The Cockfields: Nigel Havers interview

The embodiment of dashing charm, Nigel has starred in a whole host of sitcoms, comedies and dramas over the years including Don't Wait Up, Downton Abbey, Little Britain, Benidorm and Dangerfield to name just a few. We found out what his latest telly incarnation entails.

Nigel Havers interview

What made you say 'yes' to this project?

The script was so great and I had worked with Gold before on Murder on the Blackpool Express so it was a sort of welcome home. I think these sorts of family shows work brilliantly. And casting Bobby Ball is genius. Sue and Bobby together are brilliant.

Tell us about your character, Larry.

Larry is a sad case. He has a new girlfriend who is very controlling but he is genuinely in love with her. She has managed to make him dye his hair and wear inappropriate clothes. It is a 'look'. I quite like it. I think I am getting into the necklace. I used to wear golden bracelets and things when I was 17.

What's he like as a dad?

He's not interested in children at all, he's mostly interested in himself. He's such an absentee dad that it is pointed out that he actually had other plans on the day of Simon's 40th but he was reminded he had to come to this.

It would have all been fine had I not brought my new girlfriend into the equation. She's the explosive bit and she says the first thing that comes into her head. They are a typical family but they live in the past, they're old fashioned and quirky.

Have you enjoyed working with Sarah and the rest of the cast?

I'd not worked with her before but it is very good, it's wonderful. It's perfect casting. I've worked with Sue a few times and Bobby I've known for a long time so it has been a family outing.

David's obsessed with autograph hunting. Have you ever autograph hunted?

Not personally but I have some good autographs. My grandfather was a high court judge and occasionally they go on circuits. One time he was in Newcastle and the Beatles were appearing and so he invited them for tea and got their autographs and sent them to me at boarding school. It was very cool. He thought they were charming and lovely. I gave them to a friend of mine as a present as he was a collector of Beatles things, but it was a stupid thing to do and I want them back one day.

How long can you stay with your family before you go a bit mad?

Actually, I don't go mad with my family. I am very lucky in that. We are very close.

Do you have a story of introducing a partner to your family?

My parents lived in a house outside Newmarket, which is famous for racing. When I drove my first wife through Newmarket to spend the weekend with my parents and introduce her, she said, "Oh wow, what a place, a real one-horse town". She didn't know about the racing! At dinner I told her. It was very funny. She didn't quite get it. It was one of those weekends. I did marry her though!