This interview was originally published in Radio Times magazine.


The new season of Apple TV+ comedy-mystery series The Afterparty is packed full of stars, from Tiffany Haddish to John Cho, Paul Walter Hauser to Ken Jeong.

There's also a major British comedian and actor amongst the ranks, as Jack Whitehall plays Sebastian, the best man at a wedding where the groom is murdered.

Whitehall spoke with The Radio Times Podcast about the show, as well as his own watching habits, working with his parents and the moment in his career that made him become "a bit more selective" with his projects.

What’s the view from your sofa?

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It’s about to change quite radically from bachelor pad to family home [with the arrival of a baby]. When I moved into the house, an interior designer said, “You don’t want an L-shaped sofa; you want a sofa that is up against the wall to make the most of the space.” It means I’ve got a sofa that doesn’t face the television. It looks out at the garden. I have to watch TV in my peripheral vision. Roxy, my girlfriend, has started nesting, and she’s looked at the furniture and feng shui and decided it needs to change.

Who controls the remote?

Probably me, as Roxy isn’t as tech savvy. But then, I’m really not tech savvy at all, I just know how to work this complicated remote. We’ve got one of those set-ups where every streaming subscription goes through one remote. A guy who lives in Devon helped me put the system in. I speak to him more than I do my family and friends, saying, “I don’t know how it works,” or, “It’s not working again.”

When you can get the telly to work, what do you watch? A lot of comedy?

Roxy likes true crime – anything with a serial killer or murderer. She’s all over that, especially late at night. She wakes up the following morning complaining of bad nightmares. I wonder why. I do like comedy – I watch a fair amount of stand-up and sitcoms – but it’s a bit of a busman’s holiday.

Jack Whitehall and John Cho in The Afterparty season 2, walking through a living room
Jack Whitehall and John Cho in The Afterparty season 2. Apple TV+

You made a name for yourself on panel shows — how did that shape you as a comedian?

Those panel shows were huge. I remember getting onto them being a laser-focus ambition for me. Mock the Week was famously cut-throat – you’d need quite sharp elbows to get your bit in. It was a great show and loads of people watched it. It would help build your profile and get bums on seats when you wanted to tour. Would I Lie to You? is one of the best panel shows on television; it has been so long lasting because it has a water-tight format.

When you look back, are there any moments that make you cringe?

I remember being on Celebrity Juice. It was a great show, but not a good one to go on as a comedian because you were just fodder. I didn’t give a great account of myself. I sat there in silence and had the p**s taken out of me. My dad called me, told me he had watched it and said that it was one of the most embarrassing things he’d ever seen, and that I should have a word with my agent and be more forthright about what was good and bad for me to do. It was quite a seminal moment in terms of me going, “OK, maybe I need to be a bit more selective.”

Strong words of advice from your father, Michael Whitehall. You’ve also made TV programmes with him — what’s it like working with your parents?

It’s good and lovely to be able to spend time with them. That said, there is an added level of stress to it. There is a slight lack of professionalism – they are your parents and you talk to each other slightly differently from how you would talk to a regular colleague. Some of their foibles can become a little irksome. You are trying to create something and get it done, and certain members of your family want to be finished filming at four o’clock, need an hour off at lunch and insist on having a glass of wine – which you know is going to make them much less attentive for the three hours you have to get the rest of the shooting done.

Sebastian, your character in whodunnit series The Afterparty, is an archetype of an old-money Englishman. How many of the British insults are your own?

There was a lot of improvisation on set – some of the actors, like Zach Woods, are the best improvisers I’ve worked with. It made me want to up the ante. It became a game of how many obscure, bizarre English insults I could hurl at people and see who I could make laugh. I’m not very good at figuring out [whodunnit]. I’m the perfect audience member. I’ve always loved watching them, so it was really fun to be a part of one.

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