Miles Jupp: the telly bit of the interview
Andrew Mickel2 August 2010
While he's currently focusing on taking his stand-up show about cricket to the Edinburgh fringe, we grabbed the chance to pick Miles Jupp's mind on Rev, Newsjack, and putting lines into Malcolm Tucker's mouth...
Let's start with Rev – have you heard if there'll be a second series yet?
No. But I have heard a time by which we'll have heard if there is one. It seems to have been quite well received. I don't read the reviews, although a bit of one was read to me by wife. Then again, it was written by someone I knew, so I don't think it counts. And I didn't
physically read it myself.
Still, we haven't seen much of your character in it...will we see more in the last one?
Well, I'm not the main dude, it's about Tom Hollander's character. I'm just one of the characters in the church. So I might be in it more, I might be in less.
The character is almost like going back to the obnoxious, posh English character you used to do in stand up. It's like that's stayed alive with Nigel.
Yes, I suppose in a way, but Nigel's very sad and lonely as a character. When I read the script I really liked the part, but I didn't actually like him. You know sometimes you read reviews and it says 'so and so gives a wonderfully sympathetic portrayal of someone', and you think, well that's because he wants people to like him, isn't it? But if you're busy playing Adolf Hitler, I don't know, why don't you make him a little bit evil, as opposed to making him a bit likeable? Nigel isn't as bad as Hitler, obviously, but I didn't want people to like him, I wanted him to be the arse he is.
You can't out-likeable Tom Hollander anyway.
No, no, exactly. Nigel's just a supporting character, and that's what I am.
And in The Thick Of It you played a similar sort of character [party press officer John Duggan]...
...do you think?
Well, socially backwards, distant, obnoxious, not being aware of what's going on around them...anyway, The Thick of It is famous for having some element of improve, did you get any of your own stuff to make the cut?
My most pleasing thing on that was a scene where Malcolm Tucker rants at me a bit and then heads off. Armando says, there's the beach out there, we need a line about an ice cream or something. And I said 'what about I'm off for a game of Crazy Golf, I love those fucking windmills'. And it went in. That was the very pleasing bit of it, coming up with a line to use for Tucker.
Is it something where Duggan could come back?
I'd imagine it's a one-off. I don't know what they're doing but I can't see a way back for him. I'm just very pleased to have done that one episode, to have a nice episode in a good thing.
Sticking with current affairs, Newsjack, have you heard what's happening now that BBC7 is transmogrifying? Will Newsjack survive?
What's happening to Radio 7?
It's turning into 4 Extra and changing a bit. You obviously hadn't heard about then...
Oh, I have heard that thing. We've got a new series though. It's a very different kind of current affairs thing to do, and it's good to way to keep up with the news. I'd turn up at meetings on a Wednesday and I did get told, you need to read the newspaper. I just read the script and do some of the sketches, and sometimes I'd be like, why's Chris Huhne in the news? It's very easy not to keep up when you've got a baby and your busy.
It's good that it's different from the rest of the satire output of the BBC. Much of the rest of it is the same attitude across the panel shows so it's good to be doing that slightly different thing.
It does feel a bit different to those things. The thing about it – I don't notice these things, but someone said – it has a strong format now. I hadn't really noticed, I guess because I'm part of it. They described the format but I can't really remember...
It is you that does the show, isn't it?
Yes, I'm definitely there, but what's good about it is you rehearse the scripts, you go out and record it, and it's done. With stand up you do the same thing over and over again. I would love to get to the point in comedy where you write jokes for one thing and then say, that's done. Doing the News Quiz, I love doing that. There's a few jokes and that's it, it's gone, and it's just out there. That's a really great show.
The other thing about Newsjack is it's got an open submission policy. Lots of programmes quietly have an open submissions policy, but Newsjack really is wide open. And we get some phenomenal stuff that comes in. Apparently there's a team reading 1000 scripts for a week or something, although there is some stuff that's apparently just too extreme to use. I think they had to send something out saying stop sending Derrick Bird sketches...
Do you ever get to read the stuff that doesn't get read out on air?
No, I don't think it's good to dwell on other people's misfortune or failure. But last week we had something that had been on [Radio 4's] Pick of the Week. It was an open submission and it's great that someone can write something and it gets on that.
Lastly, I'd be remiss coming here and not asking about Balamory....you've got a kid, are they old enough to understand that's Dad dancing around?
No, he's not old enough, and we don't have a telly.
Do you still get spotted on the bus for it?
No, not anymore. Not for anything any more. When I was still in Scotland, and was still that size, and still had that hair, then yeah. But it just stopped. When me and my girlfriend were in Edinburgh, we would want to go to a cafe and it would be full of children, and we'd just think, let's go somewhere else...then one day I remember going to a cafe and there was nothing. It was like the end of the war.
I was on a tube once where there was a little boy talking with his mum about the nature of reality, and TV, and he was asking 'is Emmerdale real?' She said no. He asked, is the news is real, and she said yes. Then he asked: 'Is Balamory real?' And she goes no. So he says, 'is Archie not real?' She goes, no, he's not real. And I'm sitting right next to her.
No, no, not at all...
No, I mean for the child.
Oh, to him. Well, he needs to know. I did think of outing myself as a grey area and being, like, 'No, I'm not real'. That would have given him something to think about.
Lastly, without meaning to get all Jonathan Ross on you, I've got a theory: you've done Balamory which is for one age group, then the Harry Potter film, then Sherlock Holmes...is this just to impress your child as he grows up?
Well, uh, it would be good if he was impressed. That wasn't the thinking behind it. But I've missed the Skins demographic. I need to do that, or something really shit on BBC Three. Although I'm doing something else on Monday, Campus on Channel 4...
That was a Comedy Lab one, it was pretty good...you've got it covered then.
I get wedgied on that.
You look genuinely sad about that.
Yeah. I've faced enough in my career.
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