Robert Lindsay plays a secret service boss in Sky1HD’s new comedy spy caper…

Tell us about your new role, ‘The Examiner’ in Spy…

“He doesn’t have a name, which I love, and he inhabits a very dark, mysterious world full of shady characters. The main character, Tim (Darren Boyd), comes to meet me having applied for what he thinks is a job with the civil service…”

What’s the real job?

“The Examiner hands him an AK47 and says, ‘You’ve got the job, you’re a spy’. That freaks him out. The script is very funny, very sharp, and a little dark here and there. The comedy comes from the fact that it’s very silly but we take it very seriously as characters.”

So do you get use lots of James Bond-style gadgets?

“Yes, loads, the full monty! I’m really living out my childhood fantasies. I get to use AK47s and ninja stars – pieces of steel that you throw – and lasers and guns. I’m actually a crack shot with a ninja star, I practised in my garden. But I did hit the props guy on the first day. The real one is titanium and I was practising with it when it shot out of my hand and hit him. He’s still here!”

Are you a fan of spy films?

“Oh yeah, I’m a nut for the Bourne films.”

Do you think you could be a spy? Can you keep a secret?

“I’ve kept many a secret. In this business, you have to! I wonder if spies go home and complain about their work. Everything is classified. ‘I’m sorry it’s classified’ is my catchphrase in this show.”

The Examiner is a far cry from your role as Ben Harper in My Family isn’t it?

“Part of the appeal of this is that I’m not carrying the series on my shoulders. I don’t really have a plan about what to do next. I’ve enjoyed my summer with my kids and I’m going into a musical version of Camelot in the West End at the end of the year. So singing lessons next!”

*Spy starts on Friday October 14 at 8.30pm on Sky1