Matt Le Blanc returns in a second series of BBC comedy Episodes (BBC2, Friday, may 11), with his new pals Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan…
Is it strange to play yourself as ‘Matt Le Blanc’?
“It’s really fun! When I first met the show’s creators and they told me I’d be playing myself I was hesitant. But once I got my head around the fact it’s a scripted, character version of myself it became really fun. It’s strange when people say, ‘He’s just playing himself’. It’s not really me at all. My life is nowhere near that interesting!”
Where do we pick up with the main characters Beverly (Tamsin Greig), Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Matt, in the new series?
“This season starts four months after TV writer Sean (Stephen Mangan) discovered his wife Beverly slept with Matt. Their TV show Pucks has been picked up by the network and is in production. Sean and Beverly aren’t together, and the three of us are doing our best to work together and navigate through this awkward and tricky triangle! You’ll see all sorts of weird looks and feelings.”
Despite having slept together, Beverly and Matt couldn’t stand each other last year. Is this still the case?
“Ironically, they’re on the same side because they’re both trying to get back into Sean’s good graces. Now they have a common goal it’s even more awkward in some ways! By the way, I have an actor’s crush on Tamsin Grieg. She’s pretty special.”
What differences have you noticed working with the British?
“The biggest difference for me – and this is evident in the show – is the contrast between quintessential British humour and American humour. It tends to be drier here in the UK, which is ironic given the weather!”
Is it true Stephen Mangan stayed with you when he was in LA?
“Yeah, freeloader! He came to stay with me for two weeks and he got this awful flu. He was in my guest room with the drapes drawn and the door shut, unable to get out of bed. I felt so bad for him!”
You’ll for ever he associated with Friends. Do you resent that?
“No. It was the best 10 years of my life. It was a great time and will always have a special place in my heart. In my opinion it was one of the funniest things on television. It was sad when it ended, but all good things come to an end.”