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TV Interview

'Jonathan Creek' Sheridan Smith Q&A: "I'd love to do more"

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Jonathan Creek is finally back - but he's not quite the man we once knew! The amateur investigator (Alan Davies) has moved out of his windmill, discarded his duffle coat and taken an office job in the big city - but surely he can't resist the lure of a good mystery when his old partner Joey Ross comes calling?

Digital Spy and other journalists spoke to Sheridan Smith - who plays Joey - about long-awaited Easter special 'The Clue of the Savant's Thumb' and her uncertain future with the show...

Alan Davies and Sheridan Smith in Jonathan Creek:  The Clue of the Savant's Thumb

© BBC



Have you enjoyed returning to Jonathan Creek after three years away?
"Yeah, we're like a little family - me and Alan have kept in touch, but it's nice to be back with him in his duffle coat and me with my torch! And David [Renwick] is a genius writer - so yeah, it's great to be back again."

Jonathan's very different to how we last saw him in his business suit...
"When I saw him, I said, 'I don't like it - put your duffle on!' - and Joey obviously finds it hysterical. But three years is a long time - he's moved on, trying to be a businessman, which is bizarre, but he comes back - the duffle coat reappears and off we go back into adventure.

"He's given up and think it's all ridiculous, and that really annoys her because she's still got that drive. I suppose she does drive this one more - she gives Jonathan a kick up the ass! Of course, he can't resist it, once she gets his juices flowing again."

What can you tell us about the mystery in 'The Clue of the Savant's Thumb'?
"It's a dark one, this one. It's a really baffling storyline - really dark and weird. But obviously there's still the humour - like there always is with Creek.

"I don't know how David comes up with it after this many years… all the whodunnits. 16 years it's been going… and now they're going to do more! I'm always worried that I'm going to give away the whole thing. Can you imagine? Nobody tunes in 'cos I've given away the ending!"

Do you think your performance has influenced how David writes Joey?
"It probably has! Other than the fact that if there was a murder, I'd probably run a mile rather than try to solve it. But there's all the naughty banter and cheeky twinkles!"

Joey Ross (Sheridan Smith), Jonathan Creek (Alan Davies), DI Gideon Pryke (Rik Mayall) & Rosalind Tartikoff (Joanna Lumley) in 'Jonathan Creek'

© BBC

A scene from 'Jonathan Creek'



This Easter special has a terrific guest cast...
"We've got Rik Mayall in this one - Gideon Pryke's back and he is just brilliant. Joey's a bit in awe of him. And Joanna Lumley's amazing - I was so star-struck!"

You've played some fantastic roles over the past few years - what brings you back to Jonathan Creek?
"Well, I did Love Soup with David - which was seven years ago now - and I loved his scripts. His scripts are always done from the read-through - there's never any rewrites and you have to follow it word-for-wood - every dot, every comma - there's no ad-lib. He's such a genius, so you don't change anything.

"So when he offered me the new sidekick on Jonathan Creek, I remember screaming - because I'd seen it growing up. I only did the two episodes - The Grinning Man and The Judas Tree - and then there was this three-year gap where I went off and did other things…

"When I heard it was coming back… we're like family now. David, I love and have huge respect for - you rarely get scripts that are as good as his - and Alan, I love like a big brother. So going in every day… it doesn't feel like work. But it is, and we do work hard!"

Alan Davies as Jonathan Creek & Sheridan Smith as Joey Ross in 'Jonathan Creek'

© BBC

Alan Davies and Sheridan Smith in 'Jonathan Creek'



In the time the show was off our screens, did you hear a lot from Jonathan Creek fans?
"I did, yeah. And when I put on Twitter [that it was coming back] all these Creek geeks - that's what they call themselves, the Creek Geeks - were all messaging me, going 'Is it true? Is it true? Oh my God'.

"A lot of them are young kids who can't remember when it was first on with Caroline Quentin and Julia Sawalha. But there's all the box-sets, so it's every generation - the grandparents and the parents and the kids watch it. That's all down to David and what a genius he is, that it can go on that long. I'm just honoured to have been part of it."

Is it true that this might be your final episode of Jonathan Creek?
"If the show goes on, I'd love to do more, but I'm going to be in theatre, so I might not be able to do any more after this one, which would be really sad. It'll be sad when we go our seperate ways - old Joey and Creek, but me and Alan won't. He's stuck with me now!

"They're looking to do more at the end of this year and I would like to do it - it's just whether it'll be filming in London, because I'm going to be in theatre every night doing A Midsummer Night's Dream from August to November, which is right when they're going to be filming.

"If it's filmed in London, I could do it - I can film Creek in the days and then do the theatre in the evenings. It's just whether it's going to work, date-wise - but I want to do it forever… so we'll see!"

Jonathan Creek: The Clue of the Savant's Thumb will air on BBC One on Easter Monday (April 1) at 8.30pm.

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