Charlie Brooker’s hilarious Sky1 crime drama spoof A Touch of Cloth returns this week with a second investigation for troubled detective Jack Cloth, played by John Hannah. To set the crime scene, TV & Satellite Week took the Scottish actor in for questioning…
What’s happening in the new investigation?
“They’ve gone a bit more epic on his one, and it is a bit like Point Break, parodying the whole undercover cop thing. It’s really funny.”
What’s Jack Cloth up to when we rejoin him?
“Things are not going well for him. He’s working as a taxi driver, and we see him visiting his wife’s grave and getting very emotional, in a very funny scene. It is not often you get to have sex with your wife’s gravestone!”
Is it difficult to keep a straight face when delivering some of Jack’s lines?
“Our director was adamant that we should never betray any sense of knowing that we are saying something ridiculous. It has to be played incredibly straight, and fully committed.”
Did you all have a different approach returning to the show?
“This one is bigger in its ambition. In the first one, there was a sense of: ‘Does this work, and can we do it like this?’ Now I think the writers feel able to push it further and, in this and the third case, A Touch of Cloth almost becomes a genre in its own right rather than parody of a cop show.”
What will the third A Touch of Cloth be about?
“That is the one Karen Gillan in it. We had kind of blown the budget on the big bank robbery in this two-parter, so it’s more of a soapy thing set in the police station.”
Has doing A Touch of Cloth ruined straight crime dramas for you?
“It has only ruined the bad ones. There is some stuff you watch that TV critics would have us believe is really good, and you look at it and think: ‘That is just nonsense!'”
Who is most likely to corpse on set?
“Julian Rhind-Tutt is the worst – he cannot look at me when he’s saying his lines.”
Is comedy harder to do than drama?
“They say that, and it probably is in lot of ways. I remember when I was at drama school, the teacher said: ‘Tragedy is fun, but comedy is hard work’. But I really like doing this and I hope Charlie Brooker wants to do more.”
Does A Touch of Cloth feel quintessentially British to you?
“Yes, it is very Carry On-ish – with me as Sid James, obviously!”
A Touch of Cloth returns on Sunday August 25 at 9pm on Sky1.