Sunday 26 December 2010, 09:00
I came to play the role of Mr Pritchard by a curious turn of events.
And the part kind of landed in my lap from that really.
It was totally unexpected and extremely flattering. I read the scripts and just fell in love with Mr Pritchard and I completely bought the whole idea of 165 Eaton Place being re-imagined.
So rather suddenly, but delightedly I was in Upstairs Downstairs.
I have enormous admiration for what the art, costume and make-up departments all created. It was the perfect playground.
My favourite room was the kitchen pantry. There were shelves and shelves of provisions, boxes and jars from the period along with home-made preserves and chutneys, bottled beetroot and pickled onions.
You only catch little glimpses of it in the show, but the art and props departments worked tirelessly to make it historically accurate as well as beautifully evocative.
I've admired her work for years. Let's face it, she's a national institution.
We hit it off the minute we met. She is something of a minx on set. She can make me laugh simply by raising an eyebrow.
Her anecdotes are comedy gold, and she's never afraid to take a difficult path in a scene.
We travelled back from Cardiff (where we shot the series) on the same train a couple of times. My sides ached from laughing by the time we reached Paddington.
She's also partial to a glass of red wine, like my good self, especially on trains, which endears her to me even more.
Eileen's character, Maud, has a pet monkey, which was remarkably professional on set.
There was one occasion however when I was serving coffee by the breakfast table and it wouldn't do what was required.
If I poured the coffee once I must have poured it a thousand times. Every time we went for another take we had to reset the cups, the milk, the coffee, the spills I'd made, the sugar tongs etc. By the end of the scene I wanted to swear at it.
Subsequently watching the scene, you can't really see me doing anything. The monkey steals it every time it's on screen.
I have had a terrific time working on Upstairs Downstairs. Not least because of Cardiff. I know the city pretty well because we filmed Gavin and Stacey there.
I love the shopping arcades and the warmth of the people. I'm desperate to see a rugby match at the Millennium Stadium though. Maybe next time around!
It's going to feel very strange not being around when the series starts.
I'm going on a road trip in the USA with my wife and kids, so I shall have to wait until I'm back to gauge the response and to see what my children think.
I'm always conscious that I have a lot of potential to embarrass them.
Gavin and Stacey gave me a cool quota mostly - I'm not certain of Mr Pritchard's cool leanings. Still, if my mum and her friends like it, that's all that matters.
Adrian Scarborough plays Mr Pritchard in Upstairs Downstairs.
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Thursday 23 December 2010, 09:00
Thursday 30 December 2010, 09:00