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A Touch Of Cloth
The Mummy’s John Hannah stars with Scott & Bailey’s Suranne Jones in a crime drama spoof. Based on a story by Messiah writer Boris Starling, the script by Charlie Brooker (Dead Set) and Daniel Maier (TV Burp) mercilessly lampoons all the clichés of the well-known genre. Here, John tells TV Choice more…
Are you a fan of things like Airplane, or the Naked Gun genre?
Isn’t everybody? Obviously, A Touch Of Cloth is a bit of a homage to all of those films. But it’s also its own thing, and that’s what makes it worthwhile. We were talking the other day about how Charlie Brooker might come up with the same characters doing other things. And it felt a bit like the Carry On films as well, which is great.
What’s Suranne like to work with?
Is she a diva?
A bit of a diva…No, she’s great.
Is hard not to laugh when you’re doing really long, lingering looks at each other?
Yes, that took a while. That was something that just developed. Sometimes, quite early on, you’re not sure of what you’re doing, you’re not sure of the nature of the animal, so you’ve got to trust the director. I think it was director Jim O’Hanlon’s idea to hold the looks much longer then normal. We were a bit trepidatious about it but you know it works when the crew are laughing at things.
Is there a slapstick element to the comedy?
I don’t do too much slapstick. But Brian Cox does a great stepping-on-the-rake gag. That was probably the most slapstick.
Would you like to do more comedy?
Yes, I would actually. I mean, the only out-and-out comedy thing I’ve done was The Mummy, I suppose, and that was very slap-sticky. I thought that would open up new avenues for me, which it didn’t. So yes, comedy’s good and, let’s be honest, I’m not doing a cop again…
Did it take a bit of courage to take the role, because it might stop you from playing other cops in the future?
Most actors are sick of doing cop shows.
Do you get offered them on a weekly basis?
More or less. Yes, it’s all we seem to do, isn’t it? There’s a plethora of cop shows and cops shows in different locations.
What’s the worst cop part you’ve been offered?
Oh, they’re all bad!
Seriously, do you like any police dramas?
Shadow Line — I thought that was really good, as a cop show. I just think we don’t need so many. And they go on forever — Lewis and David Jason, Morse, Young Morse. You know, I’m sure some of them are very good, but really I think the commissioners have to stop trying to second-guess what they think the audience wants to see and go back to the old days a bit.
They should just commission something and let them [the programme-makers] get on with it, rather than everything being done through market research. You know, be a bit more ballsy.
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