You’re soon to be in a new comedy series called Whites. What’s that about?
It’s about a fictitious celebrity chef played by Alan Davies, who’s this incredibly stressed character who makes loads and loads of mistakes. I play a waitress called Kiki who’s quite a scatterbrain. A journalist has already written before we’ve even started filming that she’s
like a female Manuel from Fawlty Towers, quite a lot of pressure there but it’s going to be a lot of fun. Matt King (Super Hans in Peep Show) is one of the writers and it’s been brilliant working with him again.
Series six of Peep Show has now started, what’s the lowdown between Dobby and Mark?
I can’t say too much but what I would say is she definitely hasn’t been totally put off by his
antics and I still personally hold out hope that they get it together, but he’s still going through his divorce from Sophie so it’s touch and go.
What’s it like working with the Peep Show cast?
It’s lovely and they’re really genuinely great people. It’s quite a small crew and I’ve got to know them all a lot closer now. I know Robert Webb (Jeremy) a lot better, I didn’t have many scenes with him in the last series. Olivia Coleman who plays Sophie is really lovely too and she taught me how to knit between takes. I’ve made a horrible grey weave so far.
What do you think about Dobby’s appreciation group on Facebook?
I think it’s really sweet and she would definitely approve. It’s great how people have taken to her so quickly. I love the character so much, she’s so ballsy and cool and exactly like how I’d want to be in an ideal world. I was desperate to make the audition and it sounds really sad but as soon as I knew what Dobby was about I felt I’d already met her. It was like she was another version of me.
What were your favourite scenes from series five?
It has to be the stationary cupboard scene where Mark and Dobby finally get it on. It was a bit nerve wracking because I’d never done anything like that on camera before and it was really difficult to film because the camera is right in your face. It took ages to do.
Are you as much an IT geek as Dobby?
No, I just don’t have a clue about any of it. I just had to hope when we were doing close up scenes that the viewers wouldn’t know I was just pressing random buttons whenever I was called on to fix someone’s computer. I hit the F5 key quite a lot.
In your stand up shows you play guitar, how long have you been playing?
It’s something I’ve done for a really long time. I’ve played since I was really young. I wrote words that I thought might be funny but it wasn’t until around 2003 that I thought I’d like to do the comedy circuit. Because I’m a northerner people say my songs are like Victoria Wood’s, but I’ve only ever heard one of her songs and I want to keep it that way because that’s a lot to live up to.
First published in The Big Issue in September 2010.