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.

Alun Cochrane interview

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

Trying Again is stand-up Alun Cochrane's first major TV acting role...

Sam's a bit of a lad, isn't he?

He is. I really like him. As soon as I read the first script, I got him. He's quite a simple soul, but some people are, aren't they? He's not complicated and happy with an easy life that's entertaining, involves trips to the pub and a bit of mischief. He's not an out-and-out goodie or baddie, but somewhere amusingly in the middle.

Do you see any similarities between yourself and Sam?

I really do. I know people who are more like him than me, but I was on tour with a fellow comedian who described me as "a refreshingly simple man". There's certainly an element of that in Sam. If I was a bit more industrious, I could come out with quite a few of his daft theories and jokes, but luckily
Sam has brilliant writers providing his lines, so his stuff is funnier than mine.

Is this your first major acting role?

Yes. I studied at drama school then left to become a comedian. This series has been a really nice way of stepping back to acting. It's been a brilliant experience. Sets are such busy places so there are tonnes of people to chat to and loads to watch.

Why do you think it is that many comedians make such good actors?

I'm not sure if I have made a good one yet. We'll have to see what everyone thinks. I think stand-up and acting overlap. It's like snooker and pool - they are slightly different but require similar skills. Being able to act helps give your stand-up comedy what I'd call a 'first-time' quality. Having a certain freshness, like you're making it up on the spot, is important on the night. Sometimes, instead of doing a scene lots of different ways, it's better to act as though these carefully prepared lines are just coming to you.

Can comedians work just as well in dramas?

I'd like to think they can adapt to any genre. Some say that 'serious' actors often struggle doing comedy but comedians often cope quite well with hard-hitting storylines. I loved that bit in The Office when Ricky Gervais's character is sacked - it's genuinely sad. But it's not a hard-and-fast rule. I just hope I'm good in this.

Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Sam (Alun Cochrane), Matt (Chris Addison). Copyright: Avalon Television

You and Chris Addison are both well known on the stand-up circuit. Did your paths cross before joining this project?

Loads of times. We've worked together a fair bit. I'm surprised to be cast as his mate because we're reasonably close in age and body type and I thought television was more fickle than that, like if they have a tall, thin man in the principle role that everyone else would be short. I'm glad they overlooked that and appreciated how similar I am to Sam.

Sam and Matt get themselves into some sticky situations. What's your favourite scene involving the pair of them?

In the second episode, the tourist office is robbed by children and Matt is manning the shop while my character is in the loo. He's reading the paper, blissfully unaware that his mate is being ambushed. Sam has a theory that there are two sorts of people in the world; those who do their business at work and those who don't.

I love that that's how he judges people. Sam is that guy, who we've all met, that has a theory on everything. Sam also has a blatant crush on Gail. I like the fact he'll happily say "I fancy your sister" and repeat it constantly. He doesn't employ a filter at all. He just lays it all out.

And it is a sizeable crush? Can you understand the appeal of an older woman?

I do. I don't understand why society finds it acceptable for men to date younger women but not the other way. My wife is six months older than me, which I'm sure she'll appreciate me broadcasting. I wouldn't rule out fancying an older woman at all. I find it odd when a 70-year-old guy dates a someone in their twenties, but a bloke that's 30-odd dating a 40-year-old woman is completely fine to me.

Trying Again. Image shows from L to R: Sam (Alun Cochrane), Gail (Elizabeth Berrington). Copyright: Avalon Television

Do you think Sam is attracted to Gail's straightforward nature?

There are people who have a weird forthright energy and go through life saying it how they see it, which is very sexy. I can see why Sam and Ryan have fallen for Gail.

There's a stellar writing team on this project. Were you a fan of their work before?

A huge fan. Simon Blackwell is such a diverse writer. It's great to speak to him and learn from him. I've written a lot of stand-up but I've never attempted a sitcom. I've been kicking around ideas but not with any of the hard graft that serious writing takes, so maybe I'm a bit more like Sam than I'm letting on. I'd like to give it a go but now I have a really good guy to compare myself to, it might be a disincentive.

How was working in Kendal?

It was lovely. The setting looks beautiful on screen and being on location really helped fuse the crew and cast together. We had a few drinks, bonded and really got behind the project.

Published: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

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