Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Know the Characters Inside out. That's Really Good for Comedy; as Channel 4 Prepares to Dish Up Another Friday Night Dinner, On-Screen Brothers Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal Chat to Gemma Dunn about Quirks, Keeping Things Professional and the Serious Side of Comedy

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Know the Characters Inside out. That's Really Good for Comedy; as Channel 4 Prepares to Dish Up Another Friday Night Dinner, On-Screen Brothers Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal Chat to Gemma Dunn about Quirks, Keeping Things Professional and the Serious Side of Comedy

Article excerpt

Byline: Gemma Dunn about

AFTER two years off air, award-winning sitcom Friday Night Dinner is back with a fourth helping of comedy - and, according to its squabbling stars, it might just be the best course yet.

"What can I say? It is good," enthuses London-born Tom Rosenthal, looking to co-star Simon Bird for back-up.

The Inbetweeners star agrees. "We felt that from reading the scripts first time around," says Simon. "Also, we're all so used to it now and that's really good for comedy, because when you relax with your fellow cast members, you can try stuff out.

"It feels like we know all of the characters inside out, and we know each other's rhythms and performance styles."

This certainly seems to be the case, as the casually dressed pair - who reprise their roles as brothers Adam (Simon, 31) and Jonny (Tom, 28) in the hit Channel 4 show - have no qualms in continuing their 'sibling' taunting off-screen.

As we get acquainted, Simon is mocking Tom's earlier admission that his favourite album of all time is by Rage Against The Machine.

"It is quite weird," he teases. "In combination with his favourite film, which was The Matrix, and the fact he doesn't like sandwiches... [Tom's] got his quirks."

What does Tom reckon? "My eccentricities? I guess I talk to myself, if I'm angry or if I like an accent or whatever," says the actor, also known for his stint as Marcus in Plebs. "I lose sense of when anyone else is listening, so you overhear me in a corner doing an impression."

"And when we're on set, you often practise lines in front of the mirror by yourself as well," quips Simon. "Basically when we're on set, Tom is constantly talking."

Returning to Mum and Dad's house (Tamsin Greig of Green Wing and Paul Ritter of Vera) for a Friday night dinner of soup, chicken and 'crimble crumble', the Goodman boys will once again have ample opportunity for side-orders of wind-ups and bickering.

This time round, viewers can expect to see Jonny in a serious relationship; Adam injuring Jonny after buttering the kitchen floor; Mum forced to pretend her mother has died; Dad inviting a friend over who talks with closed eyes; 'Horrible Grandma' returning for more horribleness, and a terrified Jim (Mark Heap) looking after five dogs.

But while there's plenty of fun to be had in character, Simon and Tom reveal that on-set pranks are - somewhat surprisingly - kept to a minimum.

"It's pretty professional, which is mainly dictated by Tamsin and Paul, who are incredibly brilliant actors," explains Guildford-born Simon. "They set the tone from day one, so it's up to me and Tom to try to keep up with them as best we can.

"At the same time, it is a comedy show, and you don't want to lose the sense of fun, so for me, it's the best of all worlds."

Despite their quick wit, the double act admit they're keen to try their hand at more dramatic roles. …

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