Culture

Tom Davis: Murder, movies and making the Shard

Who says it’s murder getting offbeat comedy on TV? Tom Davis on why celebrities make good rookie cops

You’ve had great success as DI Sleet in Murder in Successville. Will there be a second series?

Yeah, there’s talk of it. The reviews have been great and the reception from the public has been incredible. It’s been three years of my life developing it and I’d like to do more.

For those who missed it, a famous face accompanies your character on a murder mystery in a town full of other celebs – or celebrity impressionists anyway. It’s like Stella Street meets Sin City.

That was the tone we were going for. It was just a bit of fun, we weren’t trying to change the world. The celebrity would turn up in the morning and be immersed into that experience. We never mentioned that Deborah Meaden is a millionaire or that Louis Smith is a gymnast. As far as Sleet’s concerned, they’re just the new rookie.

Are there celebrities queuing up to be on a second series?

Richard Osman tweets about the show all the time. That’s the lovely thing. The first series was a real risk for people to do, so to get people like Dermot O’Leary was great.

Have you had any feedback from other people who were impersonated on the show – everyone from Mary Berry, who runs a strip club called Saggy Bottoms, to Kim Jong-un?

Weirdly not. I don’t think they were ever nasty impressions, they were mostly done in good jest. I expected there to be more. Maybe they just haven’t watched it.

Vladimir Putin perhaps hasn’t caught up with it on iPlayer yet.

No, I’m pretty sure it would be quite quick and quite silent if he did get in touch.

Could an idea as bizarre as Murder in Successville have been born anywhere else apart from BBC Three?

Without BBC Three I don’t think it would have happened. They always have and always will be great backers of up-and-coming talent but in what capacity, I don’t know. Most comedians of my generation have got our first gigs on BBC Three. They deserve a pat on the back for that.

Will it be a big loss if/when it moves online only?

I don’t know what the future holds. I hope there’s still a place for new talent. It’s important that people have somewhere they can go and learn, and make mistakes. They seem confident if it moves online it will still have form. We’ll see.

Next up for you is the film Legacy, which promises to be the “biggest party of the year” – is it?

Yeah, it looks to be. It’s about a bunch of kids who are a bit lost and want to be cool. They come up with the idea of having the biggest party of the year and come up against gangsters and well-known party promoters, who are pretty much always gangsters, and trouble ensues along the way.

I’ve seen it described as being like a British John Hughes film.

Um. It’s upbeat and it’s fun but it might be reaching a bit with the John Hughes comparison.

Who do you play?

I play Roger, head of security. He’s a bit rough around the edges but he’s quite a sweet character. He lives with his mum.

Ever been a bouncer in real life?

No I haven’t. I’ve come up against them many a time, though. I’ve been a builder.

Yes, did you build the Shard?

I did some scaffolding when the foundations were going up. I’d love to have taken credit for building the Shard! “I’ve made some TV programmes, oh and I designed and built the Shard as well.” Not quite.

Legacy is showing in select cinemas and is out on DVD and digital download

 

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