Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Meg (Jo Joyner), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television
Trying Again

Trying Again

  • TV comedy drama
  • Sky Living
  • 2014
  • 8 episodes (1 series)

Sky Living comedy drama about a man whose fiancée has had an affair with her boss. Stars Chris Addison and Jo Joyner. Stars Chris Addison, Jo Joyner, Charles Edwards, Alun Cochrane, Elizabeth Berrington and more.

Alex Macqueen interview

Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Meg (Jo Joyner), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television
Trying Again. Martin (Alex Macqueen). Copyright: Avalon Television

Comedy acting stalwart Alex Macqueen talks about how he fits into the world of Trying Again as Martin...

Martin loves to wind people up, doesn't he?

Yes he does, that's why he's great fun to play.

Is that what attracted you to the role?

The main draw was the chance to work with Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison again. When something is as well written as this, the lines fall into place seamlessly and it's a joy to learn your part.

As you allude to, you worked with Simon and Chris on The Thick Of It. Did this project feel like a reunion?

It's really nice to be on a set when you know other people; it instantly puts you at ease. It's like the first day at school. I've worked with Charles Edwards as well. Because we've all had a good time working together previously, I jumped at the chance to do it again.

A lot of your scenes are with Jo Joyner. How did you get along?

Really well, she's a lovely person to work with. I was poorly on the first day of filming, so all of our scenes had to be squeezed into the remaining schedule. We had 12-hour shoots but she was easy company and let me mess about.

Receptionists at GP surgeries have a reputation for being a bit tricky to deal with. Does Martin fit that description?

He certainly does. He's not a helpful, pleasant individual. That's not to say all receptionists are like that, although Martin's people skills are pretty low grade.

In other ways he seems very keen, with all his evening courses.

He does have a good heart but he's clumsy with it. He's not malicious, he's just a bit of a wally and it gets in the way of his good intentions.

You also starred in Hunderby on Sky Atlantic. How did production between that and Trying Again differ?

Greatly. Hunderby relies a lot on its look and feel. Some scenes took hours to light with candles and fireplaces. It's set in the 1800s and we had very elaborate costumes and wigs to wear, which could take hours of preparation, whereas on Trying Again we could get dressed in five minutes, which was nice. Although very different, both jobs were great fun. The parts in both were very good, which is the crucial element.

Trying Again. Martin (Alex Macqueen). Copyright: Avalon Television

From The Inbetweeners to Holby City, you've taken on a wide variety of roles. Do you look for something different with every job?

I'd like to, but there's a lot of competition for parts and in some ways you're better off playing one musical instrument than playing everything in the orchestra as it were. I'd love to be a Bond villain, though. I'm keen to play more baddies. With the taste of Hunderby, more period dramas are something I'm interested in too. I'd love to have a role in Dracula on Sky Living. If Jonathan Rhys Meyers gets bored of it, I'm happy to step into his shoes.

What sort of comedies do you like to watch?

As a child I loved Carry On films because of their eccentricity. I love farce. We didn't have a television at home during the school term, just during the holidays, so watching TV was a real treat for me. I didn't watch a lot of it so the bits I saw had a profound effect. These days, I watch documentaries for the good humour and poignancy side by side.

If you walked into a doctor's surgery, who would you like to greet you as the receptionist?

I'd love to see Kenneth Williams behind the desk. Terry-Thomas, a rather eccentric 1950s character, very well-spoken and totally over the top, would be a fun individual to encounter as well. Someone larger than life and completely out of place, like Dame Edna Everage, would make me happily pay the doctor a visit.

How important is it that Sky is investing in original ideas?

It's incredible. It's giving other channels a run for their money. My experience is that Sky is more agile with commissioning. There are fewer hoops to jump through and projects get off the ground quicker. It's getting rid of the bureaucracy that can stand in the way of creativity.

Published: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

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