Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
1

TV Interview

Will Mellor 'White Van Man' Q&A: 'Series two is hilarious and chaotic'

By
The Big One: Will Mellor

© BBC

White Van Man was quite the success for BBC Three - the Will Mellor comedy pulled in almost a million viewers in March 2011, becoming the highest rated launch ever for a sitcom on the channel. And this Thursday night, the series returns...

Ollie (Mellor) and his hapless assistant Darren (Joel Fry) are back to cause more trouble, so Digital Spy had a chat with the show's star Will to find out what we can expect from series two and how he feels about the US remake of White Van Man - or is that White Truck Dude?

How did you feel after the success of series one?
"Unbelievable! We were over the moon. It was quite nerve-wracking - I love the show and I just thought, 'I hope people get it'. We had a great campaign to promote the show, which we were really grateful for, and we knew that was going to boost it for the first episode. But we just hoped that they'd stay with us for the series, and they did - they even watched the repeats.

"I think people just really got it for what it is. It is quite a surreal programme, but the characters are great. I think [because] we have the vehicle of him being a handyman, going into people's houses, there's lots of room for new characters and cameos. People got behind it and I was so chuffed. Now we're doing series two and we're just hoping they'll do the same [again]."

And does that success give you more confidence going into series two?
"A little bit, but there's a little bit more pressure, to be honest. Now we know how much of a success series one was, it can't dip for series two. It's more pressure for the writer and the cast to produce the same thing, without trying too hard. We're not a sitcom - we're a comedy with drama elements.

"Each episode is a journey in the lives of these people, in this fictitious place Maplebury. We just want it to be as fun, interesting and chaotic as the first series, whilst moving forward, because we don't want to be static.

"And I think we've done that with this series - it's less about the job and more about the characters' personal lives. We still do loads of stuff with the job as well, but we do stretch it a little bit more."

Will Mellor, White Van Man

© BBC



So what's coming up for Ollie in series two? The last series ended on a bit of a cliffhanger...
"Yeah, it did - with Tony (Clive Mantle) having a heart attack and Joanne (Victoria Longley) being rushed into hospital with the baby. All that is rectified in series two one way or another!

"Series two starts off very much like the last series - they're on a job working and it goes a bit t*ts up! Ollie's now embraced the fact that he's a white van man - he's not trying to get out of it and dreaming about being a chef. He's got a new app on his phone, where all the jobs get sent through to his phone...

"That's what actually causes him problems, because the jobs get mixed up on his phone and he ends up ripping out a kitchen when he should be putting one in for some orphans. So the first episode is, you've got 24 hours to find a kitchen for these orphans! And Darren (Joel Fry) has just spent all the money on their credit cards!

"So we start off running from where we left off. After that episode it settles back down into the characters again, but we wanted to remind people what they loved about the first series with the first episode. It all leads to a big climactic ending - the series ends on a big episode six again!"

Ollie was torn between two women last series - what can we expect on that front?
"The thing is, he didn't know that Liz (Naomi Bentley) felt the way she felt until that last episode. He'd only seen her as a friend - she's a bit of a geezer bird, if you know what I mean, and Ollie doesn't know what to do with that. Ollie loves Emma (Georgia Moffett), but everyone else is like, 'What do you see in her? She's selfish!'

"I think in this series, whether he realises it or not, there'll come a point where Ollie has to confront the issue. Liz and Ollie actually have the opportunity to work together in one episode, because Ollie catches Darren cheating with another handyman company, the Polish!"

Do you enjoy filming the Ollie and Darren scenes with Joel Fry?
"The Ollie and Darren stuff is hilarious - Joel Fry is one of my favourite actors to work with. He's a hilarious man and he's got this loveable thing about him that no matter what he does, you end up feeling sorry for him. I don't know how he gets away with it, but you do! It's brilliant and this series has got loads of that."

Will Mellor, White Van Man

© BBC



Having finishing filmed series two, do you think White Van Man could continue for a third series and beyond?
"Yeah, we're already story-lining [series three] so we're definitely heading towards that. Hopefully we'll be shooting that in the summer - we're very close to doing that.

"When we were making the second series, we knew that the channel loved it and we had the viewing figures. People in the street were liking it. We're just trying to make it our own now - we don't want to be like anything else.

"We don't want to be pigeonholed as a sitcom, because that says that it's set-up / punchline / set-up / punchline. It's not like that - it's just a surreal world where people live and things happen to them. Come along for the ride!"

ABC is also remaking White Van Man for American audiences...
"White Truck Dude - that's what the working title is!"

Seriously?!
"Yeah - can you believe that?! That's the working title - they can't call it that, because I don't think there is such a thing [as a white van man] in America."

Kyle Bornheimer as Dave in 'Perfect Couples'
So what were your thoughts when you first heard about the US remake?
"I was chuffed for Adrian [Poynton], the writer, and I was chuffed for the show. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps has been bought by America as well, so they're doing Two Pints out there. I'm gutted that they're not asking me to play Gaz - I think I look more like him than anyone else!

"I don't know how it works in the suburbs of America. They must have handymen, so it must work in the same context as that. Hopefully, if [the remake] goes well, they can show ours out there and we can all make loads of money!"

And why should viewers tune in for series two of White Van Man?
"If you liked the first series, it's much of the same, but we are going deeper into the characters and there's loads of emotion. There's hilarious moments, there's chaotic moments, there's falling out, there's making up, there's loads of soap opera style [cliffhanger] endings...

"Every episode has got its own individual journey. It is a second series, so we're looking at the bigger picture here. We're keeping elements from the first series, moving on into the second and hopefully setting up for a third!"

White Van Man series two is back on BBC Three from February 23 and on DVD from ITV Studios Home Entertainment from April 2.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...