Warwick Davis on Karl Pilkington: “It’s like travelling with a spoilt child”

The Idiot Abroad star on emailing Paul McCartney, what he'd delete from his CV and how Radio Times is better than Heat

Who controls the remote in your house?
I don’t boss the remote, it’s there for the taking. Anyone can hit record freely. But the planner’s full of stuff I like, or that I think the family will like. I’m very thoughtful. I’ll think, “She might like that doc on the Mars landing, I’ll record it for her.” That’s the kind of guy I am.


Which show would you like to have commissioned?
My chat show, Small Talk. As long as they’re interesting people, you could mix celebs with normal people. One guest who’s nobody, but he’s done something interesting in the community. He grows tomatoes. That’s interesting if you really talk to them. Put them on a sofa with Gwyneth Paltrow. I’d watch that.

Are you still “hot” now Life’s Too Short’s not on any more?
We’re doing a special and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. It’s just what we have time for in our busy lives. But I enjoy being lukewarm. If you’re hot, you burn out. I can burn for longer being lukewarm. It’s a different approach. People get bored of people who are too hot in Heat magazine. I’m lukewarm in Radio Times.

Who has left you starstruck?
Steve Coogan. When you admire someone’s work they have more impact. I’ve met hugely famous people but if I’m not a fan of what they do, they don’t make an impression. Paul McCartney, too. He’s a fan of Life’s Too Short and invited us to his concert. He emailed and said, “I’m a big fan of your short show.” Yes, I have his email address. Now and again I drop him a line. If I see him doing something kinda cool, I’ll tell him: that was good. I don’t write loads. People want emails to be to the point.

What would you delete from your CV?
A film I did years ago called Prince Valiant. It was a popular comic strip and I thought it could be a good franchise. Ron Perlman was in it, they had a good lead – Stephen Moyer – and I did my best, but the director just wasn’t very good. It was more about him getting his mates in the film. He was in it as well. It became a vanity project. He didn’t know what he was doing.

You’re in the new series of An Idiot Abroad. What happens?
Karl Pilkington and I retrace the steps of Marco Polo. We don’t really do anything historically to do with Marco Polo, but it’s his journey. My reason for being asked along was to try to make Karl realise there is more to the world. He normally just moans. I was there to change his views. I fear I may have failed.

Is Karl really like that off camera?
Karl is the Karl you see. There is no other Karl. It’s like travelling with a spoilt child. He doesn’t see the point in watching the sun rise, for example. Even in a boat on the Ganges.

Do you Google yourself?
Warwick in Life’s Too Short would, but this Warwick doesn’t really. I’d get a link to my website and my IMDB page, then a million hits that are nothing to do with me. Warwick Golf Club, probably. I do have an app called Pocket Warwick that’s a version of me living in your phone. A celebrity tamagotchi meets The Sims. I’m not just putting my name to it – my soul is in there.

What makes you switch the TV off?
It’s only on when there’s something we want to watch. I don’t sit down to watch telly and see what’s on. If the news came on, I’d switch it off. That’s bad, isn’t it? It’s all the same, it’s depressing, I know all this goes on in the world but it’s sort of uhhhhhhhhhh. I suppose I was sounding a bit like Karl there, yes. Five weeks with him, it’s rubbed off.  

Who would play you in a biopic?
See, that’s different for me, isn’t it? It does have to be a short person really. I’m slightly limited by that. Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones is a decent actor. He’s a bit taller than me, but he’d do it justice.


The third series of An Idiot Abroad begins tonight at 9:00pm on Sky1