Harry Hill: ‘A lot of the time I’m in my own world, like Professor Branestawm’

Harry Hill returns to BBC1 in family favourite The Further Adventures of Professor Branestawm this Christmas. Here, the comic tells us what’s in store for the original nutty professor…

What do you enjoy about playing Professor Branestawm?
“He’s not a million miles from Harry Hill, so it’s not a huge stretch for me. A lot of the time I’m in my own world. As a kid, I was very interested in science and I used to do all this kind of stuff. I had this massive chemistry set and I used to make fireworks – I’d always have some little invention going.”

Is he even nuttier this time?
“He’s certainly in it a lot more this time. Last time, it was a lot of setting up the character of the Professor’s young apprentice Connie, so we’re with the Professor more and I think it’s more about the physical stuff. We had a bit of CGI last time, but the decision this time was to make it more about the characters really.”

How does Professor Branestawm fall on hard times?
“Basically, he’s got no money – he’s got loads of bills coming in and he can’t afford to pay them, so he may have to sell up and move out. So, there’s this competition and the prize money is, rather conveniently, exactly the amount he owes on the bills. The plot’s wafer thin really, it’s kind of just an excuse for lots of funny stuff to happen.”

Doesn’t the Professor get attacked by his bills?
“Yes, he does. He invents a machine, which is meant to make his bills smaller and the cheques bigger. But he gets things a bit mixed up and ends up getting attacked by bills!”

Professor Branestawm comes up against a rival inventor this time. What can you tell us about him?
“Steve Pemberton plays Professor Algebrain, who’s from a non-specific European country. I’ve never worked with Steve before. The whole plot is about a competition to come up with a new invention, so the rivalry is between Branestawm and Algebrain, who steals Branestawm’s idea – but is it actually Branestawm’s idea or is it Connie’s idea? Connie and Branestawm are working together – but because Branestawm’s a bit mad, she goes off and helps Algebrain for a bit!”

What do you think makes Professor Branestawm perfect family viewing this Christmas?
“Simon Day, who plays Colonel Dedshott in this drama, says his men friends say they can sit down and watch it yet you’re not worried about someone saying something rude. It is a kind of innocent fun, which you don’t see much on TV any more.”

The Further Adventures of Professor Branestawm screens on Christmas Eve on BBC1.


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