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24 September 2014

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Watch Video Clip Will chats about playing Barmpot »

Watch Video Clip Will pulls some posers from our postbag »

Barmpot is a left-wing idealist, who is not so secretly in love with Nancy (Nina Sosanya) from the canteen. Unfortunately the attraction doesn't seem to be mutual, and his other attempts at romance don't go so well either.

When his principles lead to a campaign of intimidation against him, will the lads get together to sort it out?

Barmpot is so nicknamed because Roger Barmforth is a bit of an oddball, according to Will Mellor – which makes him an easy target for the others.

"He's like a nappy – anything you tell him he absorbs and really believes."
"He is the butt of the jokes. They love to wind him up and get a good laugh out of it because it is so easy to do," Will smiles. "He's like a nappy – anything you tell him he absorbs and really believes.

"He can be too serious at times as well – he gets a bit irate over things that he shouldn't; things that he should just laugh off he gets really anal and wound up about. And he's useless with women – if he's attracted to somebody he doesn't really know what to do with himself.

"He's besotted with Nancy, who's this beautiful girl in the canteen, but she doesn't feel the same. She's his dream woman but she doesn't really take him too seriously.

"Barmpot is a strange sort, not the kind of person you'd see as a boyfriend. But he does know how to have a laugh and the lads keep him laughing. They bring out the lighter side of him."

Their teasing stems from genuine fondness because, despite his quirks, Barmpot has a good heart.

"They all know that they can rely on him. His best quality is his honesty – he really wants to do the right thing and he's a true friend!"

But Will says Barmpot can be a pain when he's banging on about politics. "He's trying to be the local councillor for the Labour party, which means the world to him, but he tries to turn every conversation into something to do with the government."

Will couldn't differ more from Barmpot on this front. "I hate politics and politicians," he says with a disillusioned air. "You can never get a straight answer out of them and it just does my head in so I'd rather just stay out of it.

"Mind you, I couldn't do it anyway. We were in the street filming Barmpot canvassing for Labour, and the amount of abuse I got because I had a rosette on – people thought I was a real Labour councillor. It was unbelievable.

"We were in the street filming Barmpot canvassing for Labour, and the amount of abuse I got was unbelievable."
"Even though I told people it was just for a TV show they were giving me so much stick – 'You want to get the troops out of Iraq, that's what you want to do!' 'You want to fix that kerb, you want to sort the schools out...' So I actually do respect them a little bit for the stick they must get."

He's also come to think highly of postmen, but says there's no way he could do that job either.

"I'd make a useless postman!" he admits with a laugh. "There's no way I'd get up at half-four in the morning – no way. I'm a night owl, I come alive at nine o'clock at night – I couldn't do it because I'd have to be in bed for nine or ten o'clock.

"I'd miss all the Champions League; miss all the boxing on Friday fight nights... I couldn't do it. There's a job for everyone and mine is definitely not being a postman."

There was, though, one aspect that he enjoyed while filming – although he's not at all sure whether real postmen actually do the same thing...

"To pass the time in the sorting office inbetween takes we had elastic band fights all day," he grins. "You have to have elastic bands everywhere for the mail and it got like Bugsy Malone, the big custard pie fight at the end.

"Even the director got in on it, that's how immature we've become! So next time I see my postman, I'm going to ask him if they have elastic band fights in his sorting office. I hope they do."

Will reveals that the cast bonded quickly and were soon just like their counterparts in Sorted.

"The camaraderie between the group of lads is going to be the strength of this programme."
"That's what is going to be the strength of this programme, the camaraderie between the group of lads. We all got on really well – we've all got the same sense of humour. But we're also all really professional when we need to be. It's good to be working with these sorts of actors because it makes me raise my game and I have a lot of respect for them."

Though he's best known for playing quite confident laddish characters, this time he's been cast against type.

"I'm glad I'm playing this character, you can get stuck in a rut. I couldn't have wished for a better job to come along really, and the scripts speak for themselves – I loved it straight away, it was a proper page-turner.

"It has a really warm feeling and it'll have you laughing and crying in the same episode and that's the sort of stuff I want to do, really warm northern drama."

Will Mellor

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