Mat Horne: I should be over it, but I hated school

Gavin & Stacey star Mathew Horne talks about his latest role as the irritating headmaster, Mr Fraser, in BBC3’s new comedy Bad Education (Tuesday, August 14)…

Fraser is a rather ridiculous character, isn’t he – always trying to be cool but failing miserably!

“The show was a lot of fun to film and consistently funny all the way through. I love Fraser, he’s got some terrifically funny lines and he’s a more overtly comic character than perhaps I’ve done before.”

Did you model him on anyone you know?

“He’s not based on anyone in particular. He’s typical of a trend of some middle-aged men in middle-class society trying to pull off the lad-type banter all the time, but failing miserably. I reckon he’s adopting all that to try to regain his youth. I do know people like that.”

Do you remember your head teacher? If so, what was he or she like?

“He was an idiot and uninspiring – but they generally are, aren’t they? So maybe subliminally that’s where I’m channelling Mr Fraser from…”

The other sad thing about Fraser is he’s in competition with history teacher Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall) for the attentions of another teacher, Miss Gulliver…

“He really likes Miss Gulliver, but can you imagine her going on a date with him? I think she finds him repulsive.”

It must have been unusual for you to work with so many young actors?

“What I like about the kid actors is that they bonded and became this really tight, kind and loving unit on set. And that was great to be around, especially if you’ve been acting a long time and you become jaded. It’s exciting to be around their energy and vitality. It’s great to see them at the beginning of their careers, and they’re so talented.”

How do you think you would you cope with being a secondary school teacher?

“I’d make a good teacher I reckon, but don’t know about running a school like Fraser. I’d probably want to be a geography teacher as that was always my favourite subject. I was really good at it. I know the capital of Sweden and stuff.”

Apart from hating your head teacher, what were your school days like?

“I hated school, it was really depressing. I should be over it, but it still lingers long in the memory. I didn’t like being homogenised in that way. But it’s only in hindsight that I’ve realised how awful it really was. I wasn’t particularly rebellious, I just got on with it and got through it.”