Actor, Stephen Tompkinson is one of my all-time favourites and he has recently been as busy as ever – on stage at Trafalgar Studios last year in a production of ‘The Red Lion’. He has also been widely praised for his performance as Eddie Braben in BBC Four drama, Eric, Ernie and Me. The character he plays in Trollied, that of Brian the crazy Pharmacist is one of my best-loved comedy roles and I was delighted to chat to Stephen about the show and its return to Sky One.
Hi Stephen, thanks for talking to TV & Movie Scene, so Brian is back – he’s not a radio DJ anymore?
Yes indeed, he’s back in the Pharmacy where he belongs with Margaret (Rita May).
He really missed Margaret didn’t he? Did you wonder if he might like the radio job and stick at that instead?
Yes, they have a dysfunctional mother and son relationship. I didn’t think he would leave Valco, he had to go away and be a DJ to know that Valco was where he belonged. He’ll probably never stray again! The outside world’s not ready for him though or vice versa, I’m not sure which…!
What can we expect from Brian in the current series?
You’ve seen the Die Hard-style siege situation with John Thomson at Christmas! You’ve also seen Brian invited to Margaret’s for Christmas which was going to be his first time meeting Alan. Also, Margaret bought him a present that he wished she hadn’t bought him! Of course because it was bought by Margaret though there’s a lot of love in there.
It’s mostly business as usual with Brian wanting his own consulting room but of course there’s not a great deal of room for one and Brian doesn’t really like meeting patients or touching them! Otherwise, you’ll see all the usual shenanigans!
Why do you think that Trollied continues to be such a hit with viewers?
We’ve always managed to keep the same team of writers, if you give one writer the main storyline and the others chip in with good one liners for their specific characters, everyone helps each other out, they know each other’s characters and complement each other very well.
There’s also the fact that the cast keep wanting to come back year after year. It’s a very lovely feeling on the set. It’s our set as well, it’s our supermarket! It’s the biggest set I’ve ever been on, it’s fantastic. The same crew come back too. It’s the nearest thing to a 9 to 5 job I’ve ever had!
What would you like to see happen for Brian in the future?
So long as he stays with Margaret then anything’s possible. You’ve already seen him think he could help her with jury duty and turn detective!
You two make a brilliant double act!
We get on very well, we complement each other and I just adore her.
Huge thanks to Stephen for his time, always a pleasure to interview him and it’s great to see Brian back where he belongs!
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