Watching TV with Julian Rhind-Tutt: the actor talks catch-up television and the handsomeness of Poldark

The former Green Wing star discusses his telly habits and how he took up acting to avoid getting a job...

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What are you up to right now?

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I’m in Slovenia, where I have
 a house. I believe there’s a new, pretentious posh word called “twin centred”. That’s what I am with Britain and Slovenia. When you rang I was having a conversation with a Macedonian builder using my limited knowledge of the Slovenian language.

Your wife [make-up artist and yoga instructor Natasa Zajc] 
is Slovenian, isn’t she?


Yes, and if I don’t get my Slovenian sorted fairly quickly I’m going to be one of those people sitting in the corner watching TV unable to speak the same language as my son [Lucien] and his friends.

What TV do you watch?

In Slovenia everyone watches skiing, just as in Britain we have the football on in the background all the time. I’m the embodiment of catch-up TV, I’m always behind. I’m six years late to The Walking Dead and Homeland. I also really like Poldark. What do they do to Aidan Turner to make him look so amazingly handsome on screen?

His face, his hair… it’s incredible. Maybe he has extensions. I had extensions put in for a job recently, but the trouble is that when you have them taken out you lose a lot of volume in your hair and think, “Oh, I look a bit weedy now.”

What does your TV look like?

I did purchase a not grotesquely large Oled TV [the highest-grade TV on the market], which appealed to my early-adopting sadness.

I spent time meticulously attaching it to the thinnest wall bracket 
I could find and then burying the cables in the wall, achieving an almost perfect finish.

So you’re a DIY expert?

I’m good at pointing at things and sometimes sanding bits of wood. I did replace my own kitchen sink and tap recently. That was quite an achievement, although it took me
 four hours longer than it would have taken the plumber.

What do you watch on your perfectly finished TV?

I watch a lot of kids’ films. I’m a bit down on arthouse cinema and very knowledgeable about Despicable Me 3, Moana and Sing.

What’s your sofa situation?

I have a plump, fulsome sofa with big curved arms and lots of padding. It’s very, very comfortable and 
I was so attached to it I drove it in my transit van all the way to Slovenia because no other sofa was good enough. It’s very ornate with a baroque swirly pattern. I’m not doing it justice. Shall I text you 
a photo of it?

Yes please. Did you always fancy acting?

I got into acting after whittling down the list of things that I wanted to do – spaceman, scientist, train driver, master carpenter – and realised I couldn’t. While I was studying at Warwick University [English and Theatre Studies] I did some plays and thought it was a good way of avoiding getting a job.

Do you keep in touch with the cast of Green Wing?

We’re friendly and have a nice time now and then. People come up to me most weeks and say they’re in the medical profession and thought it was very accurate and strangely closer to their experiences than Holby City. That show was one of those lucky moments of alchemy.

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Julian Rhind-Tutt stars as Magnus Pym in an adaption of John Le Carré’s novel The Perfect Spy on Sunday 2nd July at 3pm on Radio 4