After Hours. Willow Hannigan (James Tarpey). Copyright: Jellylegs
After Hours

After Hours (2015)

  • TV sitcom
  • Sky One
  • 2015
  • 6 episodes (1 series)

Sitcom about an 18 year old music lover who's just had his heart broken for the first time. Set around an internet radio station. Stars James Tarpey, Laura Woodward, Lewis Henry, Jaz Martin, Jaime Winstone and more.

James Tarpey interview

After Hours. Image shows from L to R: Ollie (Rob Kendrick), Lauren (Jaime Winstone), Willow Hannigan (James Tarpey). Copyright: Jellylegs
After Hours. Willow Hannigan (James Tarpey). Copyright: Jellylegs

What did you think when you first read the script?

It was just one of the nicest and most charming scripts I have ever read. I wanted the part a lot so when I was offered it, I was so happy. Plus, when I read and heard about the soundtrack to the show, I was over the moon. I couldn't have chosen better music myself.

Can you describe Willow?

He's lost when we first meet him. He doesn't have many opportunities in his town so turning to After Hours is his salvation from his mind-numbing existence now that his friends have gone to university and his girlfriend has broken up with him.

He is going through that late teenage stage of finding his feet as a young man and Ollie and Lauren help him a lot with that.

You are just three years older than Willow. Did you find him an easy character to relate to?

Definitely. I have certainly been through that kind of thing in my own life. His love of music was something that I could also immediately get. Music has such a special place in my own world so it was really easy to make it important to Willow.

What was it like working with the rest of the cast?

Incredible. I really did learn a lot from them. John, Ardal and Susan were just so funny. I was constantly worrying that I was ruining takes by laughing. The scenes shot at the dinner table are some of the best times that I have ever had.

And what was it like playing opposite BAFTA winner Georgina Campbell?

It was amazing and I was so happy for her. I remember watching Murdered By My Boyfriend and thinking what a moving and powerful performance she gave. I thought, wow, I am in a TV show with this girl.

After Hours. Willow Hannigan (James Tarpey). Copyright: Jellylegs

And you do a lot of cycling in the series don't you?

Yes, I didn't realise how much cycling there would be. I am very glad I could cycle because it would have been a really bad thing to get to set and not be able to ride a bike. It was really fun riding up and down on this little vintage bike. On one of the days, we were filming a cycling shot and just over the lip of this hill was a pub, which lots of locals were outside. It was about four o'clock and every time we would reset the shot they would cheer and whoop. I was meant to look sad when I came over the hill but it was really hard to hide my smile. Lymm was a really lovely town and everyone was so nice and accommodating.

You've spoken about working with Ardal and John. Are there any other actors who really inspire you?

I've always been a massive fan of James McAvoy and I am also really fond of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman. I think they've done great work which they have done off their own back, and they have written their own stuff.

What's currently on your playlist?

I am listening to a lot of the Pixies and a bit of Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. I also really like The Maccabees' new album.

As a nineties child, what would you consider to be the song or the artist that summed up your youth?

I wish I could say someone like Nirvana but that just wouldn't be true. Probably Green Day. I definitely have some Spice Girls memorabilia at home somewhere though too.

What was the first album that you bought?

Maybe Eminem or Green Day.

If you could have your own radio show, what would it be like?

I'd love to play new upcoming bands and to introduce new acts. It is quite an exciting time for music, there are some great new artists around. That's always been quite a dream job as well, other than the acting - to get to sit there all day and listen to good music and give people breaks on the radio.

Why do you think people should tune into the series?

It's really sweet, warm and funny. There is not a lot like it on. Tune in for Ardal and John because their scenes are great, as well as the music. I don't think I have seen, not in the last few years at least, a show with such an interesting soundtrack.

Published: Monday 2nd November 2015

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