Robert Glenister: ‘Phil throws a spanner in the works!’

As Sky1’s The Café opens its doors for a second series, Robert Glenister joins the cast of the seaside sitcom…

Tell us about Phil, the character you play in the new series of The Cafe…
“Phil’s a photographer who’s been invited to take pictures for a new brochure attracting tourists to Weston-super-Mare. But Phil ran out on Sarah and mum Carol 10 years ago, so there’s a lot of resentment when he walks into the cafe.”

But it appears that Phil’s even more surprised to see Sarah at Cyril’s cafe…
“Phil’s been around the world and thought that Sarah, a talented writer, would fly the nest. Sarah feels tied to the cafe and Phil becomes aware of her frustration. They actually have a lot in common.”

How does Phil about the fact that his ex Carol is now seeing his old friend Stan?
“Well, neither of them are confrontational but Phil’s arrival really throws a spanner in the works. There’s still a spark between Phil and Carol, which puts Stan’s nose out of joint.”

So, is there any chance that a family reunion could be on the menu?
“Phil’s a bit of a charmer so he does work his way back into the family. And, with Sarah’s troubled personal life, father and daughter do grow closer.”

What made you want to get involved in The Cafe initially?
“Because I thought it had great integrity, great compassion and I loved the characters. And I thought it was funny. It’s quite rare that you get a script that you read and laugh out loud – and this made me laugh. Ralf Little and Michelle Terry (who write and co-star) have created a believable world in this cafe environment where all different people can just come and go.”

Our readers loved you as ‘fixer’ Ash in Hustle. Were you sad when the show ended?
“Yeah, very. It was a great experience to do it for as long as we did – initially we thought we’d do well to get three or four series out of it and we got eight! People still come up to me and say how much they enjoyed it and how much they miss it. What initially was created was a sort of family and, even when Marc Warren and Jaime Murray left, and Kelly Adams and Matt Di Angelo joined, that family was created again. I do miss the people, it was a very happy time.”

Do you miss all the dressing up you had to do as Ash?
“Ha, ha! Yeah, I do. I don’t miss three hours of prosthetics but even that is still an experience. Ash started off as ‘The Fixer’, which I was pretty crap at, and developed into a Jack-of-all-trades really. It’s very rare you get to do that amount of variety in one show, so it was great fun.”

The Cafe returns on Wednesday, July 24 at 9pm on Sky1.

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