Spotlight On… Star of Sky One’s Trollied, Stephen Tompkinson

Trollied came back with a brand new series on Sky One at 9.00 pm on Monday 7 November and with Sky’s kind permission, I have had the great pleasure of interviewing a number of the cast members. So, let’s see what Stephen Tompkinson who plays Brian in the show had to say about the new series…

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Stephen, what can we expect from Brian in the new series of Trollied?

Ah, Brian, the psychopathic Pharmacist that we all know and love! He’s as mad as ever, partly because he’s permanently tortured in his private life, his brother, his wife and his kids are all doctors and he’s the only one who’s a Pharmacist. In order to out-do those at home he comes out with outrageous medical theories which have no basis of medical back-up whatsoever. So that’s still going on and he’s still absolutely joined at the hip with Margaret (Rita May). They have become rather dependent on each other, they’re like a mother and son really, they have a deep love. This series, Margaret got addicted to scratch cards and it was Dr Brian who bailed her out! Meanwhile, Gavin’s on this healthy food drive so Brian is straight in there with the idea of doing a medical demonstration with something gruesome from a pathology lab so that he can show the customers how dangerous fatty foods can be. Later on in the series, Brian answers a phone-in on a radio station, he becomes a bit of a radio hit, something of a shock jock! So, suddenly he is being offered something more permanent on the radio and he’s outgrown Valco. However, he begins to miss Margaret and comes back to find that they have a replacement, so he toys with whether he’s made the right decision or not.

You have become a great comedy double act with Rita May who plays Margaret, what’s it like working with her?

I have worked with her before, I first got to work with her in a series called In Deep. It’s lovely to work with her again.

What do you think works well on the series?

I feel what makes Trollied such a success is the fact that there’s such a great team of writers. Even when you come in as a newcomer, the writers watch what an actor does with the character and write to their strengths. I always show an episode to my daughter and my partner, Elaine first and they think it’s the best series so far. We’ve worked with directors that we’ve worked with before and it feels like everyone is on top of their game.

Plus, they keep finding different areas of the supermarket to discover, Pharmacy was one that they’d never used before and it’s great that they found a new home for Margaret.

Did you watch the series before you joined?

I did and I knew Jason Watkins before I started working on the series as we were at drama school together and indeed on the football field together years ago! There was also a link with the Producer, he worked on Wild At Heart for years. I had also worked with Paul Harrison, the Director on Wild At Heart, before.

Would you be keen to do a seventh series if that was on the cards?

Oh yes, wild horses couldn’t drag me away. We have a great time filming and the set is wonderful, it’s the biggest set I’ve been on. We have no night shoots and we stay in one location. It’s the nearest things to a 9 to 5 job I’ve ever had.

Finally, what would you say to encourage viewers to carry on watching Trollied?

It’s going to get wilder and wackier, it’s a bit like Christmas, everything comes at once and you’ll feel bloated and happy at the end of it!

Thanks to Stephen for his time and a great interview, I agree that this series of Trollied is rather special.

Photo credit: Sky TV

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