“WHAT I’ve had once or twice is people saying:
‘Oh, hello. I know you…what’s your name again?’
“I say, ‘Rowan Atkinson.’
“And they say, ‘No, no, no.’
“A most peculiar idea where you tell people your name and they don’t believe you.
“Or they assume you’re joking. That you’ve made something up.
“For your identity to be denied to your face is potentially quite disturbing.”
Rowan Atkinson talking to me about his experiences on public transport.
“YOU can come up with a caricature in a relatively short space of time.
“But if you want a character, that takes longer.
“All characters for me are a voyage of discovery.”
Rowan Atkinson talking to me about how his portrayal of Maigret has developed.
Ahead of Maigret’s Night At The Crossroads (ITV, 8pm Easter Sunday).
Rowan’s third appearance in the role – in a series that has really hit its stride.
Terrific, compelling, thoughtful, top quality drama and so beautifully written, directed and filmed.
“I hope people find the stories engaging. I think they will.
“I’m quite good at not doing very much on screen.”
Rowan Atkinson talking to me in Budapest last November while working on two major new TV films.
Maigret (ITV, 9pm Easter Monday) marks his debut in the role of the original television detective who set the benchmark for all who followed.
Adapted from the books by legendary author Georges Simenon.
The casting of the Blackadder and Mr Bean star as Chief Inspector Jules Maigret made headlines around the world when it was first announced last year.
It was fascinating to watch his transformation into the French detective during filming in the Hungarian capital.
Doubling for Paris in the 1950s because it looks far more like that city at that time than modern Paris does today.
Darkness had fallen on location at a former Budapest brewery when shooting wrapped for the day.
The moment for me to interview Rowan in his trailer for the ITV press pack / production notes.
He did not disappoint.
“IT was just like getting a fantastic present.
“It’s so rare to find a crime book that’s so beautifully written and so rich and deep and complex.”
Screenwriter Andrew Davies talking about adapting Benjamin Black’s Quirke novels for BBC1.
The first of three 90-minute Quirke film – Christine Falls – was screened at the BFI in London all of 11 months ago in June 2013, followed by a Q&A.
But as is sometimes the way with TV schedules and dramas that don’t fit into neat one hour slots, the start of the series was delayed until now.
With that first Quirke story on BBC1 at 9pm tomorrow (Sunday May 25).