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Saturday 23 Aug 2014

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CBBC's new musical comedy My Almost Famous Family: Andrew Clover is dad Gary Swann

Andrew Clover in My Almost Famous Family

For actor, comedian and writer Andrew Clover, playing Gary, dad of the Swann family, changed his life.

"One of the things I've got from the show is the excitement of music. It's made me start having piano lessons and take a lot more interest," reveals Andrew.

"Whenever I hear music I'm listening very carefully to what they're doing with their guitar, what the rhythms are, when the music fades in and out and what the beat is. The show's all about the love of music and I've got that from being in it."

What does Andrew think of Gary?

"He's essentially a loveable, intelligent and musical father. However, he's also prone to getting extremely worried about the family being late or things going wrong," he says.

"He's the son of a famous rock star so his childhood was spent watching heavy metal freaks throwing TVs out of hotel room windows and being left behind in Germany halfway through a European tour!

"So he's developed an absolute obsession with wanting to keep his family together. His family is everything."

Is Andrew, who writes a column called Dad Rules in the Sunday Times Style Magazine, anything like Gary?

"I'm not at all a pushy parent but the one thing I do want my daughters to do is learn music. It's so amazing when you watch someone playing, it's like they're fluent in a whole different language. They're learning piano at the moment."

Having three daughters, Andrew was also really excited about the prospect of having a 'son' in the show:

"I was interested in the idea of having a fictional family, particularly one including teenagers, step-children and a son," he reveals.

"I've always wanted to have a son and it was very exciting to think that a casting director had scoured England to find someone who's suitable. And there was Angus – he exceeded all my expectations and he's a very plausible son."

How did Andrew get on with the young cast?

"They were lovely. It's strange how quickly we began to treat each other like a real family. I adored them all in different ways.

"Rachel is mischievous; Matt is an incredibly cool character; and Angus was probably my best mate on set.

"I was a bit scared of Dominique at first as she plays her character so brilliantly and I thought maybe she'd have that diva-esque quality of Aretha, but she doesn't at all. She was the one who noticed I'd be working on Father's Day and asked what we could do to celebrate. I told her a song would do it. It was just banter but two-and-a-half weeks later, on Father's Day, she came up and sang a song she'd made up just for me. It slightly broke my heart."

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