Miranda

Hit BBC comedy Miranda returns for a third series

Interview with Tom Ellis

Tell us about your character in this series

I play Gary, who's an old university friend of Miranda's. She's always held a candle for him but it's never been the right time for them to get together. Gary's commitment phobia has a lot to do with this.

What’s different/new about series three?

It's slicker, bolder and funnier than the past two series. It's really grown as a programme and we're all much more confident about what we're doing.

After two years, how was it to be back in the studio with new material?

It was great fun - it was almost if we started where we left off. It's quite a joy and a privilege to go to work every day and laugh and laugh and laugh and eat chocolate and laugh.

What have you been up to since we last saw Gary on screen?

A couple of dramatic roles including the Bafta Award winning series, The Fades for BBC Three, The Secret Of Crickley Hall for BBC One and a new comedy for Sky called Gates - about the perils of the school run… which is also what I’ve been doing…oh, and I’ve got a new daughter.

Have you seen much of the other cast members since series two was filmed?

No… they never return my calls!!

How much time has elapsed on screen since we last saw the characters? What has Gary been up to?

It's been about a year. Gary's just been plodding away in the restaurant, whilst still not being able to tell Miranda how he really feels.

The show is increasingly popular and there’s enormous anticipation for the new series. Were you prepared for the amazing response to the character and the sitcom?

It's taken us all by surprise. We found it really funny and thankfully so did the viewers but I don't think anyone thought it was going to become one of the biggest comedies on TV. One of the biggest reasons for that is that the series is proper family viewing - it spans generations with its appeal.

What’s the reaction like on the street for you these days?

I have noticed people noticing a bit more. It's quite surreal but there are many worse things that can happen.

What do your eldest girls think of Gary? Do they enjoy watching you on TV?

I have to say Miranda is the only show I've been in that they've taken any interest in! Lots of my eldest girl’s school friends watch it and she’s at that 'dad you're so embarrassing' stage.

The cast clearly get on very well. What’s the best thing about being part of the Miranda experience? Any anecdotes from filming or behind the scenes when the camera stops rolling?

Our general love of flatulence as a socially accepted and humorous bodily function always raises a smile… apart from Hadders who can't stand it… but we know she loves it really.

Do you enjoy the ‘will they/won’t they’ element to the Gary and Miranda love story?

I really enjoy all the scenes I have to do with Miranda as we have a very similar sense of humour. I suppose when we started the show I didn't appreciate what a hook it would be with the viewers.

What do you think it is that the public loves so much about the series?

It spans generations in its appeal and humour.

What’s coming up for Gary?

I can't give too much away - but I did have a lot of fun this series - showing a slightly different side to Gary.

Do you envisage the series running for many more years?

As long as the show's going, I'd love to be involved with it. But I really couldn't tell you want the future holds.

‘My’ Miranda:

Three things we don’t know about Miranda - the person, the show or the character:

1. Miranda and I call each other clammy co-star as we both suffer with sweaty hands.

2. She bruises like a peach

3. Her little dog, Miss Peggy, is the show's mascot.