not at all like being on ITV. This is the real thing,” he laughed.
QI moves to BBC1 with a Christmas special at 9pm next Monday – Dec 22.
Does the channel transfer mean a pay rise for Alan, Stephen Fry and all involved?
“It’s the same fee, although we’re hoping that’ll be open to negotiation, because I think the production company will get more money,” he smiled.
“Don’t get me started on that…on the Dave channel…the money everybody makes out of it.
“The main thing is, is that they allow us to make the show as we’ve always made it, and don’t start saying, ‘Right, now you’re on BBC1, can we have these two people from Casualty on’, say.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with people from Casualty, but you know what I mean. You don’t want them to start trying to change our show to fit the channel. You want them to take the show as it is and we can carry on as we are.”
He added: “This is the thing that worries me about moving to BBC1, is we get the same viewing figures we had on BBC2 and then they say, ‘It’s a failure,’ and just axe it.
“I know that’s why Jeremy Clarkson stays on BBC2 and I’m all for staying where we are. But we don’t have a choice, we don’t have any say. So I’m hopeful that we will continue until series Z. But I’m sure that if we do end up having to stop doing it on the telly, maybe we’ll just do it on the radio for X, Y and Z, with me and Stephen in our sixties.”
What about his original career as a stand-up comedian?
“It’s disappearing into the mists of time. I’ve just been to the Edinburgh Festival and watched a lot of stand-up comedians and you sit and think. ‘Oh, that’s funny…you don’t want to do it like that…if that was me…say this…’
“My happiest years were those first five or six years on the circuit after I left university. But you can’t go back again and all the people I was on the comedy circuit with are all long gone, either into careers or other professions.
“In fact it was doing Jonathan Creek which put the kybosh on it. We’d spend five months on the shoot and then another couple of months having a lie down afterwards, because the hours are pretty long. And then you’d go back to do a stand-up gig and think, ‘I haven’t got anything to say.’”
Jonathan Creek returns to BBC1 at 9pm on New Year’s Day
Jonathan Creek: David Renwick
Why I Revived Jonathan Creek