Welsh funnyman Rob Brydon talks to TV Times magazine about proving himself as a serious actor in BBC2’s The Best of Men (Thursday, August 16), his fear of failure and why family will always come first…

We haven’t seen you take on many serious acting roles before…
“People want you to do what you’ve done before, but I always have my eyes open for things that I think are going to show another side of me.

“Saying that, I had to do a song and a German accent at one point, so I think the writer looked at my CV and thought, ‘Oh well, he can sing and do impressions – we’d bettr make use of that!'”

The Best of Men tells the story of Professor Guttman, who revolutionised the medical approach to victims of paralysis after World War Two and founded the Paralympic Games…
“It’s a huge story. Everybody knows of the Paralympics, but I’d never once stopped to ask how it came about. I will definitely watch the London 2012 Games from a different perspective now.”

You worked with disabled actors on the drama, including former EastEnders star David Proud…
“Acting in a wheelchair alongside a person who has genuinely lost the use of their legs was a little bit awkward at the beginning, but once you get talking it’s fine.”

The Rob Brydon Show returns for a third series (BBC2, Tuesday), too…
“I was glad to return to the chat show. I’ve enjoyed this series far more than the last two actually, because I got more involved in the decision-making process. The general feeling is that we’ve stepped it up a notch.”

Do you have a hand in deciding who your guests are?
“We said from the beginning that we wanted to get talented people on. When I was growing up and I would watch Parkinson almost all of his guests were people with a skill that I didn’t have, so I wanted to watch them and be amazed by them. That’s what we’ve tried to do on our show.”

You’ve been lucky to have an incredibly varied career…
“Luckily I’ve ended up doing all these things that I wanted to do. A lot of actors don’t want to be themselves on shows, but I like it and I can’t think of anybody else who gets to do that range of work.”

How do you balance your success with your home life?
“I have a lot of kids so I made a decision a few years ago that I would try to do work that kept me closer to home. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t love to be doing what Simon Pegg is doing, being in millions of movies, but it’s difficult to see how I could do that and be at home as well.”