Lewis stars Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox talk to TV Times magazine about the new series of the hit ITV1 drama (Weds, May 16)…

The new series sees you both starring alongside monkeys! What’s filming with them like?
Laurence:
“I am frightened. I have a dog, Baxter, who I love very much, and I like horses but there’s something scary about the monkeys…”
Kevin: “Lol’s angling for stunt money on this! I love animals, but I’m quite happy not to be involved with them on camera because they’re completely unpredictable!”

So, Kevin, what can we expect to see happen between Lewis and pathologist Dr Laura Hobson?
“There’s a lot of teasing going on still, but it’s difficult because I didn’t want to get into a soap storyline. I thought that was all a bit too cosy, a bit like Midsomer Murders, where you have a domestic side, and I didn’t really want to do that with Lewis.”
Laurence: “It would be nice to see you happily married and retired so I can get some more money! I think they should get hitched and have their own series, like My Family. A spin-off called My Police Station, and Hathaway can take over the helm!”

What about your on-screen relationship with each other?
Kevin:
“We’re always asking the writers for a few arguments. It’s much more dramatic than just agreeing with each other the whole time. We’re too buddy-buddy this series.”
Laurence: “It’s important because the characters come from different places. Hathaway is a black-and-white guy and Lewis is a shades-of-grey man and that’s a good opportunity to have disagreements, but inevitably it’s always, ‘God, you’re clever James!’ and then ‘Oh thank you Sir, you’re clever too!’”

And off-screen?
Laurence:
“Working with someone like me must be amazing for Kevin! I’ve taught him everything he doesn’t know!”

Can we expect to see lots more episodes of Lewis in the future?
Kevin:
“I’ll stick with Lewis for the moment. We’ve done nearly as many episodes as we did of Inspector Morse and I don’t really want to do more than that, but having said that ITV has been very good at keeping the production values high!”

So we won’t be seeing Lewis retire any time soon?
“Lewis isn’t the retiring type, but I’m police retirement age. I know David Jason got very embarrassed about being a 70-year old cop on A Touch of Frost, so I won’t get myself into that position!”