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TV Interview

'Beaver Falls' John Dagliesh: 'Our show not like The Inbetweeners'

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Barry (John Dagleish) from Beaver Falls

© Channel 4

If you're a regular E4 viewer, we'd recommend you tune in to the channel's new comedy series Beaver Falls. The show follows Flynn (Sam Robertson), A-Rab (Arsher Ali) and Barry (John Dagliesh), three university graduates who decide to their spend their summer at the eponymous Beaver Falls, an elite summer camp for America's richest young upstarts.

Digital Spy caught up with Lark Rise to Candleford actor Dagliesh to chat about his role as the hapless Barry, and to find out whether comparisons to E4's previous hit The Inbetweeners are warranted.

What can you tell us about your character Barry?
"He's probably the biggest wannabe ladies' man that there is. He's got the most ridiculously high standards and always shoots way above his pulling category! A very sweet, lovely chap [but] a massive p*ss-taker [and] a massive stoner. He's a very layered character!"

When you first read the script, what were your initial thoughts?
"I loved it. I thought the pace of it and the fact that - I thought all the gags were great. It was the funniest script that I've read for a long time. All the comedy scripts that have come through, that was the best one I had probably since graduating from drama school. I loved the relationship between the three guys and loved the fact that this really American overly plastic-y world has been infiltrated by this dry British sense of humour. I couldn't think of anything that it was like on TV. Because [most shows are] either in that California, Beverly Hills world seriously, or they don't touch on it. It's nice to kind of go into the same world as The OC and completely rip the p*ss out of it!"

How was it filming on-location in South Africa?
"It's beautiful. A really lovely location. We were filming on a wildlife reserve, with zebras and wildebeest running around all over the place. We were going to film on the football field in the morning, and someone had to go and scare all the animals away - walking along clapping their hands at the zebras! We had amazing, beautiful drives every morning on to set, [and it was] 40-degree heat."

A-Rab (Arsher Ali), Barry (John Dagleish) and Flynn (Samuel Robertson) from Beaver Falls
There's been talk of Beaver Falls being the new Inbetweeners - do you think that's fair, or do you want to avoid that comparison?
"Obviously, it's going on in a similar timeslot, and it's aimed at the same sort of audience. There's a similar style of laddish humour, but our guys are a little bit older and a little bit more world-aware. It's not a kind of school social thing, either. I mean, The Inbetweeners is amazing. If you compare it to that, it's only a compliment. That show is doing brilliantly - three series and a movie. So yeah, fingers crossed. You look at The Inbetweeners, and even if Beaver Falls gets the same amount of people watching, that would be great. But I think the similarities stop at the sort of demographics that it's aimed at. We have very different characters to The Inbetweeners as well."

What was your relationship like with your co-stars Samuel Robertson and Arsher Ali?
"There's always a thing when you're going away filming, especially when you're far away from home and on location, the relationships that you build up become really tight really quickly. And obviously you have to know how to trust each other, if people are going to be on it and pulling their weight and the rest of it. And yeah, it was great. We settled instantly. I met Arsher on my second audition. I hadn't met Sam until we were out in South Arica. So it must be quite nerve-wracking for them, because obviously they've got no idea if we're going to click. We could have come back hating each other, but luckily that didn't happen! It's got that same sort of feel as three lads away on holiday. We were working, but it had that kind of feel of three English lads abroad, which is what the show's all about."

And how did you get on with the kids in Beaver Falls?
"They were amazing. I'm sure they're going to nick every single scene that they're in. They're brilliant. As soon as you met them, we were like, 'These are the only kids that could play these parts'. The casting people did a brilliant job with them. You know, obviously, they're kids, from 11 to 16, and they have their moments! But they're great. I'm sure they're going to steal the show. I know it!"

Are you prepared for the recognition that Beaver Falls might bring you?
"Yeah, I don't know how you can prepare for that kind of thing. Unless you're experienced in it, you don't really know what to expect. I've had a little bit of recognition from doing Lark Rise to Candleford, but that's probably a much more reserved demographic that are are less likely to approach you and shout at you! So I got my hair cut to try to avoid a summer of people shouting 'Barry'! I'm trying not to think about that whole side of it. It's funny, because you've done the job and then you've got that weird limbo in between shooting it and it being on, and then everything supposedly changes. If that does happen, then it's only a sign that the show's doing well."

A-Rab (Arsher Ali), Barry (John Dagleish) and Flynn (Samuel Robertson) from Beaver Falls
How do you think you would cope at Beaver Falls?
"Okay, I think. I'm certainly a lot more responsible than Barry! I'm alright with kids, but I don't know what I would teach them. If I had to choose a thing to do at the camp, I don't know what would be my specialist subject. Barry's a complete computer geek, and I can just about work the internet and e-mail, so... But luckily I live with a load of Mac geeks who can help me out."

All three of the leads chase girls, but is there any long-term romance for Barry?
"I don't know. I mean, Barry takes an immediate shine to Kimberley, who is again way above his league! The first series is very much about him trying to get into her pants. But there's scope for [romance], I suppose. I won't tell you if he manages to break her or not. His tactic is wearing her down!"

How do you feel about playing a geeky character?
"It's fine. I'm a nerd. I'm into my computer games, so it doesn't bother me at all."

But the geek characters in a lot of modern stuff can be the most loved characters. It's not necessarily a bad thing anymore.
"Yeah, Barry is the underdog. So, you want the crowd to get behind him, and his nervous nerd-dom!"

Do you think that there's scope for a second series of Beaver Falls?
"I think so, yeah. I mean obviously, with a situation like a summer camp, you've got an endless supply of characters that can come in and out. You could come back and the kids could lose weight or join a different clique. And the same with the counsellors - any number of people could come in or out of it. It could run and run. And obviously, the amount of stories that could come out of one summer camp from a child's mouth when he goes home and talks to his mum or dad - that's probably a series on its own. So yeah, I'm sure the stories are there [for future series]."

Beaver Falls begins tomorrow night at 9pm on E4.

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