Rob Lowe: Ricky Gervais has told me everything I need to know about Slough

The star of You, Me and the Apocalypse – which you can see in an exclusive screening at the Radio Times Festival – has been paying attention to The Office

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Rob Lowe’s new Sky1 comedy drama You, Me and the Apocalypse has an unusual premise. In it he plays Father Jude – a Vatican priest – who, with only 34 days until a comet crashes into planet Earth, must race to get to a comet-proof bunker in… Slough. 

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The series’ hilarious original title was Apocalypse Slough (we sort of wish they’d kept it) and the American claims to already know a fair bit about the much-maligned town thanks to a little-known TV programme called The Office. 

“I’d done a movie with Ricky Gervais,” he tells the new issue of Radio Times, “and I knew that Ricky had set the original Office in Slough. So that tells me everything I need to know about Slough, right?”. 

It turns out that in addition to doing his homework on the notorious town, Lowe has undertaken some considerable research to play his man of the cloth. “It’s given me an excuse to do what I’ve always wanted to do – and probably should have done a long time ago, and that’s read the Bible from cover to cover.” Really? “Yeah.” Including Leviticus, about goats? “All of it.”

You, Me and the Apocalypse sees Lowe back on the small screen, following roles in Parks and Recreation, Brothers and Sisters and The West Wing, a drama he describes as “the best show ever made.”

In it he played White House spin doctor Sam Seaborn – a role he says he’s be keen to reprise if the opportunity presented itself. “I would do it, I would love it. I love that character.” 

Although – in this fantasy reunion – he believes Seaborn should be elevated to the top job. “Well, [President Jed] Bartlet [played by Martin Sheen] said he would. I would start there! Bartlet said it, and Bartlet was never wrong. But, you know, any West Wing reunion… there’s nothing without Aaron [Sorkin, the creator]. It has to be. But he’s got so much going on. He’s the king of moves now.” 

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Read the full interview with Rob Lowe in this week’s Radio Times, available in shops and on newsstand from Tuesday 22nd September

Watch the first episode of You, Me and the Apocalypse for FREE at the Radio Times Festival. Book your tickets here