The Inbetweeners’ Joe Thomas starts a second term as undergraduate Kingsley as the university comedy Fresh Meat returns to Channel 4 next Tuesday.
TV&Satellite Week magazine caught up with him in the students’ union bar for a pint and a chat…
There’s a new housemate in this week’s first episode. How does that pan out?
“Not too well is the short answer. She’s quite stuffy and fastidious, and that’s obviously a bad match for the house, which is a squalid mess. She’s an adult and none of them are – with the possible exception of Howard, who is quite a strange adult.”
How’s the will-they, won’t-they relationship between Kingsley and Josie?
“They are pulling in opposite directions. Kingsley gets a girlfriend in this series, so he’s establishing himself as someone who doesn’t need Josie. She goes the opposite way, being more reckless and becoming a party girl, and it doesn’t really suit either of them.”
Kingsley looks different in this series. Has he changed over the holidays?
“He’s trying to be much more laid-back. He comes back with his little trendy beard, and he’s decided he’s a guitarist so he starts writing songs. He’s trying to find a serenity, probably based on some ideas he’s half-read and half-understood.”
Are you musical yourself?
“I played lots of instruments when I was a kid. I could play the violin quite well, but you can’t get the violin out at a party unless it’s a party in a bluegrass region. All boys want to have a guitar so they can play it to girls.”
What else is in store for the rest of the housemates?
“There’s a love interest for Oregon. We haven’t really seen her with a boyfriend yet, so that’s interesting. There’s one episode where Vod falls in love and becomes very girly rather than just menacing, and another where we go to JP’s family home, which is this big stately pile. Howard has a love story as well. There’s a lot of emotion, heartbreak and pain for most of the characters in series two.”
Does Fresh Meat chime with your memories of university life and love?
“I had a group of friends at university and, after a while, it seemed as if everyone had been out with everyone else. It was like some awful American soap opera, a big, horrible sexual cobweb, and the Fresh Meat gang are potentially at the beginning of that nightmare.”
You were an undergraduate with your Inbetweeners co-star Simon Bird. What were you both like back then?
“We weren’t particularly cool – although we thought we were. Simon was very hard-working and organised and a better student than I was, to be honest.”
What comedy do you enjoy watching?
“I’m still a bit of a die-hard Office fan and my ambition is to write something as good. I enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm and I’m just getting into Modern Family. American shows tend to be better at doing warm comedy, and it’s hard to write stuff that has that warm glow about it. Fresh Meat is quite a warm show, as the housemates are like a dysfunctional family.”
Fresh Meat returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday, October 9 at 10pm